Civil Service hosts opening reception for Summer Diversity Internship Programme 2016

Civil Service Fast Stream

June 17
16:28 2016

You will be able to apply for our next round of our internship programmes from October 2016. Visit our website for more information.

On Thursday 9 June we welcomed almost 300 new interns into Westminster Central Hall for the opening reception of the Summer Diversity Internship Programme 2016. The programme gives university students from under-represented backgrounds the opportunity to see what a career in the Civil Service is like. This summer, these talented graduates and undergraduates will undertake 6 to 9 week work placements in government departments, gaining awareness of the broad range of opportunities available across the Civil Service as well as the confidence and skills to apply for the Civil Service Fast Stream graduate programme.

After the interns had enjoyed a delicious networking lunch, Phil Wilson, Chief Assessor for the Fast Stream and Head of the Summer Diversity Intenership, opened the event and introduced the programme, as well as a fun fundraising task in which all Summer Diversity Interns will take part over the course of their internships.

Sir Jeremy Heywood, Head of the Civil Service and Cabinet Secretary, then welcomed the interns to the organization and spoke about the breadth of the Civil Services work, from infrastructure and the economy to security and counter-terrorism. He also spoke about his wider aims for the Civil Service, one of which is to increase the diversity of the workforce, celebrating programmes such as the SDIP for their important role in doing so. He also answered questions from the audience, sharing his views on how the Civil Service allows for a flexible and varied career.


Then Jon Thompson, Chief Executive of Her Majestys Revenue and Customs and Civil Service Social Mobility Champion, spoke about his personal journey and how he has progressed through the Civil Service to his current position. He shared how the Civil Service had spotted his potential and given him the opportunity to develop it further through challenging and dynamic roles.


The interns then heard from Professor AC Grayling, Leading Philosopher and Master of the New College of the Humanities who spoke about the good life: an enjoyable life which brings fulfilment, but also a virtuous life which in which one helps others. He drew on interesting examples from Greek mythology to bring his points to life in a truly original way.


Gillian Smith, Head of the Fast Stream and Early Talent, then gave the interns some fantastic tips on making the most of their internship. Gillian touched on how to make the most of their time, offering advice on how to seize every opportunity. She also advised keeping a diary of time on the SDIP so that they can keep track of their learning, both about themselves as well as the organisation.

Finally, the interns heard from four current Fast Streamers as they shared their experiences of the Fast Stream, from intelligence policy at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to the digitalisation of overseas territory passports at the Home Office, to meeting the Queen. They also heard from a representative of the Fast Stream Opportunities Network about the important work they are doing to promote the social mobility agenda across government, and how it is being positively received at all levels across government. All these testimonies pointed to the Civil Service as an interesting and inclusive place to work.

Alishah, who will be managing an SDIP intern this summer said:

Im really looking forward to welcoming our new intern to the team and seeing them thrive and develop in the workplace, taking ownership of projects and using their creativity to shed new light on challenges we face. I previously participated in the SDIP and it gave me an invaluable insight into the Civil Service, and I very much hope our intern will find the same.

The Fast Stream team wishes all 2016 SDIP interns a fantastic summer full of new friendships, interesting work and fantastic opportunities!

Group of interns

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