Public services need to provide a diverse workforce

Public services need to supply a diverse work force. Discuss how and why this might be hard to accomplish?

“There is a turning inclination towards depicting the relationship between the authorities and the people in footings of a client relationship. This is peculiarly noticeable at the local degree where the contact between the governments and ‘the public’ is most direct. This position has been accompanied by a desire for the populace sector to accommodate internally to the criterions operative in the private sector.” ( Eriksen and Weigard, 2000:29-30 )

As the physical incarnation of the national authorities, the public service work force must by definition drama an of import function in the formation of cultural consensus in any given democratic state. The public service work force provides, in kernel, a face to the way of public policy and assists the democratic procedure by put ining a hierarchy of public service determination shapers to implement the Torahs and legislative acts conceived of in both Westminster and Whitehall.

“Britain does hold a political civilization or manner that is extremely advisory. It is seen as of import to confer with in order to simplify the policy procedure and to guarantee the legitimacy of political decision.” ( Smith, 1993:9 )

In an ideal society, the brand up of this work force should reflect the brand up of the population at big – those citizens who are affected by the Torahs that govern public policy. However, as will go evident, there is traditionally a ample spread between theory and pattern with respects to the populace sector with bureaucratic ruddy tape historically barricading past efforts at increasing variegation in the authorities work force.

For the intent of position, an analytical attack must be adopted for the undermentioned scrutiny, trying to follow efforts at increased variegation within assorted sectors of the public services work force while doing attempt to observe the grounds for the pursuit of this policy every bit good as observing the barriers to effectual cultural alteration. A decision will be sought that intends to demo that Britain at the morning of the 20 first century is a entirely different proposition to the embodiment of the United Kingdom that went before it and that the new-look public sector work force institutionalised by New Labour is on the manner to going a true microcosm of this diverse, multicultural society. First, nevertheless, a definition of variegation within the broader subject of the public service must be attempted so as to set up the conceptual model for the balance of the treatment.

Diversity accurately describes the societal and cultural fundamental law of modern Britain, a state province that is frequently referred to as the most secular state in the universe. This fundamental law can be structured along a assortment of cultural lines with equality for all people being the ultimate purpose of presenting diverseness in any work force regardless of the employees’ spiritual, sexual, cultural, gender and racial orientation. Equality is besides encouraged with respects to age and physical ability in the workplace ( Lockton, 2003:144-150 ) . Therefore, by definition, diverseness must integrate equality for all people of all credos, races and religions. It is an of import point and one that should be borne in head throughout the balance of the treatment: the relationship between diverseness and equality is symbiotic, and the thrust to increase diverseness is per se linked to the broader libertarian ideal to guarantee a just and merely multicultural society.

The grounds why diverseness is so relevant should hence be self?explanatory – helping the development of a truly classless society. Indeed, this was one of the main mottos that the New Labour Party used when it was contending the 1997 general election: ‘social inclusion’ was meant to stand for a new centre-left policy of the ‘Third Way’ where diverseness in the populace sector was supposed to play a important function in the preparation of a more accurate contemplation of late 20th century British society, emphasizing “the potency for the creative activity of a more organic sense of society and societal duty as run intoing the demands of both society and single – the spirit of the thought being encapsulated in Blair’s phrase, ‘social promotion and single achievement.’” ( Ellison, 1997:53 )

As a direct consequence, societal inclusion and advancement policies were implemented in the National Health Service, the constabulary and in the civil service and it was in this sector that the loftiest aspirations were harboured for increasing equality and diverseness in the work force. The authorities accordingly set marks for 37 % of the senior civil service work force to be adult females, 30 % of the top direction stations to be filled by adult females, 4 % of the senior civil service stations to be filled by appliers from a black or cultural background, and 3.2 % of the senior civil service to be handicapped people within the life-time of its disposal. As of October 2005, 29.4 % of senior civil retainers are adult females ( 24.6 % busying top direction places ) , 2.9 % are from black or cultural cultural backgrounds and 2.8 % are disabled ( civil service web site ; foremost accessed 20.08.2006 ) .

Bearing in head that the colored proportion of Britain is presently 7.9 % of the population, this represents an of import measure frontward in the variegation of the civil service with a longer-term policy in topographic point to guarantee the go oning contemplation of the wider population at big. One should, nevertheless, bear in head the bounds of certain sectors of the public services work force in presenting policy enterprises to the wider population. Harmonizing to Wright ( 2000:243 ) , proportionately, “only about 5 % of civil retainers are in the cardinal sections in London that work straight to ministers” . Furthermore, merely a bantam minority make the key policy determinations which affect the bulk at big in the state. “Many civil retainers lower down the hierarchy will lend written Jockey shortss which pass upwards into the higher ranges of the policy devising setup. But below the top few classs the comprehensiveness of the hierarchy spreads exponentially.” ( Drewry and Butcher, 1988:21 ) Therefore, while the civil service has doubtless become a more accurate microcosm of the general public, the political restrictions of this portion of the public services work force must be systematically underlined.

The national constabulary force, on the other manus, offers diverseness a opportunity tostraightinfluence the execution of jurisprudence and order. As the cardinal organic structure of power in the UK, the constabulary are in an every bit of import place with respects to guaranting diverseness in the workplace ( and as a consequence justness in the kingdom of the condemnable universe ) . As in the civil service, ambitious marks have been set by the authorities in order to convey diverseness to the constabulary force. A joint race equality ‘action plan’ has really late been developed by the Home Office to guarantee constabulary force reform, peculiarly refering the issue of race, which has been a ageless cause of ailment for the colored subdivision of the British population with “arbitrary punishment” for inkinesss being a major cause of the 1984 Brixton public violences ( Institute for Race Relations, 1985:76 ) . The benefits to the constabulary force are instantly obvious with an elevated degree of trust in the population witnessed as a consequence of increased variegation and equality. Logic dictates that cultural communities would prefer to see racial and spiritual representatives patroling their communities instead than the traditional white constabulary officers who come with a bequest of corruptness, bias and incompetency. One must, of class, retrieve the huge differences in vicinity throughout the UK when it comes to the brand up of the constabulary force. In London and the South East, for case, there has historically been a greater proportion of spiritual, racial and cultural diverseness ; in countries such as North Wales and Scotland, nevertheless, there has traditionally been a considerable deficiency of colored constabulary officers. Change will accordingly take longer to get in these countries, although the proposed centralization of the constabulary force will undoubtedly help the coming of true variegation.

Of all of the major public services work forces, it is the NHS that has been the easiest to incorporate into the government’s vision of ‘social inclusion, ’ due to the bequest of post?war Reconstruction during the 2nd half of the 20th century. Equally early as 1947 – in the aftermath of the constitution of the public assistance province – the authorities commissioned an independent economic study, which stated that, “foreign labor can do a utile part to our needs… this demand to increase the on the job population is non impermanent ; it is a lasting characteristic of our national life” ( Kushner, 1994:413 ) . The bulk of these workers came to work in the wellness service and the so nationalised public services of British Rail and London Transport. At present over half of all the nurses working in some major national infirmaries hail from states outside of the UK boundary lines and this figure will surely lift as the 20 first century advancements. Diverseness in the National Health Service has besides incorporated persons with different sexual and spiritual orientations welcomed into the nursing and doctoring staff. Therefore, of all of the public service work forces in inquiry, without a uncertainty it is the wellness service that is the most diversified, although the deficiency of interaction between national infirmaries and the bulk of the population must once more be underscored.

Before turning attending towards pulling to a decision, reference must be made of the cultural make up of the most of import public service sector of all: the national authorities. Although in comparing to many governments that came ahead the current New Labour authorities does in fact represent a measure frontward with respects to variegation, the deficiency of cultural, racial and – to a lesser extent gender – minorities is still instantly evident ( conversely sexual orientation minorities are reallyover?representedwithin the current authorities. ) Should the Tories reclaim power the state of affairs would be even less classless with five of the current shadow cabinet being ‘Old Etonians’ who represent the traditional cultural sector of middle-right Britain. It is an of import and sobering point of view: any hopes for a truly diverse society must by definition remain steadfastly within the kingdom of discourse for every bit long as the elective head regulating organic structure does non accurately reflect the societal, cultural and racial make up of the electorate.


Diverseness in the public services work force is a extremely of import socio?political issue in the modern, multicultural vision of Britain – one that can no longer be ignored. With assurance in the authorities at an all clip low and vote figures in perennial diminution, it is going an progressively important factor to keep a diverse work force in order to efficaciously implement a assortment of political reforms. Yet the solution to the job is non every bit simple as it at first appears. Bringing employees from a different cultural, spiritual or racial background into the public services work force is without uncertainty the right way for the authorities to be going in, yet figures suggest that the colored labor market is presently the most down in the full state ( national statistics website ; foremost accessed 19.08.2006 ) . If there is non the sufficient figure of campaigners to make full the intended places in, for case, the civil service, so it stands to ground that authorities quotas will systematically neglect to make their marks. This issue is even more clouded in contention when it comes to the variegation of the work force based on equality of gender, age and physical ability. For illustration, mental wellness watchdogs are concerned at the deficiency of chances afforded to the mentally impaired within the public services work force and, harmonizing to Anne Borsay ( 2004 ) , this state of affairs is merely likely to go tenser with the credence of unwellnesss such as depression within theprivatesector work force.

Therefore, in the concluding analysis, the current New Labour government’s paces towards increasing variegation in the public services work force should be judged in visible radiation of the barriers that face it every bit good as the discernibly un-egalitarian province of the state in the old ages beforehand. For every bit long as marks are set and advancement is made it appears likely that variegation in the populace sector will go on to come on in tandem with the globalization of the universe economic system and the erosion of traditional autonomous national boundaries.


Borsay, A. ( 2004 )Disability and Social Policy in Britain since 1750: a History of ExclusionLondon: Palgrave Macmillan

Brivati, B. and Bale, T. ( 1997 ) ( Eds. )New Labour in Power: Precedents and ProspectsLondon: Routledge

Drewry, G. and Butcher, T. ( 1988 )The Civil Service TodayOxford: Basil Blackwell

Ham, C. ( 2004 )Health Policy in Britain: The Politicss and Organisation of the National Health ServiceLondon: Palgrave Macmillan

Johnson, P. ( 1994 ) ( Ed. )Twentieth Century Britain: Economic, Social and Cultural ChangeLondon: Longman

Lockton, D.J. ( 2003 )Employment Law: Fourth EditionLondon: Palgrave Macmillan

McKinnon, C. and Hampsher-Monk, I. ( 2000 ) ( Eds. )The Demands of CitizenshipLondon and New York: Continuum

Peckham, S. ( 2002 )Primary Care in the UK: Policy, Organisation and ManagementLondon: Palgrave Macmillan

Smith, M.J. ( 1993 )Pressure,Power and Policy: State Autonomy and Policy Networks in Britain and the United StatesNew York: Harvester Wheatsheaf

Wright, T. ( 2000 ) ( Ed. )The British Political Procedure: an Introduction( London and New York: Routledge

Selected Articles

Ellison, N. ( 1997 )From Welfare State to Post?public assistance Society: Labour’s Social Policy in Historical and Contemporary Perspective, in, Brivati, B. and Bale, T. ( Eds. )New Labour in Power: Precedents and ProspectsLondon: Routledge

Eriksen, E. and Weigard, J. ( 2000 )The End of Citizenship? New Roles Challenging the Political Order, in, McKinnon, C. and Hampsher-Monk, I. ( Eds. )The Demands of CitizenshipLondon and New York: Continuum

Kushner, T. ( 1994 )Immigration and Race Relations in Post?war British Society, in. , Johnson, P. ( Ed. )Twentieth Century Britain: Economic, Social and Cultural ChangeLondon: Longman

Web sites

Civil Service Website ; hypertext transfer protocol: //

National Statistics Website ; hypertext transfer protocol: //

Official Publications

Patroling against Black PeopleLondon: Institute for Race Relations

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