NI Civil Service launches recruitment drive

Written by Jim Dunton on 13 December 2019 in News

Stormont looks to fill 300 assistant officer-level vacancies


NICS head David Sterling Credit: PA

The Northern Ireland Civil Service has kicked off a recruitment drive to bolster its assistant-officer ranks by 300, spread across eight work regions.

Its campaign for first-rung roles, pay banded at £20,951 to £23,023, does not specify particular departments that would host new staff.

If all 300 roles were filled, it would increase the size of the NI Civil Service by around 1.3%, based on its current headcount of 23,000. The service said the intake from the campaign could rise above 300 if more vacancies arise.


Civil servants have effectively been running the country in the absence of ministers since a power-sharing agreement collapsed in 2017. Last month demonstrators marked 1,000 days without a functioning executive in Northern Ireland with a rally at Stormont.

Unions representing staff have also been harshly critical of updated NICS pay policy, which gave departments flexibility on awarding annual rises – so long as the cash came from existing budgets.

Would-be AOs have the opportunity to suggest up to three areas of the country that they are interested in working in from a list of eight. They are: the Belfast area; Bangor, Newtownards and Ballynahinch; Fermanagh; Armagh, Portadown, Lurgan and Banbridge; Downpatrick, Newcastle, Kilkeel & Newry; Omagh, Dungannon & Cookstown; Strabane, Londonderry/Derry & Limavady; and Coleraine, Ballymoney, Antrim, Ballymena & Magherafelt.

The recruitment pack identifies “protestants and men” among the under-represented groups at AO grade in the NI Civil Service – along with under 35s, people with a disability and people from minority ethnic communities.

The campaign is open to applications until 12pm on 23 December.

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