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A few decades ago, every week, job seekers would rally to the local post office to peruse the Government Gazette to find their dream job among the listed government job vacancies in Sri Lanka. Of course, then, the norm was to find a job post in the government whether one was a school leaver or a recnt graduate. In fact, many didn’t even consider finding a job in a private company, the private sector then being considered somewhat inferior to the government sector.
As at now, there are approximately 1,350,000 public servants in Sri Lanka. As a percentage of the total population, Sri Lanka has one of the largest public sectors in the world. That being said, one cannot deny that the number of government job vacancies are on the rise too. Which is why you can find at least fifty state job vacancies listed with us at any given point of time.
If you were to talk to almost anyone over the age of sixty in Sri Lanka and asked which sector they thought you should work in, they are probably bound to say the government sector. If you've ever read the book Rich Dad Poor Dad, you might remember how the people in the sixties and seventies thought very highly of doing one particular sedentary job for the whole of their lives.
That was the mindset of our elders too. The benefits which come with working in the public sector are alluring for many. When you work for the government, there is no doubt in anyone’s mind about job stability. There are definite retirement benefits to look forward to, and rest assured in the faith that your pension will see you through in your latter days. They also offer great healthcare plans including Agrahara for both the public worker and their families.
The pay is not bad either. Especially in Sri Lanka, if you happened to work for the government in a rural area, you have a chance of getting paid more. What’s more, compared to the hectic lifestyle of those who work in the private sector, most government servants do not have long working hours and have plenty of holidays to look forward to.
Periodically, the Sri Lanka Administrative Service holds an open competitive examination to recruit new members to the service. A Large portion of the high-ranking individuals who carry out administration in the public sector belongs to the Sri Lanka Administrative Service. The members of the service are graded according to their seniority, starting from Grade III, ascending to Grade II, Grade I, and Special Grade.
While, entering to the Administrative Service might be considered difficult, for anyone looking for a government job, there are many other ways in
Those who prefer a government or public sector job to a private sector one always seem to face a slight dilemma when actually faced with a government job. This has to do with the fact that as one joins the public sector, one can never truly predict which part of Sri Lanka they would be posted to. For instance, if you are from a metropolitan area such as Colombo, having to live in Mahiyangana, Madawachchiya or Kebithigollawa might cause trepidation. Agreeing to serve in any part of the country is one the terms of the contract when one joins the public service. Hence, it is paramount to remember that whether you want to be a district secretary, a doctor or a teacher, you might not get a locale you wish for.
When Sir Frederick North, the first British Governor to Ceylon, came to the island in 1798, several officers were appointed by the British Secretary of State for the Colonies to assist him. Thus, under the guise of the Ceylon Civil Service, marked the beginning of the public service in Sri Lanka. The Sri Lanka Public Service which consists of more than one million members in the present, included only five members in 1802 when Ceylon became a Crown colony of Britain. These members were the Colonial Secretary, Chief justice, the Commander of troops, and two other members, of whom the Colonial Secretary and the other two nondescript members were part of the civil service.
Since, the public service in Sri Lanka has come leaps and bounds, with the number of jobs in the government sector increasing each year. With the population expansion in Sri Lanka, it could be argued that the number of people needed to serve them should also increase conversely. Which is why the terms ‘public service’ or ‘government jobs’ in Sri Lanka, do not just include the Sri Lanka Administrative Service. There are close to twenty-five services including the administrative service, education administrative service, Sri Lanka Customs, The Police, and Judicial Officers to make up the ‘Professional’ segment of the public sector in Sri Lanka. When you take non-professional or support-service government jobs in Sri Lanka, they consist of approximately twelve-services, including the general clerical service, the government translators service, and the government stenographers service.
While you might dream of a government job in Sri Lanka, keep in mind that not all public-sector jobs are sedentary or desk jobs. Don’t forget teachers, accountants, engineers, auditors, assistants, nurses and doctors, and the defence sector who help us in our daily lives by doing government jobs in Sri Lanka. When it comes down to the nitty-gritty, regardless of your chosen field, you just might get the chance to apply for a vacancy in the government in Sri Lanka. Banks, the telecom industry, State media all offer opportunities for you to join the state sector in Sri Lanka.