Judging by the sustained external demand for its staff, the Treasury can lay claim to being the foremost policymaking department in Whitehall. However, I want it to get better still. And that is why I am particularly pleased that the first steps of a new Graduate Development Programme have taken place. Some 40 new recruits attended last month. A further 60 will start in September, when the Programme will be launched in its full form. It is a programme designed by Treasury officials for Treasury officials, though almost certainly it has wider application. And as it evolves we will want to involve external experts and commentators, such as the IfG, to ensure that the design of our programme is informed by the latest thinking and research. But first some background. The reform of the civil service fast stream has undoubtedly benefited the majority of Whitehall departments, for whom a succession of six monthly placements, based on the development model of large corporations, is clearly relevant. But for smaller specialist market-facing departments, like the Treasury, it has presented a challenge. The Treasury formally abolished the “fast stream” in the early 1990s following the Fundamental Expenditure Review led by the young Jeremy […]

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