Hays research: More than half of public sector workers would sacrifice pension for private sector job

More than half of workers in the public sector would sacrifice their pension for a career in the private sector, according to research conducted by Hays.

The Hays Career Outlook Survey showed that although those working in the public sector were fiercely defensive of their pensions, they also found the private sector and its perceived higher job security attractive.

More than three-quarters (84%) of public sector employers are concerned that they will struggle to keep skilled workers, and almost half (46%) say they will be unable to attract the skilled people needed for the 12 months ahead; 80% believe this will have an impact on the delivery of public services.

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Almost two-thirds (60%) of public sector workers say the public sector is a worse place to work compared to before the recession, compared to only 40% in the private sector. Over three-quarters (76%) of public sector employers believe the sector is more stressful than a year ago.

Andy Robling, public services director at Hays, said: “Public sector employers are clearly worried about keeping and attracting the staff they need – the question is what impact will this have on frontline services and how can we minimise any negative impact?†

“The news that over half of workers in the public sector, who often choose to work there to make a positive difference to society, would consider trading in their pension for a career in the private sector underlines how keen they are to move. Whilst conditions in the private sector are challenging too it is clearly one step ahead of the public sector in terms of attracting and motivating talent.

“In order to be in a position to tackle these important challenges in 2012 it’s vital that employers in both sectors take action now.†

“In particular, public sector bosses need to ensure their staff possess the right skills, that they are communicating a positive vision and that they have flexible incentive packages in place so as to support their organisation through these turbulent times.”

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