Quote of the week
“Creating an exceptional civil service – less bureaucratic and more skilled, digital and unified.”
The plan recognizes the need to bring in, retain and support young talent, and so has created a fast stream program for new recruits. It’s a four-year program. In years one and two there are four six-month assignments in at least two departments. The second two years involve a single placement.
The program has a number streams, for example, an Analytical Fast Stream and a Digital and Technology Fast Stream. There is even a Northern Ireland Fast Stream if you want to work in Northern Belfast.
The program brings most candidates in at the manager level and overtly appeals to young people who want to make a career of working in government.
Over 21,500 people applied in 2012, and places were offered to 692 of them.
There are two key features worth noting.
First, the program promises newcomers real responsibility as soon as they walk in the door. This is a significant commitment: I remember speaking to an MA graduate who left government after eighteen months because she was tired of being asked to file reports…not the best way to retain the leaders of the future.
Second, the idea of a two-year placement is a good one because it provides enough time for an individual not only to launch an initiative or program but to stick around long enough to see what the results are and, one hopes, learn from and be evaluated on the experience. Too often high flyers just have enough time to initiate something (should one say “create chaos”?) before they move on.