New UK civil Service job cuts plan

Boris Johnson’s 91,000 civil service job cuts target, announced in May 2022, drew much criticism from former department chiefs and unions.  As a result, ministers in the UK are planning to scrap the target of cutting 91,000 civil service jobs and resume recruitment of graduates through the fast-stream scheme.

Read along to learn about the civil service job cuts in the UK.

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Reason for new UK civil service job cuts

It is said that the reason for the job cut is due to budget difficulties, and the reductions will be based on “outcomes” rather than hitting a set target. Dowden is the Chancellor of the Dutchy of Lancaster, the Cabinet Office’s second most senior minister after the Prime Minister. He is in charge of overseeing the delivery of the government’s priorities.

When the final round of budget cuts was announced, he was a member of Boris Johnson’s cabinet He told the Parliament that a drop in central government headcount is expected for the coming year. However, he does not support former Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s objective of cutting 91,000 employees which is roughly a fifth of the overall civil service.

The goal of the UK civil Service job cuts Plan is to reduce the civil service headcount to pre-Brexit levels in 2016 and to deliver the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to those two incidents, the UK had approximately 384,000 civil servants. Now there are more than  479,000 civil servants in the UK.

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Is there any difference between Johnson’s job-cut plan and the new job cut plan?

Dowden told the committee that the only difference between Johnson’s job-cut plan and the new one is that they will be motivated by outcomes,” implying that big cutbacks are still possible. He went on to say that budget constraints were the key cause for the changes, and that cost savings would “demand better ways of working and surely decrease manpower as well.”

Dowden cited former Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude’s changes, which saw functions previously performed by each government department consolidated inside the Cabinet Office. He referred to it as a way to protect output while reducing personnel.

The government reaction to the New UK civil Service job cuts Plan

Alex Chisholm, the civil service’s chief operating officer, revealed that to maintain capability as the civil service shrinks, the government will try to protect project delivery, commercial and digital roles. Despite a “huge increase in the number of professionals working in these roles over the last decade, more were needed.

The government carried out some benchmarking exercises on the highest performing organizations in the economy.  It was found that roles like project delivery, commercial and digital needs more practitioners as are important to future efficiency and performance. Laid-off workers are encouraged to venture into new digital roles as there is a vast career opportunities digitally.



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