Home Office signs £4.5m deal to find ‘emerging talent’ for DDaT operations
Contract with specialist services firm will enable department to convert graduate contractors into full-time civil servants
Home Office headquarters in London's Marsham Street Credit: Steve Cadman/CC BY-SA 2.0
The Home Office has signed a £4.5m deal that will enable the department to access a pool of “emerging talent” – with the option to then hire the graduate tech specialists as permanent employees.
Newly published commercial documents reveal that, at the start of this month, the Home Office entered into a two-year engagement with Sparta Global. The London-based firm specialises in training new graduates and others embarking on a career in technology, who are then deployed to roles at the company’s clients – a roster which includes the likes of the Ministry of Justice, HM Land Registry, and the Department for Work and Pensions.
According to the text of the contract, Sparta will provide the Home Office with “assessment, training, and deployment of a diverse mix of graduate-level talent in [the areas of] DevOps, software engineering, data, test and automation, cybersecurity, project support, [and] product and business analysis”.
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Although much of the detail of agreement is redacted, the document does reveal that the £4.5m value covers the training and deployment of “up to 45 individuals over the duration of contract”.
It also provides the department with the “ability to convert emerging talent into permanent civil servants”.
This provision may prove particularly important, given that government’s main graduate recruitment programme – the Civil Service Fast Stream – has been suspended as part of ministers’ plans to reduce departments’ collective headcount by 91,000. The Fast Stream has long been a major source of new tech talent, with about 100 new recruits joining the programme’s specialist digital, data and technology track each year.
The Home Office’s new agreement with Sparta overlaps by two months with an existing two-year deal the department signed with the firm on 1 September 2020. That contract, which was valued at £4m, covered “graduate delivery and deployment services” which were “available for all tech- and data-related programmes, projects and teams” across the department.
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