FDA questions whether possible benefits from Civil Service Capability Plan launch will ever see the light of day

17 April 2013
(For immediate release) 

The FDA supports a renewed, cross-government approach to investing in the skills and training of civil servants, and is keen to work with government to ensure that the senior civil service has the most up-to-date skills possible, but it has reservations over whether the benefits of the Civil Service Capability Plan - published today - will be fully realised.

The combination of a lack of training, media condemnation, cuts to terms and conditions and a remuneration package that is falling fast in relation to comparative jobs in other sectors means that a long-term career in the civil service is no longer the attractive option it once was.  

Commenting on the Plan’s launch, FDA general secretary Dave Penman said: “The FDA agrees with the Plan’s judgement that people join the civil service ‘because they want to make a difference’. Civil servants are committed to delivering the best possible public services in the world, but they need the right training in order to do this.

“The commitment to develop a better skills base in the civil service is welcome but this must be accompanied by a plan to retain the best quality civil servants: their experience, knowledge and passion.  The Plan says the employment terms are among the best available but FDA members know that this is not the case.  The relative pay of senior civil servants compared with the private sector - along with the excessive hours worked - make many feel utterly disillusioned, which is why complacency over staff retention is woefully misplaced.”

Notes for editors

1. The FDA is the trade union for the UK's senior public servants and professionals. FDA membership includes more than 19,000 senior civil servants, government policy advisors, diplomats, tax professionals, economists, solicitors, prosecutors and other professionals work across government and the NHS.

2. The FDA (formerly the First Division Association) should be referred to simply as "The FDA" and can be described as "the senior public servants’ union".  

3. The FDA is launching its major campaign to highlight the value of public servants – Delivering for the Nation: Securing a World-Class Civil Service – at a Parliamentary event on 24 April. The union is also producing a white paper, which will be published on the same date. For more information please go to www.fda.org.uk/Delivering-for-the-Nation.

4. For further information contact:

Dave Penman, FDA general secretary, tel: 020 7401 5555 or 07967 503827.

Kay Hender, communications officer, tel: 020 7401 5589 or 07980 700747.