Press release

Government announces refreshed Talent Action Plan

New measures announced to help under-represented and disadvantaged groups succeed in the civil service.

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

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A number of new measures to ensure that civil servants from under-represented or disadvantaged groups can succeed in the civil service have been revealed today by Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude, and Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Civil Service Sir Jeremy Heywood.

The new measures announced today are included in a refresh of the government’s Talent Action Plan (TAP). Originally published in September 2014 as part of our ongoing Civil Service Reform programme, the plan set out concrete measures to remove barriers and ensure that the most talented people succeed and reach the top positions, regardless of who they are and what their background is.

The refreshed Talent Action Plan has been developed based on the findings of research commissioned by the government to examine barriers to progression currently faced by civil servants. These 3 reports examine the challenges facing 3 under-represented groups:

Some of the proposals in the refreshed Talent Action Plan include:

  • introducing an intensive 2-year programme to support departments and agencies to implement the Talent Action Plan and fully integrate diversity and inclusion into all their HR processes, led by a new central diversity and inclusion unit, bringing together existing teams across government

  • appointing dedicated diversity and inclusion non-executive directors with a proven track record who will hold the civil service to account on this agenda

  • introducing an ambitious new talent programme – Accelerate – for the senior civil service (SCS) which will raise the visibility and aspiration of diverse talent in the SCS, offering leadership training and development to produce a larger pool of diverse talent

  • moving to a single disability passport for all departments in 2015, to improve the ease with which employees with a disability or health condition can move jobs in the civil service

Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude said:

Our goal is simple: we want the civil service to draw on the widest possible pool of talent. For too long, talented civil servants from under-represented and disadvantaged groups have failed to reach the highest levels. We have now examined the actual barriers they face and this refreshed Talent Action Plan is designed to address them. We should be judged by what we achieve not what we are promising.

Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Civil Service Sir Jeremy Heywood said:

Our Talent Action Plan is designed to ensure that the most talented civil servants, regardless of their background, can progress quickly and fulfil their potential. The civil service already benefits from a more diverse talent pool than many British employers, but we can do even better. Above all, the collective leadership of the civil service is committed to creating a truly diverse workforce that delivers the best for Britain.

Independent reports

For the first time, the government commissioned extensive, independent research to scrutinise the civil service, helping it to understand the long- persisting barriers certain groups continue to face and how to start removing them.

Published 26 March 2015