The public service less and less popular with young people

Being a civil servant is no longer a status that makes young people dream. While the number of available positions, around 40,000 per year, has remained fixed, the number of candidates has changed radically in recent years. According to information from World, whereas, in 1997, they were approximately 650,000 to wish to integrate the body of civil servants, in 2018, they are no longer than 228,000 to want to serve the State, even though the number of young graduates, and therefore of potential candidates, increased.

A survey published in 2018 by the public service establishes that 41% of young people present “a lack of interest in the public service“. A decline that recalls the year 1988, when only 200,000 candidates had applied, a record.

The main risk is of course the decrease in selectivity. But how to explain this generalized disinterest of young people in the public service? “The officials are not paid enough, ”explains World Estelle Piernas, national secretary of the FSE-CGT. Both the least qualified staff and senior officials would be affected.

This difference in salary between the public and private sectors is therefore one of the main reasons for the lack of attractiveness of the public service. However, young people do not only consider the financial aspect in the balance. The missions assigned to them in the public service can also play a role in this drop in applications: getting involved in a start-up and directly observing the consequences of its action on the evolution of society may seem, for some, to more attractive than the idea of ​​joining the body of the state, where young people can sometimes feel left out of major decisions. “When the management is old school, descending, it does not appeal to the younger generations», Assures the World Florence Méaux, delegate to the senior executives of the State. “We must show that we are reforming. Young people today want autonomy and an impact. By serving the state, they will have an influence on the course of things, but this impact will be theoretical if they do not also have autonomy», She concludes.

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