Press release

Civil Service Graduate Fast Stream opens with new structured career path

On 17 September 2012, the Civil Service Fast Stream will once again open for applications.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

17 September 2012
CAB 094-12

On 17 September 2012, the Civil Service Fast Stream will once again open for applications.

As part of the civil service reform plan, this year sees the introduction of a more structured career path with improved career development and management to the Graduate Fast Stream scheme. These changes will have a key role to play in strengthening the capability of the service, equipping Fast Streamers with a wider range of skills and experiences across multiple departments and sectors.

The Civil Service Fast Stream is a talent management programme for the country’s brightest graduates who demonstrate the potential to become future leaders of the Civil Service. It is consistently ranked in the top ten of The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers.

To mark the opening of the competition, Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood will host a live Q&A session on Facebook on 20 September. This will give anyone interested in applying the opportunity to get thoughts and advice on a career in the Civil Service from the Prime Minister’s most senior policy adviser.

The Fast Stream enables graduates to make a real impact on people’s lives in the UK and the wider world, working in areas such as education, the economy, foreign affairs, defence policy, health, the environment and many more.

Responsibility will come quickly to successful applicants, who will spend their first two years building up broad experience in four relatively short placements in contrasting roles. This new structure will give Fast Streamers the opportunity to experience front-line service delivery (for example, managing a court or Jobcentre, or working on border control), and management of people, projects and finance, as well as roles in the development and implementation of government policies. In their second two years, Fast Streamers will gain more in-depth experience in two 12-month postings.

The Fast Streamers’ careers will be monitored and facilitated by newly appointed Talent Managers based in Civil Service Resourcing, the organisation introduced last year to provide a complete human resourcing solution for the Civil Service.

Gillian Smith, Director of Civil Service Resourcing, said:

This is a milestone in the history of the Fast Stream. The new learning and development package, and improved talent management arrangements, have clear benefits for the Civil Service and for Fast Streamers themselves.

Sir Jeremy Heywood said:

The Fast Stream continues to be an incredibly valuable source of new talent and provides the Civil Service with the means to recruit its leaders of the future.

Fast Streamers will have a unique opportunity to work on a wide variety of government policies and initiatives, helping to get the economy moving and driving forward the government’s extensive reform agenda, covering schools, the NHS, the criminal justice system and other public services.

I am looking forward to having an engaging chat with interested candidates on 20th September and hope to encourage as many as possible to apply.

Sir Jeremy’s Question and Answer session will take place on Thursday 20 September from 2pm to 3pm at

On a daily basis, the Fast Stream Facebook site offers prospective applicants the chance to chat with serving Fast Streamers for advice and insights on the recruitment process.

Applications will be accepted from 17 September via the Fast Stream website: This page also provides more details on the new structure of the Graduate Scheme.

Notes for editors

  1. The Fast Stream schemes are: * The Graduate Fast Stream is open to graduates of any discipline and is the commonest route to a Fast Stream career in the major government departments. It also includes options for the Diplomatic Service and the Houses of Parliament, and for scientists and engineers. * The Analytical Fast Stream offers options for economists, statisticians, social researchers and operational researchers. * The HR Fast Stream is for graduates with a proven interest in all areas of the HR profession. * The Technology in Business Fast Stream is for graduates who understand and have a strong interest in technology. * The European Fast Stream is for graduates seeking a permanent career in the EU institutions in Brussels. * The Northern Ireland Fast Stream is for graduates wishing to make a career in the Northern Ireland Civil Service.

  2. These changes detailed in this Press Notice apply to the Graduate programme. The other schemes offer well-defined career paths tailored to their particular needs.

  3. Fast Stream recruitment is managed jointly by Civil Service Resourcing and Parity Solutions Ltd, which was recently successful in a mini-tender exercise.

Published 17 September 2012