CAREER NUGGET: Working in public service & abroad

A member of the Careers team recently visited the European Commission in Brussels to find out more about EU careers.

There is a drive to recruit more UK citizens to apply for roles in the different EU institutions. English is now the main language of the EC and because native speakers are in short supply, successful UK graduates are in great demand.

Candidates must have a thorough knowledge of their main language (one of 24 official EU languages, e.g. English) and also have a working knowledge (second language) of English, French or German. A language qualification is not needed: an appropriate level can be gained through work experience, year abroad, gap year, as well as through more formal study.

The generalist graduate recruitment category (AD5 Administrator) is open to candidates from various degree disciplines and does not require prior professional experience. Once you have secured a permanent role, you can transfer to other roles. Generalists move between different policy areas such as transport, external relations and health. To find out more about the wide range of job roles in the different EU institutions see

The application process is similar to the UK Civil Service Fast Stream, with an application form, computer based testing and an assessment centre. More advice and support on applications is available from

If you are interested in finding out more about working on behalf of Europe’s 500 million citizens and you like the idea of working in Brussels, a friendly, cosmopolitan city, see the EPSO (European Personnel Selection Office) website and You Tube for more information.

You can also download this leaflet for further details: UK Rep EU Careers leaflet Jan14