In public services and security you could work at a desk in an office or in an active outdoor job.

Civil service (central government) and local authorities run the services we rely on such as education, roads and benefits. The armed forces include the British Army, Royal Navy (and Royal Marines) and RAF. Emergency services are there when we need the police, ambulances, fire and rescue, coastguards and lifeboats. The prison service looks after people serving sentences in prison. The security industry keeps buildings and people safe. 

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Skills and qualities needed

  • Comfortable with danger
  • Stays calm in difficult situations
  • Able to assess a situation
  • Advanced communication skills
  • Making decisions under pressure

Career areas

Armed forces

Serving in the Royal Navy, the British Army or the Royal Air Force, defending the UK at home and abroad.

Civil service

Carrying out the work of local and national government, running the services we rely on such as education, roads and benefits.

Emergency services

Responding to unexpected situations: the fire and rescue service, the police, the ambulance service, HM Coastguard and mountain rescue.


Keeping people and things safe, including guarding buildings, carrying valuables, installing alarms or transporting prisoners.

Useful links

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Skills for Security

The skills body for the security industry

Skills for Justice

The sector skills body for the police, fire and rescue and prison services

Ministry of Defence