Public Services

Key facts

General UK facts

  • If you want to work in the uniformed services such as Police, Fire, Ambulance, Army, Navy or Air Force, a Public Services college course is a good start. It’s a good way of finding out whether that career is for you. The experience and skills you gain will also be useful in a range of other careers.
  • If you want to work as an ambulance paramedic, you’re recommended to get some experience as a volunteer with the St John’s Ambulance.
  • The Army has around 140 different types of jobs. Although everyone is a soldier first, it also has chefs, pilots, engineers, musicians, lawyers, medics, dog handlers, clerks, mechanics and many more occupations.

South West facts

  • If you’re keen on joining one of the uniformed services it’s a good idea to join an organisation like the Scouts, Guides, Air, Sea or Police Cadet Forces or Duke of Edinburgh Award schemes while you’re at school. There are plenty of opportunities to join these clubs in the South of England.
  • Avon Fire and Rescue Service only occasionally recruit full-time fire fighters and the recruitment process is very rigorous – only the best people get in. They are always looking for more retained fire fighters – these are people with other jobs who volunteer to train and get called out just in emergencies. In some parts of the rural South West retained fire fighters do most of the work.
  • Thames Valley Police is the largest non-metropolitan police force in England and Wales. They police the counties of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire, and serving a population of more than two million, plus six million visitors who come to Thames Valley each year. Avon and Somerset Constabulary follows closely, policing a population of 1.5 million. Police officers are carefully selected and highly trained to handle anything from patrolling the beat to cracking a complex financial fraud.
  • Find details of your local police force here.

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