Working conditions are dramatically changing and the civil service must keep up. KPMG UK partners Ian Lithgow and Mike Falvey map out ways to give public servants more flexible and varied careers to entice a wider plethora of talent while also advising government on how to adapt to today’s challenges.
The civil service is expected to cut 100,000 jobs by 2020. This has created uncertainty for thousands of staff, many of whom feel unprepared for or lack the skills required for employment outside government.
Meanwhile, government’s need for manpower is changing. The public sector is becoming a commissioner rather than a provider of services; an enabler and facilitator rather than a delivery organisation; a manager of digital systems rather than of counter staff and case handlers. So civil service organisations staffing requirements are changing, in terms of workforce size and in the mix of skills and capabilities required.
No peaceful era of stability awaits after the decade-long period of austerity and public service reform. Technological, political and social changes are accelerating, and the civil service must become ever more flexible if it is to realise the benefits and avoid the threats presented by robotics, smart device and mobile technologies.
The civil service must not only develop the capabilities to develop and deploy digital technologies; it must also become more flexible, more responsive, and better able to deal with rapid change.
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