Working to make government more effective

Report

Becoming a junior minister

How junior ministers can make the most of their time in office.

They may not be household names, but there are over 60 junior ministers who work in government, responsible for overseeing large parts of the public sector from the NHS to the police.

Published today by the Institute for Government, Becoming a Junior Minister offers advice on how MPs new to these important roles can make the most of their time in office. And they may not have long to do so – between 1997 and 2015, the average tenure of ministers was just 21 months. 

All new ministers will want to hit the ground running, whether they are appointed after an election or a reshuffle. But taking up one of these roles can be bewildering, and ministers are expected to get up to speed with the role very quickly.

Those who come in with no government experience at all, as opposed to moving from another ministerial role, may find the learning curve particularly steep. Understanding how to approach the role, even if the policy content is unknown, will be key.

The paper offers four ways for new junior ministers to succeed, from running a private office to identifying specific priorities they want to achieve.

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