Emerging Talent and what it means to the GSG profession

Having a variety of pathways into the GSG profession is important to help us attract a diverse range of talented people into our most crucial roles.

Many of you will have heard about, or even been part of, the GSS Fast Stream scheme. This is an important part of how we bring in the skills and expertise we need to build great career pathways for our statistical community across government.

In addition to the graduate route, the GSS Careers team also runs two apprenticeship schemes; Level 4 Data Analyst and Level 6 Data Science.

Across this portfolio of exciting early careers programmes, the GSS Careers team are currently supporting a total of 302 colleagues across these varied talent pathways in 20 departments spread across most regions of the UK. We are proud of this and want to ensure that our offer continues to provide best in class early careers development opportunities for budding government statisticians.

What have we achieved so far?

In the spirit of continuous improvement, in early 2021 a Task and Finish group undertook a review of the current GSS Fast Stream scheme which made a number of recommendations across five themes:

  • purpose, demand, sponsorship and funding ​
  • scheme content, length, and assessment​
  • promotion, application, and onboarding​
  • practical running of the scheme​
  • Fast Streamer experience

To date 15 of the recommendations have been completed or partially completed. These include:

  • introducing a cohort sponsor (currently running as a pilot launching end of Oct for the 2021 intake)
  • membership of Royal Statistics Society (RSS) for all scheme members
  • an enhanced development offering inclusive of action learning sets
  • improving the promotional marketing material
  • profession and Fast Stream and Early Talent Team (FSET) in the Cabinet Office working more closely to support Talent Development Managers of GSS Fast Streamers.

The second phase of the review was planned to take place this autumn but since completing phase one, the direction of travel has changed with the Cabinet Office announcing a reform of the overall Fast Stream, under the Fast Stream 2024 – Our Bright Future. We still plan to feed in the considerations of the task and finish group as discussions develop and reconvene the group to update on progress on phase one.

Next Steps

The consultation around the Fast Stream 2024 proposals started in August with GSS Heads of Profession(HoPs) asked to complete a survey. The results were fed back to the GSS People Committee and FSET team. We are also going to be running a focus group shortly.

We would like HoPs, Senior Leaders, Activity Managers, current or former Fast Streamers or anyone with an interest in shaping the future model, to join us in our discussions so if you are interested in getting involved, please email gss.careers@ons.gov.uk.

For our apprenticeship schemes, we are also adopting the continuous improvement ethos, setting up a Task and Finish Group to look at:

  • Barriers to departments taking apprentices – how can we drive take up?
  • Are the apprenticeships delivering the skills departments need?
  • Data – are we recruiting a diverse range of people?
  • Exploring changes to the recruitment process to test for potential rather than experience or polish?

If you would be interested in joining this Task and Finish group, please email gss.careers@ons.gov.uk.