New research suggests that public sector jobseekers are rejecting government policy to raise the retirement age and restrict public sector pension rights. Of the 5,000 jobseekers questioned by, 23 per cent of those from the public sector said they would be willing to compromise on pay to secure public sector jobs, while only four per cent said they would compromise on pension rights.

With the new coalition Government turning its attention to ‘gold-plated’ public sector pensions, which Nick Clegg described as “unfair and unaffordable”, it comes as little surprise that so few public sector workers are unwilling to sacrifice a comfortable retirement in return for higher pay over the short term.

John Salt, Website Director at recruitment website says of the findings:

“Our findings show that jobseekers are willing to take a temporary sacrifice in pay for financial security in the future and this is particularly true for those in the public sector. During the worst of recession, we were seeing those made redundant from the private sector look to the public sector as the place to go for job and financial security. But as the new government begins sharpening the axe we can see the beginnings of fear and inflexibility in the public sector over pension rights in particular.”

The research also indicates that some jobseekers are unwilling to be flexible when presented with job opportunities. The Barometer indicates a quiet confidence from UK businesses with a two per cent growth in job postings and recruitment since January. This buoyancy is not reflected by jobseekers with 47% having applied to more than 11 jobs, and a third never being invited to a single interview, the survey indicates that this is not simply a sign of the economic times, but could be the result of poor quality applications and lack of preparation at interview stage.

Indeed, 60% of jobseekers surveyed admitted to spending less than two hours on each application following a job search, including the time to write a CV and covering letter, and prepare ahead of an interview. What was more, the same proportion were unwilling to spend more than £25, including travel, on each interview. However, on the upside, 13% of those surveyed had travelled over 100 miles to interview.

John Salt added:

“With unemployment still high, jobseekers need to make themselves as marketable as possible. It is essential that job applicants prepare properly for each interview, give their CVs and covering letters the attention they deserve and do thorough research on the company they are applying to. Whether you have just lost your job or are looking for your first, it is tempting to use the scatter gun approach to find a job, but I would suggest that being more targeted can pay dividends in the long term.”