A career in economics can touch on virtually any aspect of life and business. Being a government economist in the Government Economic Service is not just a question of analysing figures. It is work that sees you closely involved in important current issues and helping shape government policy.
Last updated - 30th March 2011
Due to a significant decrease in the number of fast stream economist vacancies this year, we will not be running a second round in 2011. The next scheme for entry will be the 2012 scheme which will open in September 2011.
These appointments are at graduate entry level or for those with less than 3 years work experience as a professional economist.
To apply for a Fast Stream Assistant Economist post, you should already have, or hope to obtain in 2012, a first or upper second class honours degree in economics, or a postgraduate degree in economics. At least 50% of the course modules must be in economics. You must have studied both macro and microeconomics to qualify. If you graduated more than 5 years ago, you must give examples in the competency section of the application form, of economic articles you have read in depth to demonstrate that you have maintained competency in economics.
For more information, including the scheme timetable, see the Assistant Economist pages.
If you were successful at the Economic Assessment Centre (EAC) in November 2010 but were then unsuccessful at FSAC, you may be thinking about re-applying. Do make sure you requested feedback from your FSAC so that you know what areas you need to work on. If you do re-apply for the 2012 scheme you will be able to bank your EAC. This means that you will not need to re-sit EAC. You will however have to complete, and pass, all other stages of the recruitment process on merit, including completing the application form and being sifted in to the process. Just because you passed EAC last year does not mean you will be automatically pass the manual sift this year. Applications to the Government Economic service have increased by 50% and demand is likely to be lower than in previous years so do please take some time to complete the application form (checking against the GES sift criteria) to ensure your form fully reflects your skills and experience. Please note that you cannot 'bank' your EAC two years in a row.
As a student, you would provide support to professional economists dealing with a range of issues affecting Government policy. For more information see Student placements.
Applicants for GES posts must be UK nationals, Commonwealth citizens, members of the European Economic Area (EEA), or Swiss nationals who have the right to live and work in the United Kingdom. There are further restrictions for the Diplomatic Service Options.
Please note that it is possible to meet the above nationality requirements and still not be legally entitled to work in the UK. The UK Border Agency operate a points-based immigration policy which applies to the migrants from outside the European Economic Area, Switzerland and Turkey.
It is your responsibility to check whether this policy applies to you. Departments are under no obligation to sponsor work permits under the UK Border Agency's points-based immigration policy. Therefore, if you require a permit to work in the UK, there is no guarantee that you will be offered a place even if you pass the Fast Stream selection process. In these circumstances the decision to apply, which might involve travel to the UK two or more times to complete the selection process, is yours alone. We can take no responsibility if no place is available for you in the Fast Stream on immigration grounds.
You can find further information about this and the other nationality requirements in Fast Stream.
For non-academic employers of economists their ability to communicate complexity simply to non-economists is vital. But the evidence is that most graduates in economics have not adequately practised this skill, as there are currently few universities that provide for this. Candidates who cannot explain the economics they have learnt in plain English are at a disadvantage in the job market and, particularly for the GES, economists that cannot explain economics to non-economists are impotent.
To help tackle this, the GES and the National School of Government have developed a unique course for economists. It is "Communicating with Ministers and Managers for Economists". The 2.5 day course is being run from April 19th at the National School of Government's London Centre in Belgrave Road, near Victoria Station in London. The full cost is £995 and does not include accommodation. As part of GES Approved Professional Development the course is monitored and easily surpasses our criterion of 90 per cent 'good or very good’ feedback from participants. Further details can be found at www.nationalschool.gov.uk. Please enter HMTC in the search box at the top left of the page and this will take you to the entry. If you paying for this course yourself, please type 'Individual' in the “organisation” field. If you have further questions about the course please email Janis Jones, Programme Co-ordinator at email@example.com.
NB It is important to note that taking this course is not a requirement of the GES application and that there are other ways to practise clear communication.