Home Office appoints ‘diversity champion’

The
Home Office has appointed its first ‘diversity champion’ for race, gender and
disability issues.

Derrick
Anderson, chief executive of Wolverhampton City Council, will be working with
the permanent secretary of the Home Office, John Gieve, and the rest of the
Home Office board, to deliver a new five-year staff race and diversity
programme.

The
programme will focus on creating ownership of diversity issues by making the
links between leadership, business and people management.

Gieve
said Anderson would give diversity a voice on the board and provide leadership
as the Home Office works to recruit, retain and promote from all communities in
the UK.

"Bringing
about race equality, active citizenship and cohesive communities are at the
heart of our purpose and are essential to build security, trust and to reduce
crime," he said. "If we are to succeed it is imperative that our
workforce reflects and understands the diverse communities that we serve."

The
five-year programme will include:


diversity awareness training for all staff, beginning with a pilot scheme in
September 2004


a development programme to support staff in under-represented groups. This will
include coaching and career management coupled with help to prepare for
assessment centres and fast-track Civil Service recruitment competitions


a pilot mentoring scheme to support the progression of under-represented staff
into the higher ranks of the Civil Service


introducing new assessment techniques to reduce the chances of recruiting staff
with prejudicial attitudes.

By Michael Millar

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