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Nuovi lavori: dal governo Labour alla City


Several high-profile former government ministers and advisers are on the hunt for new and probably lucrative jobs.

Speculation focuses on Lord Myners, Labour's City minister, a former chairman of Marks & Spencer and Guardian Media Group. His pledge to study theology after his bruising ride at the Treasury is unlikely to occupy the energetic businessman full time. He may find it difficult to take a role in another public company after his stinging assaults on the City. But he may be enticed back, part-time, to work with the government of Singapore to which he has been an adviser in the past.

There were 25 special advisers working around the prime minister and 50 or so working for other departments, earning up to £142,000. While some like Myners worked for no pay, others had three months notice and redundancy pay to tide them over while they seek new jobs.

Many past special advisers have moved on to frontline roles in politics – including Ed and David Miliband, Andy Burnham and Ed Balls – but with Labour now in opposition, many could face a long wait for a parliamentary seat.

Some will head off to thinktanks, but others will be looking for well-paid jobs in the corporate sector, often in PR or communications.

Anji Hunter, Tony Blair's former private secretary, quit for a £200,000-a-year salary at BP, while Tim Allan, another former Blair adviser, went to work for Rupert Murdoch's BSkyB before starting his own PR consultancy. Jim Godfrey, Patricia Hewitt's adviser at the Department of Trade and Industry, went to ITV as communications supremo before starting his own advisory business, and more recently Sarah Schaefer, a foreign office special adviser to David Miliband, left to become "sustainability and science communications director" at Mars.

One former special adviser said they are unlikely to be short of job offers. "It is a really good thing to have on your CV, because you have worked at a very senior level in a government department, taking a lot of responsibility and dealing with strategy, media, and marketing".

Working for a Labour government, he said, was certainly no barrier to joining corporate life. "It is not about what side you are on, it is about understanding the system, knowing when, how and where decisions and made. Only 5%-10% of the role is about contacts".

A senior City PR man, with a client list of FTSE-100 companies, said the special advisers' "experience and relationships with civil servants could be helpful", but he admitted he was "suspicious of those who tout their contacts or took the job as a smart career step". Among those tipped for greater things are Stewart Wood and Gavin Kelly – the No 10 foreign policy adviser and deputy chief of staff who were at the centre of the Gordon Brown bullying allegations earlier this year. Wood is an Oxford don, whose areas of expertise are European policy, US links and the creative industries. "He would be a great asset to any business", said a former colleague. "Companies will be lining up for him". Kelly worked at the Institute for Public Policy Research before Whitehall.

Geoffrey Spence, a former banker at HSBC and Deutsche, played a key role in the government's policy on banks but could still return to City life. Some, however, could find the real world tough. "Where can you go and what can you do when you leave the best job of your life at 30?" said one.

Tratto da www.guardian.co.uk