Government hopes that the private sector will provide jobs for unemployed public sector workers look increasingly shaky, according to new research from

Its recent study found that the majority of SME employers are put off employing public sector workers because of concerns over productivity, training and skills and even attitude.

Almost a quarter of SMEs (22%) intend to take on more staff in 2011 but only 2% of the employers surveyed said that they would actively seek to recruit public sector workers. Nearly a quarter of small businesses (23%) would only look to recruit a public sector worker if it was for a role that they couldn’t otherwise fill and one in ten (12%) said they would not be prepared to employ a public sector worker at all.

Only 6% of private sector bosses believe that a former private sector work would fit in well in their business. Over half (55%) believe that public sector workers have unrealistic expectations regarding pay, holidays and employment terms, while just one in ten (11%) agree that they are as productive as private sector workers.
Four in ten small business owners (41%) believe that there is a cultural issue that would make it very difficult for a public sector worker to successfully adapt to the private sector. and only 8% of private bosses see public sector workers as ahead of the private sector in terms of training, up-to-date knowledge and skills.

Public sector redundancy is expected to increase dramatically in 2011 but only 18% of SME business owners believe that the private sector will be able to pick up the slack from the expected job cuts. This is despite the fact that 72% of SME owners think that their business will grow or at least retain its size in 2011.

James Constant, Director of, commented: “The Government is pinning its hopes on the private sector being ready, willing and able to offer employment to redundant public sector workers. What it hasn’t grasped is that employers view public and private sector candidates very differently.
“Small businesses need workers that can fit in quickly, hit the ground running and add value to the bottom line – what this research shows is that there are grave doubts as to whether public sector workers can meet this demanding brief.

“Trading conditions are tough and business owners have to ensure their business is as agile and competitive as possible.”