Senior Civil Service to groom ethnic minority staff for leadership roles

A new mentoring scheme aimed at preparing black and minority ethnic (BME) staff for leadership roles in the Civil Service has been put into action.

The ‘Growing Talent’ scheme aims to equip talented BME staff with the skills and attributes they need to become future candidates for senior Civil Service roles.

Twelve successful applicants have now been paired with mentors from the senior ranks, all of whom are currently permanent secretaries or work at director-general level.

The pilot scheme is one of the first initiatives put into place by the Minority Ethnic Talent Association, a group of staff who have the potential to advance to leadership level in Whitehall.

It is intended that over a four-year period, the pilot and subsequent successor programmes will contribute to the objectives of the Cabinet Office’s 10-point plan for increasing diversity in the upper ranks of the Civil Service.

Cabinet secretary Sir Gus O’Donnell said: “To meet the challenges of a constantly changing society and the increasing diversity of public service users, the Civil Service needs to ensure it has the right workforce with the right skills.

“This includes having a workforce that reflects the community we serve. The Growing Talent programme is an important step towards achieving a more diverse and professional Civil Service,” he added.

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