Prior to the last parliament, The Civil Service Board (CSB) established three broad priorities for the Civil Service:
- Improving the commercial capability of the Civil Service
- Ensuring that the Civil Service is world leading in terms of digital transformation
- Improving the diversity and inclusiveness of the Civil Service
As with all ambitious plans for the Civil Service, improving our offer to our people would play a central role in achieving these priorities and ensuring the Civil Service continued to be rightly admired as one of the best in the world.
The Civil Service Workforce Plan
In 2016, the Civil Service Workforce Plan outlined five key areas which supported the CSBs aims:
- Attracting and retaining people of talent and experience
- Building career paths
- Developing world-class leaders
- Being the most inclusive employer
- Developing cost effective and flexible reward structures
Contributing to the pillars of A Brilliant Civil Service, these priorities were - and still are - critical to getting the Civil Service’s workforce ready to respond to the challenges the UK faces now and in the future.
We Have Made Significant Progress
Looking back, I am thrilled to see just how many of these ambitions, against a challenging landscape, have been realised. Some of the highlights include:
- The Civil Service was recognised by The Times as the No.1 Graduate Employer in 2019 and the Fast Stream Graduate Programme was their Best HR Graduate Scheme for 2018
- Success profiles were launched across the Civil Service, improving recruitment and ensuring we get the right person in the right job
- We launched the bespoke Civil Service Leadership Academy to help shape and mould the next generation of Civil Service leaders
- Career frameworks have been launched across 10 professions
- We launched the Civil Service Diversity & Inclusion Strategy, with three clear priorities: increasing representation, building inclusive cultures, and making accountability for D&I clearer
More impressive, however, is how many of these same ambitions have become embedded in our ways of working, no longer lofty aims or examples of best practice, but instead naturalised parts of our day-to-day lives. This not only shows how much we can achieve when we come together, but also the enthusiasm and passion civil servants have for programmes of activity which can shape and improve the organisations they work in.
There Is More To Do And More To Come
But of course, it is no use resting on our laurels. The world continues to move around us and the Civil Service must move with it, anticipating the changes to the ways of working which will affect civil servants in the years to come. It is no secret that ‘Shaping our Future Together’, recently launched at Civil Service Live Online, will provide the opportunity to renew, and even reinvent, a Civil Service that can meet the expectations of our fellow citizens for brilliant public services. Whether it is preparing for AI and further automation, or the impact of moving to a workforce with much more remote working, the Civil Service will, as it has done for hundreds of years, continue to adapt to the latest social, cultural and political developments in order to best serve its people, the government of the day and wider British public.