WOMEN IN THE CIVIL SERVICE IN THE UK
Ø 1) Agree or disagree with the statements:
a)Civil service is not a woman’s career.
b)Men dislike working with women in the upper echelons of government.
c)Women become self-confident working in men’s society.
Ø 2) Read the text and point out the sentences corresponding to its title.
Jaqueline Hope-Wallace, who recently turned 100, built a successful career in the civil service at a time when women were a rarity in its upper echelons. She recalls the highlights of forty years in Whitehall.
“I was born in 1909, and went to the local school in Wimbledon Common. My father was in the civil service in the Charity Commission. So when I came down from Oxford with a degree in history in 1931, I wasn’t keen on the civil service; it seemed boring. But of course in the early ’30s things were very low. I had friends with very good degrees from Oxford who couldn’t get jobs. One girl who got a first at my college was selling hats at “Harrods” for a year or two before she could get a proper job. So my father said I had better go into the civil service, and I did. I was there for 40 years.
I joined the Ministry of Labour, and they sent me out into the provinces. I had to stay in B&Bs in county towns for nearly two years, then I managed to get back to London. Soon after that they set up the National Assistance Board, and I got in there right at the beginning. There was high unemployment at that time, and the unemployed and pensioners received a non-means-tested unemployment benefit. The Board had offices all over the country, and gave benefits to people for whom the basic benefits weren’t sufficient. The ’30s was a very bad period; we all felt certain that there was going to be a war.
When the war came the Board got lots of extra jobs. For a short time I was evacuated up to Lancashire while London was being bombed, but it was awful being exiled up there and I got back to London as quickly as I could. I lived in Wimbledon, so I had to get up to London every morning - and that was sometimes difficult, London being in such a state of chaos, but one got used to it.
After the war, everybody was hopeful that everything was going to be wonderful and different - but it wasn’t, of course. I got a fellowship to America for six months, where I examined how they dealt with the unemployed and old people, then I stayed at the Board until 1965. I became an Under-Secretary, and looked after the policy side of things. In ’65 I moved to the Ministry of Housing and Local Government to deal with countryside matters - and very soon after that, the Board was folded up.
The newspapers wrote that I was the first woman to reach the rank of Under-Secretary - but I don’t think it’s true. When I became an Under-Secretary there were a couple of women who were already Permanent Secretaries, and when I moved to the Ministry, the Permanent Secretary was Dame Evelyn Sharp. It upsets me when they write that.
I retired in 1969, though I stayed on various boards: I was on the board of the Corby Development Corporation until 1980. Corby had been a village and it absorbed the people from the North. Like many of these places, the people who lived there originally didn’t like being a new town - but we managed these problems.
Life has changed immensely over the years, especially for women. When I used to go to civil service meetings with other departments, I always found myself the only woman at the table. It didn’t bother me at all, though. I quite liked it: being the only woman gave one a little bit of self-esteem.
Ø 3) Correct the given outline of the text:
Jaqueline Hope-Wallace celebrated her 100th birthday because she was active mentally all her life long. Although she passed her school exams brilliantly, and graduated from Oxford with a degree in public administration, she couldn’t find a decent job for two years. She had to sell hats at “Harrods” before she joined the Ministry of Labour thanks to her father’s efforts. She made a successful career and was very happy to contribute to the improvement of people’s lives in rural settlements. Her international experience made her an Under-Secretary of State. She stayed in the Civil Service for thirty years being the only woman within various departments which was her secret pride.
5.25 SUSAN CLARKE: A GIRL FROM THE TOWN HALL
Ø 1) Put the sentences into logical order:
a)She is planning to get promotion in her job.
b)She had to start working after school as “the office dogsbody.”
c)Susan is happy now.
d)She didn’t enter college or university after school.
e)Susan Clarke is 18 years old.
f)She failed her final exams at school.
g)The girl became a post of a clerical assistant.
Lancashire, in the north of England, is proud of its many fine old towns, and Bolton is one of the best. Its nineteenth-century town hall is a beautiful reminder of the good old days when Lancashire cotton was famous all over the world. Times have changed. he old town hall stands like a lonely island in a sea of newer buildings. But there’s nothing old-fashioned about the people who work inside it. They do a modern job for a modern city. One of those people is Susan Clarke, a clerical assistant, aged eighteen.
Susan began her career with a disappointment. She did not do as well as she had hoped in her end-of-school exams. So when she started work, it was as the office “dogsbody,” doing all the small, boring jobs that no one else wanted to do. She found herself helping with the photocopying, booking rooms for meetings, and showing people the way to the right office. She had to run round with messages, check the letters for the post, and keep lists of all the office equipment.
Like most British office workers, Susan worked from nine to five with an hour off for lunch. She enjoyed herself. She liked doing a lot of different things, and she liked the friendly atmosphere. But nobody wants to be the office dogsbody forever. Susan soon saw her chance. She applied for a job in a new-community scheme, still inside the town hall, and she got it.
Like other British cities, Bolton has seen many changes since the Second World War. The cotton industry has grown smaller and smaller, and many people have no work. Some parts of the city centre have been rebuilt, but some are old, and falling down. Bolton has all the problems of “inner city decay” which affect so many British cities. It’s the job of local government officials, who work from the town hall, to try to find answers to Bolton’s many problems.
Susan knows she’s lucky to have a good, safe job. She’s even luckier because she’s getting a good training. Every week she has a day off to go to college on a “day release” scheme. So far, she has done courses in accounting, business organization, and social services. One day she wants to work in the social services department. She wants to deal directly with the people whose problems bring them in to ask for help: the old, the sick, the unemployed, and the homeless. “I’ve always wanted to work with people,” says Susan. She will have plenty of chances to do that in Bolton town hall.
Ø 2) Answer the questions to the text:
a)Who is Susan Clarke?
b)What is Susan Clarke?
c)Where does she work?
d)How does she get professional training?
e)What is the girl’s dream?
Ø 3) Are the statements true or false?
a)Bolton is an old town in Lancashire, England.
b)Lancashire cotton was famous all over the world in the 19th century.
c)Cotton is still produced in Bolton.
d)All buildings in Bolton are as old as Town Hall.
e)Life in Bolton is fine.
5.26 WHAT IS THE FAST STREAM?
Ø 1) What do these words and phrases mean:“the Civil Service Fast Stream,” “postings,” “secondments”?
The Civil Service Fast Stream is an accelerated training and development graduate programme for people who have the potential to become the future leaders of the Civil Service. It is ranked among the top five programmes by the Times.
One key reason for the programme’s popularity is that it enables graduates to bring innovative solutions to some of the biggest issues facing society today. Whether in employment or education, the environment or the economy, Fast Streamers can have a real impact on life in the UK and beyond. It gives you the opportunity to work at the heart of current affairs and key government agendas. It allows you to engage directly with the public and to help to provide high-quality services for people from diverse communities and backgrounds. Throughout your career in the Civil Service, you’ll be leading, building relationships, innovating and making key decisions.
Responsibility comes quickly in the Fast Stream. So learning has to happen at a fast pace, too. Most of it will happen on the job, through your different “postings” (different jobs within departments). These will give you experience of project management, people management, delivering services direct to the public, policy development and working for Ministers or senior officials. You can expect each posting to last around 12 or 18 months, after which you’ll move on to another project or area of work and be encouraged to gain experience in a different career grouping. There are also Secondment opportunities available with most departments and they are actively encouraged. You may find yourself working in Europe, in business or industry, or in another government department. In short, you’ll amass a wide range of perspectives and experience in a very short space of time.
Your on-the-job training will be supplemented by formal training courses and periods of self study, such as CD / DVD-ROMs, which allow you to learn at your own speed. You can expect to receive around fifteen days’ formal training a year. There is a range of foundation courses at the National School of Government which will help you to develop the skills and knowledge you need and help you to understand the structure and workings of the Civil Service. Many departments, particularly those recruiting Fast Streamers with technical backgrounds, will also support you in gaining professional qualifications.
Your time on the Fast Stream will begin with an induction event, which will introduce you both to the programme and to the Civil Service as a whole. It should help to set your career in context. And you’ll most likely have a mentor or another Fast Streamer to support you through your development.
Each year, you’ll have a performance review, which will assess your progress and form the basis of a rolling personal development plan. This can be extremely useful when you’re moving between postings on a regular basis. As you would imagine, some of the benefits of being in the Fast Stream are evident from the start, with most departments providing a variety of ways to help and assist you.
A place in the Fast Stream will enable you to develop quickly and move posts more frequently than you would ordinarily expect. As a result, you should be ready to accept a promotion in a few years. Ideally, you’ll be keen to take on a post in the Senior Civil Service after that.
Starting salaries vary across departments. In London, they usually range between £25,000 and £27,000. Different salary scales may be applicable in the regions. Pay increases are based purely on performance. You’ll receive around 25 days’ holiday per year plus 10.5 days’ public and privilege holidays. You will also have access to a pension scheme, costing a maximum of 3.5% of your salary. A good work-life balance is another potential benefit. Some departments offer flexible and part-time working arrangements, job share opportunities and career breaks, as well as holiday pay schemes and childcare assistance. Other benefits may include season ticket loans, sports and social facilities. Your specific package will depend on which department you join.
Making it in to the Fast Stream won’t be easy. You will need to go through a demanding application and assessment process that may last up to seven months. However, we do try to make things as transparent as possible. We will keep you informed and provide you with feedback at every stage of the process, and there’s an online messaging service to guide you as you go along.
The Fast Stream Assessment Centre is a one day assessment centre that selects graduates with the calibre and potential to join the Fast Stream. During the assessment, candidates will complete a variety of written and oral exercises and have a one to one interview with an assessor.
Many people are surprised that our initial entry requirements are relatively open: just a second class degree in any subject. The reason is very simple. We’re actually more interested in your skills, attitude and outlook than where you may have earned your degree. And while some more specialised areas of government work require a particular degree subject, most will present challenges you have never encountered before.
That’s why every applicant is guided through a series of online tests as the first part of our application process. It’s tough, as you’d expect, but we give you the opportunity to gauge whether you are likely to succeed prior to embarking on the scored tests.
There’s no age limit but employing departments expect several years’ service before normal retirement. There are also particular entry requirements in terms of nationality.
A Fast Stream career does not have to mean London. Equally challenging opportunities are available in other parts of the country and offer a unique perspective which London-based Fast Streamers do not see.
Even those in London are expected to be mobile and work wherever their departments need them. Remember, too, that in order to gain valuable experience of operational delivery, you may have to work in more than one location. Fast Streamers often provide operational and corporate services away from large London headquarters.
Ø 2) List the requirements for Fast Stream candidates and the job responsibilities of Fast Streamers.
Ø 3) Shorten the text omitting unessential details.
Ø 4) Read the next text “Fast Streamers’ Profiles” and indicate the differences between this text and the next one.
5.27 FAST STREAMERS’ PROFILES
Ø 1) Answer the questions:
a)If you could, would you join Fast Stream in the UK?
b)Are there programs in Russia similar to Fast Stream?
c)How do Russian civil servants get professional training?
d)What do Polly, Laura, and Fazilat have in common?
e)What are Polly, Laura, andFazilat’s impressions of being on Fast Stream?
Polly Le Grand at the Treasury.I joined The Treasury in October 2009. On a typical day I’ll be doing a huge range of things - I may be attending meetings, responding to emails, reading reports, looking at relevant research. I’ll also be writing briefings for senior officials or Ministers if they’re attending meetings.
When I first started, I remember thinking, “How can I write a briefing for this person, because I’m so new to the area? How can I be the expert?” But you quite quickly develop the expertise in your own small area and realize that you can add some value.
It’s certainly a challenge to be told as you walk in on your first day, “Right now you’re Treasury’s lead on EU fiscal policy.” You think, “But I don’t know anything about it.” But actually that’s how you get to learn things. By being given that responsibility it really makes a difference that you know that from the first day people are listening to your opinion.
I’ve had so much training since I’ve been here. I’ve had proper formal training, and courses in Econometrics, and Economic Growth, also courses in other skills, like communications or managing diversity. There’s also a huge number of seminars and talks that are always going on. We’ll also have academics coming in to visit and other people in the organization presenting their own work, so there are really loads of opportunities to learn about a huge range of topics.
I think the challenges that I face have mostly been about learning very quickly about different subject areas. For instance three weeks into the job and I was told that I was going out to Brussels to support a senior official. He was going to be talking about a very technical issue that he didn’t know anything about, but I was supposed to be the expert on. So I found myself sitting in this room in Brussels with all my little diagrams, preparing to feed him some lines. That was quite daunting but it all went really well.
Laura Jayawardane at Home Office.I think the best part of my job is definitely when you know that you’ve made an important difference to something.
I am currently working at Home Office. I’ve worked there for the past two years now, since I joined Fast Stream, and I’ve spent all that time in Immigration, although I’ve had a few short secondments out of Immigration to do stuff within the core Home Office.
I dealt with an Immigration Bill and worked on some provisions within that, which I know will make a difference to asylum support. In general, there hasn’t been one particular job where I’ve just been doing one thing for a year. I’ve really felt pushed and challenged all the time, which has been excellent, because I feel like there hasn’t been any time that’s been wasted with this two years.
But I also never expected to have this degree of responsibility as well. I never expected that within the first few months of my being on the Fast Stream I’d be briefing an Immigration Minister before he went into Parliament on the Bill, and the provisions within the Bill. I think it’s a real buzz to be able to be involved in something so important at such a young age and so early on in your career. I think that everyone who joined the Fast Stream shares that view. I look forward to having a long career where I can make an even bigger difference as I go on and build my own experience and skills.
Fazilat Dar at Government Olympic Executive.Fazilat Dar had pursued almost 10 years of academic study before he joined the Fast Stream as Assistant Statistician in 2005. After graduating with a BSc in Physics from the University of Dundee, he went to the University of Aberdeen where he gained an MSc in Medical Physics and a PhD in Bio-Medical Physics and Engineering.
During his time on the Fast Stream, Fazilat has been able to get involved in three very different areas of government work. “I started off at the Department for Transport where I was responsible for road accident statistics. I produced statistics on drink driving and took the lead on complex analysis of road accident injury by the model of a car. It was great to be working on an area of policy that affects millions of people and genuinely saves lives.
For my second post, I led on the homelessness statistics, which involved working with a wide range of stakeholders and included paying visits to homeless shelters. In fact, being able to see the “data” in real life was a real highlight for me.
I am currently embedded as a statistician in the Government Olympic Executive. My responsibility is to coordinate the evaluation of the 2012 Olympics, which, for now, involves getting buy-in from senior people across various government departments.
The fact that you can change roles fairly regularly on the Fast Stream is extremely beneficial, as it allows you to pick up an enormous amount of experience very quickly. It also means that with each new placement you think to yourself, “Right, I’ve got 12 months here to really make a difference.”
Ø 2) Say whether the given statements are true or false. Justify your answer:
a)Fast Streamers are people who can swim well.
b)A civil servant in the UK should be an expert in a narrow professional field.
c)The training for British civil servants is over after university graduation.
d)The best part of being a civil servant is to be responsible for your decisions.
e)Only experienced people can join Fast Stream.
f)If a person joins Fast Stream, he/she works in the same department till retirement.
Ø 3) Make a summary of the text.
UNIT 6. FINANCE AND CREDIT