Working to make government more effective

Hybrid event

Opening up the civil service: How to improve external recruitment

This event explored what more could be done to bring external talent into the civil service.

Aerial view of Whitehall

Watch the event

For more than 50 years, the civil service has committed to being better at external recruitment. But it continues to fall short at attracting, retaining and properly using the knowledge and skills present in wider society. Little progress has been made on the recent pledge, contained within June 2021’s Declaration on Government Reform, to “establish new, appropriately and consistently managed, entry routes for professionals from outside government”. The civil service is suffering as a result.  

So what more could be done to bring external talent into the civil service – and why has the government’s approach failed to make a difference? 

Building on the Institute’s recent report on the topic, this important event will discuss why external recruitment is so important to an effective civil service and how to make it happen in practice.  

To discuss the above and more, our expert panel included: 

  • Katharine Braddick, Group Head of Strategic Policy and Adviser to the Group CEO at Barclays and former senior civil servant
  • Jonathan Simons, Partner at Public First and former senior civil servant
  • Rt Hon Baroness Gisela Stuart of Edgbaston, First Civil Service Commissioner 
  • Jordan Urban, Researcher at the Institute for Government.  

The event was chaired by Alex Thomas, Programme Director at the Institute for Government. 

Follow us and get involved in the conversation at @ifgevents using hashtag #IfGcivilservice.


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