The Cabinet Office has launched a recruitment drive to attract ethnic minority undergraduates into its fast-track development scheme.
An outreach scout has been appointed to visit university campuses to sign up ethnic minority students for a summer programme familiarising them with a career in Whitehall.
The scout, Faisal Naru, a 24-year-old graduate, will be seeking 60 student trainees to enter the programme. They will get paid placements in Whitehall during the summer, together with residential training to develop their teamworking skills.
Cabinet Secretary Richard Wilson supports the scheme. "The number of ethnic minority recruits to the fast-stream has doubled over the past couple of years.
"But we are not complacent about diversity in the Civil Service. Initiatives like this are crucial if the Civil Service is to reflect the society it serves," he said.
Of the top 3,500 jobs in the senior civil service, 2.1 per cent are held by ethnic minority staff. This has risen from 1.6 per cent in 1998.