Labour plans Fast Stream targets to improve BME recruitment

A Labour government would set targets for the proportion of people from BME and working class backgrounds joining the Fast Stream, as part of a drive to improve diversity across the civil service.


By Suzannah.Brecknell

16 Apr 2014

Shadow Cabinet Office minister Michael Dugher (pictured) told CSW that diversity targets would not be limited to Fast Stream intakes. “Targets are important at every level because the figures are pretty shocking,” he said.

“The civil service ought to be monitoring when things are not going as they should, and that applies right the way up the service.”
In a speech setting out Labour’s plans for devolution, Dugher also criticised the civil service’s lack of diversity, saying: “Too often, the civil service is not open enough to the civil society it exists to serve.” 

He painted a picture of falling diversity in the civil service, saying that “over the three years before the last election, Labour increased ethnic minority civil service representation by 11%; since 2010 the numbers have fallen by almost 10%.” But Dugher was mixing up proportions and absolute numbers: between 2007 and 2010 the proportion of BME civil servants grew from 8.3% to 9.2% – but whilst the size of the civil service has fallen since then, the proportion has risen from 9.2% to 9.6%.

See also: Our news feature on civil service reform

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