'Government Digital and Data' brand launched, alongside 'clearer path' to specialist roles

Brand represents "first ever community leading digital transformation in government", Cabinet Office says
Image: Crown Copyright/Open Government Licence v3.0

By Sam Trendall

01 Dec 2023

The newly rebranded "Government Digital and Data" function will help the civil service “to be viewed alongside tech giants” and recruit the most in-demand skills, the government hopes.

The Cabinet Office today announced the launch of the Government Digital and Data as the new overarching brand for the profession and function that was previously referred to as digital, data and technology or DDaT.

A graphic that says "This article originally appeared on PublicTechnology.net"The department said that the new brand “unites the community of staff working in specialist roles” across government, and represents the “first ever community leading digital transformation in government”.

The rebrand comes following significant expansion of the profession in recent years, which now accounts for 28,000 people and 5% of the civil service total workforce – a proportion which has nearly doubled in the past five years.

Given this growth, government hopes the rebrand will enable greater recognition that it now represents “one of the largest employers of digital and data professionals in the UK, rivalling big tech companies in the competition for talent”.

Such recognition will be achieve by providing “a clearer path” for tech workers interested in joining the civil service in disciplines including analysis, infrastructure engineering, and software development. The latter represents the highest-demand area for skills, accounting for 13% of the current government digital and data profession.

In competing for the most talented staff, government noted its ability to offer roles around the country, with 79% of the current digital profession – and 66% of those at senior levels – based outside London.

Chief digital officer for government Mike Potter said: “These figures show that Government Digital and Data should be viewed alongside tech giants as one of the largest and most exciting employers in the UK. And we have a unique selling point for prospective talent: our work is fundamentally about transforming lives for the better. At the forefront of digital innovation, we’re shaping the future workforce with a strong focus on AI roles. Our commitment to cutting-edge technology and data is revolutionising government for greater efficiency and effectiveness.”

The launch of the new brand – which is supported by a strapline: ‘transforming lives through technology’ – is also intended to “promote collaboration, innovation, and knowledge-sharing across all government departments and the wider public sector”.

Alex Burghart, the Cabinet Office minister with responsibility for the Central Digital and Data Office and the Government Digital Service, said: “Digital talent is the driving force behind creating essential and accessible public services for everyone in the UK. So we’re taking long-term decisions to attract the top talent into government. To do this, we’re launching a new brand, Government Digital and Data, to provide a more coherent network of specialists helping to tackle the biggest challenges government faces. Embracing technology isn’t just about efficiency, it’s about crafting a government that’s agile and ready to support the needs of tomorrow and the digital talent community is essential to that.”

One initiative through which government hopes to expand this community of talent is via its recently unveiled Digital Secondment Programme, for which applications are now open. The scheme intends to focus on major tech companies and the digital operations of FTSE 100 business, who will be enabled to spend time in government. Ministers hope the programme will increase digital skills and reduce departments’ reliance on contractors.

Sam Trendall is editor of CSW's sister title PublicTechnology, where this story first appeared

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