The FDA broadly welcomes the aim of the civil service Talent Action Plan 2016, published today. Widening the socio-economic background of the civil service is not only just and fair; the research shows that increased diversity also improves the performance of organisations.
In particular, the FDA is pleased to note the focus on increasing socio-economic diversity in the Fast Stream, including greater regionalisation and reducing the selection process to no longer than 12 weeks.
FDA's National Officer for the Fast Stream, Steven Littlewood said:
"The Government-commissioned Bridge Report recently identified the challenges that the Fast Stream scheme has in attracting and retaining candidates from lower socio-economic backgrounds.
"It is therefore pleasing to see efforts being made to break down perceptions of the Fast Stream, revealed by the report to be 'white, male and Oxbridge', which act as barriers to more diverse recruitment.
"However, it is crucial that the Government goes beyond mere perceptions and works with the unions in taking concrete steps to address the imbalances for underrepresented groups.
"The FDA will continue to challenge the civil service to work with us in changing its culture in the areas of recruitment and promotion."
Notes for editors
1. The FDA is the trade union for the UK's senior public servants and professionals. FDA membership includes more than 18,000 senior civil servants, Government policy advisors, prosecutors, diplomats, tax professionals, economists, solicitors and other professionals working across Government and the NHS.
2. More about the FDA's 'New Government: New Deal' campaign can be found at www.fda.org.uk/New-Government-New-Deal
3. 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".
4. The FDA can be found on Twitter @FDA_union and at www.fda.org.uk.
5. For further information contact:
• Steven Littlewood, FDA National Officer, tel: 020 7401 5555.
• Kay Hender, Communications Manager, tel: 020 7401 5555 or 07980 700747.