Many of you were disappointed this year that the Civil Fast Stream was paused and wasn’t recruiting. If you were one of those people, then we have great news for you! The scheme will now be re-opening for applications on 8th December, however if you’re interested, you’ll need to be quick as applications close on 22nd December.
There are 15 different schemes available through the Fast Stream including Social Research, Economics roles, IT and Cyber and Human Resources plus many more, so the first thing you should do is research the different schemes so you can decide which you’d like to apply for. You can apply for up to 4 schemes (as long as you’re eligible), but it’s important to be sure of your order of preference, as if you’re successful that’s how you’ll get allocated. This information is based on previous years and may change as a result of the review of the scheme that’s happened. So, it’s important to check and research the different streams once the scheme opens on Thursday.
About the Civil Service
The Civil Service does the practical and administrative work of government. More than half of all civil servants provide services direct to the public. You can find out more about the Civil Service here. To find out more about the different departments and agencies, you can look on the GOV UK website where every department and agency has a space. Staff can work anywhere in the United Kingdom and possibly overseas, although the majority involved in policy work are located in London. There are increasing numbers of opportunities within the devolved regions and some departments are based in locations such as Bristol, Leeds, Sheffield, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Cardiff.
We recently hosted an event with a Fast Streamer discussing her experiences, as well as tips for applications, you can view the recording here. We also had Fast Streamers on our Careers in Government and Public Services panel events in 2020 and 2021, so you may find it useful to listen to their experiences too.
The popularity of the scheme
The Civil Service Fast Stream is one of the most competitive graduate schemes that exists, it is open to final year students, graduates and people already working in the Civil Service. Therefore, it is very important to understand the application process. There is plenty of guidance provided at each stage by the Civil Service, so make sure you use all the resources on offer. It is important to know that it’s not unusual for students to be unsuccessful the first time they apply. So, if this happens to you, be prepared to learn from the process and you can apply again next year. There are other ways into the Civil Service, you will be able to apply for direct-entry graduate roles in semester two via Civil Service jobs.
- Recruitment is based around behaviours (for the Fast Stream look at behaviours under level 3) and success profiles, so it is very important that you understand these and are aware of them at every stage of the process. Take some time to write down examples from your academic achievements, work experience and extracurricular activities that demonstrate these.
- Make sure you practice for each stage. Check out this alumni blog post for other suggestions for the application process.
- Civil Service Fast Stream website have their own How to apply section, which includes a short, helpful video.
- Check out the invaluable FAQ section, there are answers to most questions including detailed information about the online tests, work-based scenarios, video interview and assessment centres. These are based on 2022 at the moment but will likely be updated soon. We also have Get Started guides which give you support with these elements of the application process.
- There are other external resources you may want to check out through TargetJobs and Prospects.
- Fast Streamers are often happy to help potential recruits, so get in touch with an alumni ask them questions about the application process and get their hints and tips too.
Other Civil Service graduate schemes and graduate roles
Be aware that there are also other schemes available through the Civil Service, which are not through the Fast Stream. You can find them on the Civil Service jobs site and subscribe to their jobs email list to receive alerts when new ones are posted. There are also examples of these in our Careers in Politics resource
In addition, you can apply for graduate roles at the Civil Service through Civil Service Jobs – look for Executive Officer or Higher Executive Officer in the job grade. However, as most of these jobs require you to start as soon as possible, you may not be able to apply for this before Spring / Summer term if you are a current student.
We wish you all the best in your application process!