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Public Sector

Public Sector

Civil Service


The Civil Service nationally is made up of over 173 departments and agencies. The departments work with the government, MPs and ministers to formulate policy and the agencies work to deliver those policies. Although we often think of central government being based in Whitehall, there are also departmental offices and agencies around the UK.

Over 7% of civil servants are located in Yorkshire, with significant numbers based in Leeds (9,000,working mainly in Defra, the Department of Health, the Department for Work and Pensions, The Home Office and the Inland Revenue) and Sheffield (2,000 working in the Department of Work and Pensions, the Department for Education and Skills and the Home Office).

The agencies are diverse and are usually found throughout the UK, for example: the Environment Agency, Job Centre Plus and the Driving Standards Agency. These will be located in the regional centres throughout Yorkshire. However, there are also some national and regional centres based in the region, including the Central Science Laboratory near York. The departments and agencies which are based in Yorkshire are shown in the links below.

Graduate entry is either directly to the department of your choice or through the Civil Service Fast Stream. The Fast Stream is a graduate entry route for senior Civil Service careers, providing an accelerated development programme for graduates. Many of these positions will be in London, but there may occasionally be policy positions in Yorkshire, and specialist roles such as Statistics, Science and Engineering.

Further information about the departments and agencies can be obtained from the links below. Job vacancies are advertised on the department and agency websites, in local and national newspapers and in Job Centres.

Job vacancies in Public Sector


Useful links:

Civil Service Careers

Further information on working for the Civil Service and links to all the departments and agencies can be obtained from this link.

Civil Service Fast Stream

Graduates who want a career near the centre of the action should apply to the Civil Service accelerated training & development scheme, the general Fast Stream. This is open to graduates with 2nd class honours degree or above but outstanding qualities are needed to succeed. Online screening begins before candidates download application forms; exam style tests provide the next sift followed by an assessment centre.

Recent changes to the application process means that Fast Stream is managed by Cabinet Office and it is they who allocate people to specific departments. The Central Departments option covers all major government departments except the Diplomatic Service. Here, you'll have the opportunity to make your mark in areas as diverse as health, the Arts, transport, overseas aid, environment, defence or education.

The Fast Stream website has a useful flow diagram of the selection process with dates and other helpful details on areas of work within the Civil Service.

Department for Education and Skills (DfES)

Based in Sheffield, this department has responsibility for Education from pre-school to further and higher education.


Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)

Based in Leeds, Defra was created in June 2001 to drive forward the Government's programmes on the environment, food and rural affairs including the pursuit of sustainable development - weaving together economic, social and environmental concerns.


Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)
The DWP has offices in Sheffield and Leeds and was created in June 2001 to promote opportunity and independence for all, helping people who can work into work and supporting those who can't.

The Home Office
The Home office has offices in Leeds and Sheffield. It is responsible for policy on crime, policing, justice, immigration, drugs and race equality.


The Inland Revenue

The Regional Office for Northern England is based in Leeds, although there are local offices in the larger towns which deal with tax-related issues. For more information on tax, please see the section under Finance (see links on the left).


The Office of Government Commerce (OGC)

Thee OGC is an independent office of the Treasury reporting to the Chief Secretary. It is responsible for a wide-ranging programme which focuses on improving the efficiency and effectiveness of central civil Government procurement.

Government Office for Yorkshire and Humber (GOYH)

Based in Leeds, GOYH works closely with regional partners including local authorities, businesses, local education authorities, schools and colleges, voluntary organisations, the police and the health service and local people to help create sustainable communities in Yorkshire and The Humber. As regional representatives of central government, they have responsibility for approving and administering various grant programmes.

Yorkshire Forward


The Regional Development Agency is based in Leeds.

Highways Agency

Part of the Department of Transport, the Highways Agency is based in Leeds.