The Public Sector Network aims to create more opportunities for young people in the Public Sector.

The public sector in Scotland is a crucial contributor to the economy, employing 20% of the Scottish workforce - higher than anywhere else in the UK.

However, as a result of pressure to make cost savings this workforce is decreasing and it is also aging rapidly; 88% of public servants are aged over 30 and within this group, 42% are over 50.

With the challenge of replacing this valuable asset in mind, the Public Sector Network was established in March 2015 as a joint initiative of the Scottish Government and Skills Development Scotland.

Opportunities for under 25’s

The Public Sector Network supports the Scottish Government’s goal of increasing youth employment.

This network of around 70 public bodies includes health boards, local authorities and public corporations and meets biannually to network and share good practice in youth employment.

Developing and coordinating a structured approach to supporting public sector organisation's youth employment ambitions is one of the main goals of the Public Sector Network. However, it also aims to improve workforce planning and development strategies, and to increase the number of apprentices employed within the public sector. 

Public Sector Network Steering Group

Skills Development Scotland established a subgroup of the Public Sector Network in June 2017, the Public Sector Network Steering Group. Its role is to find common obstacles within member organisations, such as the ageing workforce, reliance on higher education and a lack of long term workforce planning, and to develop innovative ways to both communicate and address these issues. 

The Public Sector Think Tank also identifies priorities for the future of the Public Sector Network and raises awareness of the scale of the public sector workforce in Scotland and the breadth and depth of opportunities available.

Youth employment strategies from members of the Public Sector Network 

Sarah Smith, Healthcare Science Professional Lead / Education and Training Lead (Labs), shares the steps NHS Lothian has taken to improve its youth employment strategy and the benefits that have since been identified.

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Andrew Cunningham, Learning and Organisation Development Manager, shares how Visit Scotland has improved its youth employment strategy.

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Carol Gillespie, Senior HR Advisor at the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, shares how the introduction of a new graduate trainee scheme in 2017 has helped SEPA improve its Youth Employment Strategy.

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Peter Matthews, HR Adviser at Aberdeenshire Council, shares how the council has improved its Youth Employment Strategy with their employability programme, WorkPlus.

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Want to know more?

If you would like more information, join the Knowledge Hub Public Sector Network group or email us with any general enquiries.