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How can new ministers be supported to succeed in government?

Rt Hon Baroness Armstrong and Rt Hon Chloe Smith joined us to discuss what skills ministers need to make the most out of their jobs.

Panellists on stage at the Institute for Government

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A general election brings the appointment of a whole host of new ministers, and on day one in government they begin a job like no other.

Former shadow ministers may be familiar with their new policy portfolio, but ministerial life is very different to opposition. The switch from leading a small team to heading up departments with hundreds or thousands of civil servants, and from issuing press releases to making life-changing policy decisions, happens overnight.

But ministers too often overlook how they can move beyond ‘on the job’ learning and get the most out of their ministerial careers. So how can ministers get the support they need to succeed in government? What benefits are there in investing in professional development? What skills do ministers and other executives need to be effective leaders? And what support is available to ministers seeking to develop their skills in government?

To explore these questions and more, we were joined by an expert panel, including:

  • Rt Hon Baroness Armstrong of Hill Top, former Chief Whip
  • Dr Paul Chapman, Senior Fellow at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford
  • Rt Hon Chloe Smith, former Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
  • Ruth Turner, Senior Director at the Forward Institute and former Director of Government Relations in the Prime Minister’s Office

The event was chaired by Tim Durrant, Programme Director at the Institute for Government.

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