How old are government’s digital professionals?

New statistics published by the Cabinet Office reveal which Whitehall disciplines are staffed by the youngest and oldest people, and provides data on the overall average age of civil servants

Newly released statistics have revealed that the average age of the 28,000 civil servants employed in the Government Digital and Data profession is 43.

The figure for profession – recently rebranded from Digital, Data and Technology (DDaT) – is one year younger than the overall civil service average of 44. All information was calculated on a median basis and based on civil service workforce data as of 31 March 2023.

In the comparative statistics from 2022, the median age of DDaT officials was 44. The figure has remained steady for several years, having been 43 in 2021, and 44 in 2020.

The 2023 statistics show that digital officials are, on average, 15 years older than government economists whose median age of 28 is the lowest of any profession. The third-youngest discipline is statistics, who are aged 34, on average.

Policymakers’ median is 37 years old, while operational delivery professionals are 46 and security experts are 49, on average.

The highest median age is 50. This figure is shared by four professions: education and training inspectors; internal auditors; planning inspectors; and government property professionals.

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Announced two months ago, the rebrand from DDaT to Government Digital and Data was intended to help the civil service “to ‘be viewed alongside tech giants” and support departments in recruiting the most in-demand skills.

The new name comes following significant expansion of the profession in recent years, which now accounts for 28,000 people and 5% of the civil service total workforce – a proportion which has nearly doubled in the past five years.

To support the new-look profession, government hopes to provide “a clearer path” for tech workers interested in joining the civil service in disciplines including analysis, infrastructure engineering, and software development. The latter represents the highest-demand area for skills, accounting for 13% of the current Government Digital and Data profession.

In competing for the most talented staff, government noted its ability to offer roles around the country, with 79% of the current digital profession – and 66% of those at senior levels – based outside London.

Sam Trendall

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