On the lookout for a job after graduation? Looking to change career path? Passionate about leadership and driving change? Then you might want to look into the NICS recruitment scheme. 

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Source: NICS recruitment

What is NICS?

NICS (Northern Ireland Civil Service) provides a support network for the departments of the Northern Ireland government. They work to roll out services and policies designed by the government, meaning a job there is extremely varied in what you will be doing. Their vacancies are advertised online, alongside a number of partner public sector organisations and companies. 

What do they look for?

NICS recruits for a wide variety of roles, which means you are likely to find something to suit you, whatever degree programme you are currently on (or have graduated from). Most of their roles are open to all UK nationals, and some are open to people from the European Economic Area (EEA), although this is now subject to change. 

Some of the positions that the organisation recruit for pop up frequently, like administrators, analysts, lawyers, project managers and general managers, although they also recruit healthcare professionals and even engineers, so working within NICS is definitely an opportunity to work within a varied team. 

There are 10 departments covered by NICS: The Assembly, and the 9 ministerial (or Executive) departments. Details of the roles available and some of the responsibilities that you might be expected to take on within these departments are available on their webpage

Work experience

If you’re thinking of going into the civil service or a similar organisation, but you’re not yet sure whether it’s for you, or you’d like to learn more, definitely have a look at the NICS work experience programme. With this programme, their aim is to make the civil service more representative of the people of Northern Ireland. With this in mind, applicants are particularly encouraged from underrepresented backgrounds. 

Applicants apply through a pre-written form (currently not available due to COVID-19 and the suspension of applications) and placements last one week, although university students may be able to attend one or two days a week to fit around their course. On placement, you will normally receive a supervisor from the department that you are working with. You can expect to gain a detailed insight into the world of working in the civil service. 

NICS are particularly committed to providing placements for people with disabilities, with assistance applying available in the documents on this page

Searching for vacancies

All applications are made directly via the NICS Recruitment website, where they list all of their current vacancies. They do not offer a graduate scheme as such, but graduate and entry-level jobs are often advertised. Information about the application and interview process is available under their ‘how do I apply’ section. FAQs, including questions about convictions and nationality requirements for roles, are also available here


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