London office exodus a 'game-changer' – Cross Government Social Mobility Network chair reflects on 2023

Kate Lalor also sets out network's priorities for 2024
Darlington Economic Campus. Photo: David Dixon/Alamy

By CSW staff

09 Jan 2024


Tell us three words that sum up your 2023...  

People and places. 

...And why you chose those words   

When this network was set up around nine years ago, we wanted to make sure that people from a mix of backgrounds could get good jobs in the civil service. A big part of that was making sure that there were good civil service jobs spread around the country. So in 2023, it's absolutely game-changing that we have loads of government departments announcing relocation plans to all parts of the UK, like the Cabinet Office opening up a second HQ in Glasgow and HMT opening its campus in Darlington. Now we've got thousands of jobs taking local people in second HQs and other hubs, the next challenge is making sure people can progress in those locations. There is a target for 50% of SCS jobs to be outside London by 2030, which we are keen to see happen. And of course, we want hubs to be fun, inclusive places to work where people from all sorts of teams and departments can collaborate. So, there is still lots to do.  

What are your organisational and personal priorities for 2024?   

We have a few priorities for the network: continuing to spread jobs around the country, making the professions more open to people from less advantaged backgrounds, and improving data and declaration rates for socio-economic background so we know what's really going on in the civil service. 

What’s your favourite festive treat, and what makes you say: ‘Bah, humbug’?   

Any sickly cocktail that can only come out at Christmas is a hit for me, so a snowball please. Bah humbug to any sort of Christmas 250 mile cycling/running challenges. 

This is part of CSW's annual perm secs roundup. Read all the entries to the 2023 roundup here

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