Civil servants work for government departments and agencies carrying out the policies of the government, doing research, advising members of the government and providing services to the public. The job varies because the activities of the different departments are very varied but administrative staff are usually responsible for keeping records, dealing with the public, assessing charges, grants and allowances. Civil service clerical staff are known as administrative assistants. Their job may include sorting and filing papers, using computers to keep records, dealing with enquiries either face to face, on the telephone or by post
20% of civil servants work in London where most of the headquarters of the departments are, and the rest are in regional offices throughout the country. They are office based and work normal office hours.
The ability to work as part of a team is essential for civil servants. They need to be able to communicate well with colleagues and the public in writing, face to face and on the telephone. They should have a good standard of numeracy and literacy, a methodical approach to tasks and pay attention to details. Tact, diplomacy and discretion are needed when dealing with sensitive issues or confidential information. IT skills will be useful.
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