Government DDaT function adds 4,000 people in past year

Newly released annual data on Whitehall workforce reveals that the number of people employed in the civil service’s digital, data and technology function grew by almost a fifth in FY23

Government’s digital, data and technology function grew by a fifth during 2022/23, with headcount increasing by  more than 4,000 people over the course of the year.

The Cabinet Office’s annual release of civil service statistics shows that, as of 31 March, government’s DDaT function comprised 26,530 individuals – representing 25,635 full-time-equivalent employees.

The comparable respective figures in 2022 were 22,055 and 21,430,

This means that 4,295 additional people joined the function in FY23, equating to a headcount rise of 19.5%.

The vast majority of people employed by the function – 23,155 – are also part of the DDaT profession, which is comprised of 44 specialist digital, data and technology roles. The remaining 3,375 work in other disciplines supporting the function.

Across the profession, the mean annual salary increased from £42,110 in 2022 to £44,500 this year, equating to a pay rise of 5.7%. Compensation for DDaT professionals compares favourably with the wider civil service, where the overall mean salary was £36,120 in 2022/23.


26,530
Number of people employed by the DDaT function as of March 2023 – including 23,155 DDaT professionals and 3,375 in supporting roles from other disciplines

65% – 35%
Male-female gender split of the DDaT profession – the same as last year, and the most male-dominated in government

£44,500
Mean salary of DDaT profession last year

17,780
Number of DDaT professionals based outside London in FY23 – equating to 76.8% of the total


About one in five government digital professionals – 5,300 – are based in London, with almost 18,000 spread across the rest of the UK, and about 40 deployed overseas.

The profession is government’s most male-centric, with 15,025 employees who identify as male working in DDaT roles, compared with 8,130 who identify as female. This equates to a gender split of 65% to 35% – identical to the previous year.

The overall civil service workforce increased by almost 10,000 people during 2022/23, with 519,870 individuals employed by government agencies as of the end of the year. This translated to 487,665 full-time-equivalent staff.

The publication of headcount statistics comes a few weeks after annual data from government’s Review Body on Senior Salaries revealed that, during the 2021-22 year, almost one in five senior civil servants (SCS) in digital, data and tech roles left government for an external post.

Conversely, the 5.3% of senior officials in DDaT roles that changed job within the civil service during the year was among the lowest rates of any government profession – suggesting that departments’ digital leaders were far more likely to depart for a role in the commercial sector than to another government agency.

The rising turnover rate among top DDaT civil servants is in spite of the profession offering among the most generous salaries in the SCS – including the highest levels of use of special measures allowing departments to exceed the usual pay limits. This includes a dedicated pivotal role allowance pilot programme – allowing salary offerings to be boosted by up to £45,000 beyond the normal applicable thresholds – that was created specifically for the most specialised DDaT roles at deputy-director and director level.

Sam Trendall

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