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Councils and Civil Service to roll out impartial ‘name blind’ recruitment

Local government and Civil Service employers will no longer be able to see the names of graduate applicants under a new agreement to reduce potential discrimination, prime minister David Cameron will announce today (26 October).

During a Downing Street roundtable later today, Cameron will bring organisations from both the public and private sector together under a new pledge to operate recruitment on a ‘name blind’ basis.

The move is an effort to address racial discrimination following the prime minister’s speech at the Conservative conference earlier this month, where he cited research showing that people with white-sounding names are nearly twice as likely to get job call-backs than those with ethnic-sounding names.

Cameron said: “I said in my conference speech that I want us to end discrimination and finish the fight for real equality in our country today. Today we are delivering on that commitment and extending opportunity to all.

“If you’ve got the grades, the skills and the determination, this government will ensure you can succeed.”

The roundtable set to discuss this today includes the chief executive officer of the Civil Service, John Manzoni, NHS England’s boss, Simon Stevens, and several employers from major private firms, such as Deloitte, BBC and HSBC.

The Civil Service will pledge to roll out the name-blind recruitment process for all roles below senior civil service level.

Manzoni said: “I’m delighted to expand the Civil Service’s use of name-blind applications – not just for all graduate and apprenticeship level roles, but for many other external applications too.

“It’s vital that the Civil Service takes a lead on this, and I’m confident that this important step will help us building an organisation that is even more talented, diverse and effective that it is today.”

Other top graduate recruiters, including local government, the NHS and the private sector, will commit to deliver name-blind applications for all graduate and apprenticeship roles.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development will also be promoting the benefits of the new scheme and will work towards embedding this as standard through its training and development courses in order to spread the approach more widely.

Roundtable attendants will also discuss Whitehall’s plans to strengthen measures to close the gender pay gap with the help of Nicky Morgan, education secretary and women and equalities minister.

The government’s three-point plan to address the issue will include updating the law to force public sector bodies taking on more than 250 people to join the private and voluntary sector in revealing their pay gap – all under a new duty to publish information, including the size of gender-specific bonuses.


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