A first-of-its-kind campus for government staff in key policy roles has been launched in Sheffield, as new figures show Yorkshire and the Humber have benefitted from more than 2,400 relocated roles.
It comes as the Cabinet Office announces the pilot of a new regional fast stream, part of the government’s ambitious plans to bring jobs and drive local economic growth across the UK.
The scheme will prevent graduates having to leave the Yorkshire region to move into decision-making policy teams.
There are also plans for expanded policy apprenticeships and events to attract university-leavers within the city, providing greater opportunities for the young people of Yorkshire.
Traditionally most civil service teams based outside of London have been operationally-focussed, but the aim of the policy campus is to create a hub of core policy jobs, where people can advance their careers in key decision-making positions. Under these new plans, people will no longer have to move to, or work in, London to have a long and fulfilling career in the civil service.
This forms part of a broader strategy to ensure people from all regions and backgrounds are contributing to the creation of government policies. Levelling up the civil service in this way is key to ensuring it reflects the communities it serves, whilst delivering on the Government’s priority to grow the economy.
New figures show that 2,400 roles have moved out of London and into Yorkshire and the Humber under the Places for Growth programme, and 12,000 have been relocated out of the capital and across the UK so far. The programme will move 22,000 government roles out of London by 2030, in a bid to harness the vast talent that exists up and down the country. It’s expected this will generate economic benefits for the region as well as government research has shown that people put around 50% of their incomes back into the local economy.
Latest relocation studies suggest a local economic benefit of £30 million per 1,000 roles relocated.
Cabinet Office minister Alex Burghart said:
This Government is delivering on its promise to level up across the country by ensuring that we create opportunities for people across the country.
This policy campus is a commitment to the people of Sheffield that local people will have a central role to play in the development of major national policies.
Relocating roles out of London and establishing skills clusters will provide a fantastic economic boost for the people of Yorkshire and the Humber.
This region has an immense array of talent and I’m delighted that we’re going to make use of it.
Around 1,000 civil servants working a range of departments including the Department for Education (DfE), the Home Office and the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) are based at the site.
The Department of Health and Social Care, the Department for Transport and the Cabinet Office have moved the most roles to Yorkshire and the Humber.
637 roles have relocated into Sheffield, primarily in the Home Office alongside more DWP, DfE and Ministry of Justice jobs which have moved to the city under the scheme. Sheffield also has 75 senior civil servants based in the city, one of the highest proportions outside of London.
Cabinet Office Minister Alex Burghart and Cabinet Secretary Simon Case attended the launch of the campus with senior officials from DfE and DWP on Thursday.
Cabinet Secretary Simon Case said:
For too long in the Civil Service, talented people wanting to build careers in specific policy areas within government have needed to leave their home town or city and move to the South East to get on.
Initiatives such as this are absolutely critical if we’re going to remove that barrier and spread fulfilling career opportunities across the whole of the UK.
We need people with a broad range of experiences, backgrounds and insights if we are going to deliver for the whole of the UK and initiatives such as the Sheffield Policy Campus will allow us to do exactly that.
The plans were undertaken in conjunction with the City Council, The University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University and the combined authority with the intention of building a strong talent pipeline for policy jobs in the city.
The campus will enable better collaboration between departments with similar goals. For example, policy teams at DfE and DWP can work together on boosting skills and moving people into better paid work through initiatives such as the National Careers Service.
The initiative forms part of a broader strategy to establish sites around the UK which will see specific sectors or disciplines within government aligned with regions. Further announcements will be made in due course.