Civil Servants: Ethnic Groups

Cabinet Office written question – answered at on 1 March 2022.

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Photo of Imran Hussain Imran Hussain Shadow Minister (Future of Work)

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many civil servants employed at Grade 7, or equivalent, and above in each Department identify as BAME.

Photo of Heather Wheeler Heather Wheeler Assistant Whip, The Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office

The Declaration on Government Reform commits the Government to drawing on talent from all backgrounds. There are a number of initiatives aimed at supporting colleagues to reach the Senior Civil Service from a diverse range of backgrounds including the Future Leaders Scheme for our Grade 6/7s and Senior Leaders Scheme which is targeted on our SCS Pay Band 1.

The latest data on the Civil Service workforce is published in Civil Service Statistics 2021. This publication includes a breakdown by grade and department. The proportion of ethnic minority civil servants has risen from 9.2% in 2011 to 14.3% in 2021 (up from 13.2% in 2020). This exceeds 13.6%, the proportion of the UK’s economically active population who are from an ethnic minority.

The positive increase in representation has been a steady incremental change over the last four years, underpinned by a programme of work including:

  • a bespoke career progression offer for the G6/7 talent pipeline, including SCS application support, mentoring and sponsorship,

  • greater promotion of internal talent schemes such as the Future Leaders Scheme and Senior Leaders Scheme, supporting events organised by participants, and

  • accelerating work on the external SCS talent pool - by creating a Task and Finish group to oversee development of the pool and improve representation of disabled and ethnic minority senior leaders.

Representation is increasing and, whilst this trend is positive, we remain committed to improving representation across the broadest range of diversity, as outlined in the Declaration on Government Reform across our workforce and, in particular, at our most senior grades. To build on the progress made over recent years and target where improvement is still needed, the Government will take a holistic approach to SCS recruitment to identify and remove barriers to underrepresented groups entering and progressing in the SCS.

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