The House of Lords Public Services Committee has launched an inquiry into the evolution of the civil service workforce, taking into account its relationship to technology.
Titled Designing a Public Service Workforce Fit for the Future, it will focus on issues such as the tools needed to make workers more efficient and transform service delivery.
It will also look at recruitment and training, any need for change in the structure of the workforce – notably for better integration between services – and the development of a workforce that involves users. in the design and delivery of services.
Committee chair Baroness Armstrong (pictured) said: ‘Covid-19 has accelerated a trend that was continuing even before the pandemic. The demand for public services is growing faster than the number of professionals capable of providing them.
“Health care, social services, education and other vital public services are overstretched and cannot serve users as efficiently as possible. Employees will need skills and training to drive the transformation of the organizations they work for and to deliver the best possible services.
“Greater use of technology is inevitable, but we need to make sure it doesn’t make life even more difficult for people who don’t have access to technology or who struggle with it.
“Our survey will identify where changes are needed and how they can be implemented.”
The call for evidence – open until February 22 – references eight principles from an earlier survey, including that advances in digital technology should be used to increase access to public services, especially for difficult groups to be achieved, but must be applied intelligently. It indicates that online services should never replace face-to-face services if this disadvantages the user of the service.
Image of UK Parliament, CC BY 3.0