Use specialist agencies and media
With Tony Blair's e-government initiative, the public sector is crying out for IT professionals with public sector experience.
You will find some recruitment agencies are better placed than others to find employment opportunities within the public sector. Some will have divisions focused on health and technology, and long-established relationships with many public sector organisations.
When choosing agencies, deal with those that have relationships with organisations within the public sector. When using the various Internet job boards, be as precise with your search criteria as you can. Including "public sector" and "health" in your vacancy searches will show which agencies have the most roles within the sector. As always, develop relationships with consultants that specialise in the areas relevant to you.
Be as proactive as possible; there are several Internet job sites that cater for the public sector: www.lgjobs.com/ and www.jobsgopublic.com/ are two of the best. Many public sector organisations will also have vacancies pages on their Web sites. Within the print media, the Guardian has an excellent public sector supplement called "Society" which is published every Wednesday.
Even with the depressed state of the IT jobs market, by being specific and focused with your search and by using specialist agencies and media, there are some excellent opportunities in the current market for IT professionals with the right experience in the public sector.
Solution by Richard Herring, Reed Computing
The panel: MSB International, Best International, British Computer Society, Computer Futures, Computer People, Elan, Reed Computing, Zarak Technology, E-Skills UK