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IFG - Civil Service Workforce Plan: Institute for Government response

The Institute for Government welcomes the new Civil Service Workforce Plan, launched yesterday by the Minister for the Cabinet Office, Matt Hancock.

These initiatives should make the civil service much better at developing new skills and expertise. This will be especially important as Whitehall gears up for Brexit – the Government will need people with the right skills in the right jobs at the right time.

Key initiatives include:

  • The focus on developing professional skills and expertise within Whitehall, including in vital areas like finance, commercial and the delivery of major projects such as Universal Credit.
  • The commitment to open up the civil service, allowing more recruitment from outside the civil service and opportunities for secondments in other sectors.
  • Improving the diversity of the civil service, especially recognising that it will be stronger if it is not dominated by people from a narrow range of socio-economic backgrounds.

These plans now need to be implemented, and the Civil Service Board should publish regular updates demonstrating that progress is being made.

Julian McCrae, Deputy Director of the Institute for Government said:

“The Civil Service has long-standing weaknesses – dating back over half a century – in key areas, such as finance and commercial skills. The new workforce plan is an attempt to tackle these issues head on. Whitehall will need to rapidly put these plans into action, especially as it expands its professional skills and expertise to cope with Brexit.” 

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