The new application process is part of a drive to make the Civil Service more diverse and inclusive. Earlier this year, a report from the Bridge Group found that although good progress had been made on diversity indicators such as attracting disability and BAME candidates to the Fast Stream, candidates from a lower socio-economic background were not properly represented on the scheme.
Currently, only 4% of Fast Stream candidates come from a disadvantaged background compared with 24% of the overall graduate population.
The new application process will transform the diversity of candidates on the scheme. The online tests have changed from verbal and numerical reasoning, shown to disadvantage those from a lower socio-economic background, to situational judgment tests, which test how candidates would deal with real life work situations.
Applicants will also have the opportunity to attend an assessment day in Newcastle, making the process more accessible for those in the north of the UK.
A programme of outreach events at universities and schools across the country, focusing on subjects and areas which have been under-represented by applications to the Civil Service, will also promote the Fast Stream to students of all backgrounds.
The Civil Service is currently tackling some of the country’s most complex and exciting challenges such as negotiating Brexit and digital transformation. There has never been a more interesting time for talented and capable young leaders to take on unique challenges, gaining experience and responsibility in an organisation like no other.
Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Civil Service, Sir Jeremy Heywood, said:
The new Fast Stream application process is a demonstration of our commitment to attracting the most talented people to the Civil Service, no matter what their background.
The Fast Stream offers unrivalled development opportunities to tackle and solve challenges that can improve the lives of millions across the country. It is a graduate scheme like no other.