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Government to hire 2,500 people for digital roles by 2025

Government is aiming to ramp up digital skills in Whitehall with a promise to recruit 2,500 new tech and digital roles through apprenticeships and talent programmes

The Cabinet Office has announced plans to hire a further 2,500 digital and technology roles in government by June 2025.

The commitment to increase the amount of digital talent in Whitehall comes as part of a three-year roadmap published by the Central Digital and Data Office (CDDO) in June 2022.

This includes a digital apprenticeship programme which will provide 500 spaces for early career entrants to get into digital roles across government. This will be available for both civil servants and those outside the civil service to be recruited into cyber security and software developer roles.

The government package of digital recruitment includes a further 1,300 digital apprenticeship roles, as well as 700 roles that have been created by expanding existing digital programmes in departments.

Cabinet Office parliamentary secretary Alex Burghard said the government wants the next generation of “tech talent to be able to learn their trade, helping government to make services better for the public”.

“These apprenticeships are going to build great new digital careers and capabilities both in Whitehall and across the country,” he said.

The roadmap, published last year, also promised that thousands of civil servants will be sent on “digital bootcamps”, with a target of equipping more than 6,500 senior staff with “essential” digital skills by 2025. According to the government, 600 senior civil servants had been “upskilled” by April 2023.

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The government has also launched a digital secondment scheme, aiming to bring private sector tech talent into public sector. The government will work with major tech firms and target FTSE 100 companies to second digital experts into government departments.

The Cabinet Office hopes the secondment programme and apprenticeship drive will help support the government’s target for 6% of the Civil Service to be part of the digital, data and technology (DDaT) profession. The government estimates that the current number is around 4.5%.

According to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), which issued a report on the digital skills shortages in government, the target of 6% still falls short. The report said the industry average is between 8% and 12%, meaning the current figure of 4.5% of civil servants being in the DDaT profession would need to double.

The government is keen to attract and retain the best possible talent, and believes the apprenticeships and job roles that will be on offer will attract and keep the best possible talent in Whitehall.

Cabinet Office minister Jeremy Quin said the plans set out by the government will drive forward “our plans for a modern Civil Service equipped with the skills and capabilities needed to harness the power of digital, data and technology”.

“By attracting and retaining the best talent, we will keep pace with technological change and deliver more efficient services for the British public,” he said.

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