Government steps up digital skills with 2,500 new tech recruits

2,500 ambitious tech talents will be recruited into digital roles in government by June 2025 through new apprenticeship and early talent programmes, the Cabinet Office has announced today

  • Government to recruit 2,500 tech and digital roles via apprenticeships and talent programmes as part of skills drive
  • A new Digital Secondments Programme pilot is now open for applications, bringing in skills from the private sector
  • Moves build on Minister for the Cabinet Office’s vision to modernise and reform the Civil Service

2,500 ambitious tech talents will be recruited into digital roles in government by June 2025 through new apprenticeship and early talent programmes, the Cabinet Office has announced today.

This is being kickstarted by the new digital apprenticeship programme, which will support the recruitment of 500 early career entrants into digital roles this financial year across government.

This new programme will provide the opportunity for both civil servants and new entrants to be recruited into the most in demand data and technology roles, such as Cyber Security Technologists and Software Developers.

The remaining 2,000 opportunities will include 1,300 additional digital apprenticeship programme roles, and 700 roles created through an expansion of existing departmental digital programmes, such as the Software Developer Programme.

Meanwhile, some of the UK’s best technical minds from industry are being called to work on the country’s biggest challenges, such as cyber security and new emerging technology, with the launch of a new Digital Secondments Programme scheme which is now open for applications.

Both of these major digital skills announcements build on the vision of Minister for the Cabinet Office Jeremy Quin to modernise and reform the civil service, set out in a speech to Policy Exchange in July this year.

Alex Burghart, Parliamentary Secretary for the Cabinet Office, said:

"We want the next generation of tech talent to be able to learn their trade helping government to make services better for the public.

"These apprenticeships are going to build great new digital careers and capabilities both in Whitehall and across the country."

The Civil Service Digital, Data and Technology profession has grown by 19% between April 2022 and April 2023, and over 600 senior civil servants have been upskilled on digital and data essentials.

Both the digital secondments programme and new apprenticeship recruitment drive will also support a new target for 6% of the overall Civil Service workforce to be members of the digital, data and technology profession.

Minister for the Cabinet Office Jeremy Quin, said:

"Today’s announcement drives forward our plans for a modern Civil Service equipped with the skills and capabilities needed to harness the power of digital, data and technology.

"By attracting and retaining the best talent, we will keep pace with technological change and deliver more efficient services for the British public."

These announcements arrive as the Central Digital and Data Office (CDDO) today publishes an update to the 2022-25 roadmap for digital and data.

The updated roadmap announces the publication of a new framework for the government’s use of generative AI, to ensure departments can confidently and responsibly use this technology to improve services. This comes as the UK is set to host the first AI Summit in November.

It also introduces a requirement for departments using out of date IT systems to boost plans for modernising technology, in a bid to save government time and money.

Megan Lee Devlin, Chief Executive of the Central Digital and Data Office, said:

"The new roadmap commitments published today strengthen the government’s ability to harness the very best technology and data available to improve people’s lives and livelihoods in the UK.

"We look forward to welcoming more purpose-minded technologists across government as we announce our skills drive today."

Significant progress has been made across government since the launch of the roadmap one year ago.

Notably, the roadmap has driven crucial digital initiatives across departments. For example, the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs has enhanced its digital and technical apprenticeships offering through the Digital, Data and Technology Services (DDTS) Academy, with a special focus on Cloud and Security roles.

Today’s announcements come as the government seeks to leverage the potential of technology and data to enhance UK public services and better deliver for the taxpayer.

Analysis undertaken when the roadmap was published 2022 estimated potential savings of over £1 billion of taxpayer money through the digital transformation of services, by eliminating the unnecessary costs of paper-based services and processes.

Cabinet Office
Central Digital and Data Office
Alex Burghart MP
The Rt Hon Jeremy Quin MP