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  1. ITV Report

Government to tackle 'inequalities in the public sector'

Measures to create 'a public sector that reflects the diverse nature of the UK' are set to be announced by the government, as a newly-published report shows a lack of civil servants from working class backgrounds.

Matthew Hancock will outline plans to address inequality in the public sector. Credit: Dominic Lipinski / PA Archive/PA Images

Minister for the Cabinet Office, Matthew Hancock, has pledged to tackle the issue and will also urge Britain’s major employers to follow the Government's lead.

The Bridge report found that although there has been some recent progress on diversity within the civil service based on race, gender and sexuality, the number of people from poorer backgrounds was still relatively low - with only 4.4% of successful applicants coming from working class backgrounds.

One of the measures to address the issue will include publishing an "inequality index" which will highlight the pay gap between the average civil servants salary and the highest paid employees which "will allow taxpayers to hold the government to account".

I want to see a Britain where nobody is defined by the circumstances of their birth. To deliver that, public services need to reflect the country that they serve.

Inequality matters. Countries with higher income inequality have lower levels of social mobility. It’s harder to climb the ladder of opportunity if the rungs are further apart. We're going to put more rungs in that ladder.

I am not prepared to accept unequal access and unequal progress in Britain's top institutions. We will tear down these barriers to fairness for all.

– Matthew Hancock, Minister for the Cabinet Office

Plans to address inequality in the public sector will include:

  • Rolling out name-blind recruitment across the public sector to make sure that jobs are awarded on merit alone. The NHS and Civil Service will roll out name-blind recruitment by 2020.
  • Publishing the pay ratio of the salaries between the median and highest paid employees.
  • Over 200,000 apprenticeships will be created in the public sector by 2020, of which over 30,000 of which will be in the Civil Service.
  • Taking graduate recruitment outside of London by establishing a regional assessment centre and put new terms in place which make it easier for civil servants to live outside London
  • Urging Britain’s major employers to take a similar approach to inequality

Head of the Civil Service, Sir Jeremy Heywood, said: "The Bridge group report offers potential nuggets of gold, not just for the civil service but for the UK. The problem is that talent is everywhere but opportunity is not."