Promoting diversity and inclusion
Information about the support available to candidates from diverse backgrounds on the Civil Service Fast Track Apprenticeship.
The Fast Track Apprenticeship is an exciting programme which allows applicants to earn a competitive salary while they work towards a Level 4 higher apprenticeship.
We look to recruit from a range of backgrounds and give every candidate an equal opportunity to excel. The Civil Service needs a workforce with the best possible mix of existing and future talent.
Hear about the experiences of interns from diverse backgrounds in this short video:
Schools and colleges diversity outreach programmes
Our schools and college outreach programmes include schemes targeting social mobility, such as a pilot schools mentoring programme and a work experience programme. These programmes aim to make sure that we better reflect the society we serve.
Schools mentoring programme pilot
The schools mentoring programme pilot aims to increase representation of individuals from disadvantaged socio-economic status backgrounds in the Civil Service. The programme connects 24 schools to 3 mentors in each school who are civil servants: a senior civil servant, a Fast Stream scheme member and a Fast Track apprentice. These mentors will work with high potential students from disadvantaged backgrounds who have the potential to meet the minimum grade requirements for applying to the Fast Track Apprenticeship.
The programme aims to develop the employability, skills, aspirations and confidence levels of each mentee through a series of bespoke and informative mentoring sessions throughout the academic year. It also raises awareness of the role of the Civil Service and educates about the job opportunities and entry routes for a career in government.
School work experience programme
This programme gives students aged 16 to 18 from under-privileged backgrounds, the opportunity to complete 1 to 3 weeks of work experience in a government department during the summer. This is a chance for students to experience working life in a government department.
The programme targets those who have the potential to achieve the minimum entry requirements for the Fast Track, enabling them to complete work experience and connecting them to a Civil Service mentor. The programme aims to raise awareness of Civil Service opportunities by placing students in one of many roles across government departments and across locations nationally.
Participants attend opening and closing ceremonies and may get the opportunity to meet senior civil servants.
The Fast Stream and Fast Track diversity outreach team are also working with a number of partners to deliver outreach activity to students from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds; black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds; those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender and those with a disability.
Our outreach activity will include online challenges, insight days, skills sessions and targeted social media strategies. This will help us raise awareness of the Fast Track Apprenticeship among audiences who might not have heard of us, helping them develop the confidence and skills they need to apply to the Fast Track.
This year, we are delighted to be working with the following partners: MyKindaFuture, Elevation Networks, Rare Recruitment, Graduate Promotions and Stonewall.
Support for disabled Fast Track candidates
The Civil Service Fast Track Apprenticeship does everything possible to encourage and support disabled candidates. We encourage disabled applicants to apply, and the programme follows the principles of ‘Disability Confident’ to make sure these applicants have the same opportunities as non-disabled applicants.
By being Disability Confident we are:
- making sure that there are no barriers to prevent disabled people achieving their full potential
- giving disabled employees the same opportunities to develop and progress as non-disabled employees
- arranging reasonable adjustments where needed
- obtaining adapted aids and equipment where appropriate
- making accommodation more accessible for disabled people where it is reasonable to do so
- operating a Guaranteed Interview Scheme (GIS).
Guaranteed Interview Scheme
The Guaranteed Interview Scheme means that if you are disabled you do not need to undertake the verbal and numerical reasoning tests and are only required to complete the situational judgement and competency questionnaires.
At the registration/online test stage
At initial registration, you can state that you have a disability, wish to apply under GIS, and would need reasonable adjustments during the selection process.
As indicated, you have the option not to take the numerical and verbal tests but it is mandatory to take the situational judgement and competency questionnaires.
Neither the situational judgment nor competency questionnaires are timed. If you need any reasonable adjustments when taking these you will be asked to state what adjustments are required.
We may invite you to take the questionnaires at a test centre if your adjustments are complex, eg if you require specialist IT software, a scribe or a support worker. We may also request diagnostic reports to help us work out how best to support you.
At the assessment centre stage
We understand that each individual is different and that you may require specific reasonable adjustments tailored to your needs.
If you’re successful at the initial stage, you will be asked to state what adjustments would be required for the assessment centre exercises.
At the employment stage
If you are successful at the assessment stage, you’ll be encouraged to discuss any workplace reasonable adjustment requests with your manager before taking up your post. We want to make sure you get the support you need.