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Key figures from new Civil Service staffing figures for April 2003 published indicate that: ...
Key figures from new Civil Service staffing figures for April 2003 published indicate that:

- 2.8% of staff at Senior Civil Service level are from minority ethnic backgrounds.

- 1.7% of staff at Senior Civil Service level are disabled.

Cabinet Office data also shows that:

- 26.4% of the Senior Civil Service are women.

- 22.9% of those in the very top management posts are women. This includes 3 women at permanent secretary level.

At 1 April 2003, the number of permanent Civil Servants was 512,400 (full-time equivalents). This was an increase of 12,780 or 2.6 % on six months earlier. There was a decrease of 2,040 in the number of casual staff between October 2002 and April 2003.

Taking permanent and casual staff together there was an increase of 10,740 or 2.1 % in comparison to October 2002 figures.

In the complete year to April 2003, the number of permanent staff increased by 22,160 or 4.5 %. There was a decrease of 2,910 in the number of casual staff, so the overall level of staffing increased by 19,260 or 3.8 %.

On a headcount basis, over the six month period to April 2003, numbers of full-time permanent staff increased by 8,020 and the number of part-time staff increased by 7,850, bringing total staff numbers to 542,770. Part-time staff represent 16.4 % of all Civil Servants, up from 15.4 % six months before and from 14.9 % in April 2002.

Long term trends show that the Service is making progress against its targets to address under-representation of minority ethnic staff and women in the SCS, though figures on disabled staff remain static. It remains a particular challenge to meet the targets of 35% for women and 3% for disabled staff in the SCS by 2005, and the Cabinet Office is giving particular priority to these two areas.

Action includes:

- building up the talent pools of women for SCS posts: internally, through coaching and mentoring of women in grades just below the SCS; and externally, by raising awareness of recruitment/secondmen t opportunities at senior levels;

- refocusing the Civil Service bursary scheme for disabled staff - a 2-year programme of training, development, networking and mentoring - to bring on staff with potential for the SCS;

- co-ordinating interdepartmental action to get better information on disabled staff at senior levels in order to understand better the barriers to progression;

- continuing action to bring on minority ethnic staff including through 'Pathways' the central leadership development programme for minority ethnic staff with the potential to reach the SCS.

Douglas Alexander, Cabinet Office minister with responsibilities for Civil Service issues, commented: 'The Civil Service continues to make progress in addressing the under-representation of women and minority ethnic staff at senior levels of the Civil Service. The Government is committed to making the Civil Service more reflective of the communities we serve and recognises the need for sustained work to achieve this.'

Andrew Turnbull, the head of the Home Civil Service, also welcomed the updated statistics: 'The leadership of the Service is critical if we are to deliver the very challenging results that the government and the public expect of us. Increasing diversity is a crucial ingredient in building our leadership capacity.

'We need diverse individuals who between them provide the necessary talents and who work well together. I, and my permanent secretary colleagues, are committed to picking up the pace on getting more people from diverse backgrounds into the Senior Civil Service.

'The broader picture shows that the senior levels of the service are increasingly open and reveals an increasing diversity in background and experience. For example, 1 in 5 board members of Civil Service Departments have been directly appointed from outside the Civil Service, and at least half of the SCS has experience outside the Service.

'We have also made significant progress in increasing the diversity of our graduate intake through the Fast Stream. I want to see the service build on this success.'

The proportion of people recommended for appointment to the Fast Stream has increased from 38.7% in 1998 to 52.1% in 2002 for women, and from 3.4% to 9.7% for people from ethnic minority backgrounds over the same period.

Main Changes in Departments and Agencies

Organisational changes during the six months to April 2003 include:

- VOSA - Vehicle Inspectorate and Traffic Area Network Staff from Department of Transport merged to form Vehicle & Operator Services Agency

- Department for Work and Pensions - Child Benefit Centre transferred to Inland Revenue.

- DEFRA - the transfer of BCMS (British Cattle Movement Service) from Defra to Rural Payments Agency.

Explanations for changes in permanent staff numbers in the six months to April 2003 include:

- Foreign & Commonwealth Office - The volume of work has increased owing to the Iraq war and reconstruction, and higher levels of consular and entry-clearance service.

- National Assembly for Wales - increase in staff numbers is due to the continuing development of the Assembly and to meet staffing needs associated with this.

- OFWAT - Increases in staffing levels are mainly due to the impact of the Water Bill that is currently progressing through parliament. Additional staff have had to be recruited to deal with competition issues and the impact of the new legislation.

- ONS - undergoing a major modernisation programme following a substantial investment under SR2002.

- Crown Prosecution Service - have recruited staff in order to meet its commitment to increase its force and reflect its changing role within the Criminal Justice System.

- Highways - increased recruitment to fill existing vacancies and to deal with general expansion of the agency.

- Inland Revenue - increased staff numbers due to Child Benefit becoming part of the department and staff engaged in preparation for the introduction of Tax Credits.

- Driving Standard s Agency - Continued increasein demand for driving tests.

- HM Prison Service - increases of staff due to rising prison population.

- Home Office - Increase due to operational need in Immigration and Nationality Directorate.

- Royal Mint - decreased numbers due to restructuring business due to a world-wide slump in the demand for coins and blank coins. Variations in casual staffing levels can be attributed to the local needs of departments.

Diversity in the Civil Service

Diversity figures as at 1 April 2003 show:

- 283,870 staff working in the Civil Service are women; 52.3 % of staff in post, compared with 52.0 % in October 2002

- Following the 2001 Population Census, which introduced new categories for ethnic monitoring, a re-survey of the ethnicity of Civil Service staff was launched in 2001. Data from this re-survey exercise is being reported for the third time in these statistics and is showing that the proportion of staff who are from ethnic minority groups on the new basis is now 8.0 % compared with 7.9 % in October 2002. Data from the Labour Force Survey for Spring 2002 shows that, on a comparable basis, 6.9 % of the UK economically active population were from ethnic minority backgrounds.

- The proportion of staff known to have a disability stayed at 3.6 %, the same as in October 2002. The Ministry of Defence did not consider their current figures sufficiently accurate for inclusion in the overall Civil Service figure on this occasion. However, the issues associated with this data have now been resolved. It is planned for the Ministry of Defence disability data to be included in the next publication. The exclusion of this data for the Ministry of Defence affects the proportion of people recorded as having a disability in the Civil Service as a whole.

- These statistics on ethnic backgrounds and disability should, however, be interpreted with caution, particularly year on year changes. Information on Ethnic Background and Disability is collected on voluntary, self-classifi cation questionnaires and there are a considerable number of non-respondents.

The headline staffing figures are full-time equivalents and give appropriate weight to the hours worked by part-time staff in calculating full-time equivalents. On average, a part- time employee works for 3.3 days a week. Figures quoted in the news release are rounded.

Staff employed in the Scottish Parliament are not included in these figures. Like the Westminster Parliament, the Scottish Parliament is not part of the Civil Service.

Click herefor the full report.

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