Together Gibraltar recognises that Gibraltar's public sector and civil servants are the heart of our community and the functioning of Gibraltar's economy. Despite the importance of this sector we do not believe that there has been enough done to ensure that public sector workers are given the opportunities to fully succeed in their careers or the resources they need to effectively carry out their work.
Recent events have shown that many public sector workers and civil servants feel they are actively being undermined at work. Together Gibraltar believes that this is unacceptable.
Together Gibraltar will establish a scheme to ensure that our public sector is run in a way that is transparent, equitable and respectful of all its employees. This development scheme is based partly on the UK Civil Service Fast Stream and similar development schemes which have been implemented across Europe.
The Goals of this scheme will be to:
Ensure civil servants have a great place to work, job satisfaction and meaningful career growth
Create a culture of innovation, meritocracy and investing in people
Attract talented graduates and professionals into a career in public service
Contribute towards a highly skilled workforce in Gibraltar
Make the civil service more efficient and robust
Provide effective and proactive services for the people of Gibraltar
Strengthen Gibraltar as an attractive jurisdiction for international business
The current scheme in which university students work in government departments over summer will be converted into a true internship scheme where students will be placed into relevant departments which match their interests, expertise and career aspirations.
This scheme will ensure that each department is properly briefed and has time to prepare before each intake. As a result, students can truly provide value to the departments they are assigned and develop valuable skills in the workplace. This will allow for more places to be made available and a more meaningful work experience than the current system.
Apprenticeships and Traineeships
Together Gibraltar proposes the creation of apprenticeships for relevant roles within the public sector. All apprenticeships will be run in line with a comprehensive economic plan for Gibraltar to ensure that meaningful employment is always available upon completion of an apprenticeship.
Traineeships will be run for positions in the civil service to ensure that new applicants are equipped with appropriate skills and training. Candidates will be assessed and consulted to ensure they are in positions that best fit their skills and interests.
These schemes will be run in line with Trailblazer Apprenticeship Standards and Together Gibraltar hopes to work closely with local unions and international specialists to ensure that training programmes are in line with international standards. All schemes will be based around ensuring more job security, prioritising sustainability and long-term planning over short-term cost cutting.
For graduates and professionals seeking a career in the civil service, this scheme will ensure that new applicants get the training and development necessary to ensure they can build a meaningful career in public service and contribute to Gibraltar in a way that aligns with their skills and interests. This process will be fully transparent, and candidates will be judged purely on merit.
We will ensure that there is a steady development plan for our civil service so that civil servants can meaningfully develop their careers in a way that will increase worker satisfaction and results.
As part of this scheme, promotion routes in the civil service will be revamped into professional and managerial routes, allowing employees to focus on their strengths and develop their skills throughout their working life. This will include a focus on role development so that employees can get feedback and opportunities they need to develop in their work and advance their career.
Investing in People
At the heart of our proposals is the view that the best services can only be provided by a civil service that truly invests in its staff. To this end Together Gibraltar will ensure that all civil service departments are provided with the tools and resources to invest meaningfully in all their employees. An annual review of each department will be carried out to ensure that this is being handled effectively and audits will be conducted by independent human resource consultants as necessary.
Current arrangements where staff are given 'allowances' for taking on extra responsibilities do not meet the transparency requirements Together Gibraltar is committed to, nor do we believe it is fair to other civil servants that these are decided behind closed doors. The current pay structure for civil servants must be replaced with one which rewards staff and provides incentives for meaningful development within a given role, in a transparent and open manner.
Together Gibraltar is also concerned about the lack of continuity planning within areas of our public sector. This is having a serious toll on our public services and endangering the future of our civil service. We are committed to ensuring that proper continuity planning is put in place. Further to this, we believe that it is experts and senior civil servants in these sectors who know best what is needed in their areas of expertise. They, not rotating casts of inexperienced ministers, should be given the tools to effectively lead our public institutions.
There is a need to improve communication and connectivity between departments, to reduce the duplication of work among civil servants, to reduce waiting times for members of the public and to support career development, efficiency and more ambitious initiatives.
Together Gibraltar will conduct a full-scale review of interdepartmental communications and processing of data. as part of our efforts to improve public services and add efficiency to the civil service.
This policy will be civil service led from IT&LD in whom we will be investing and supporting so that they have the resources to lead our public services into the 21st century. This revamp of government data processing will be done in a coordinated manner so that future services and projects can integrate seamlessly.
Civil Service Independence
We believe that to truly serve the interests of the public, the Civil Service must be kept separate from the interests of government ministers. The role of ministers will be to act as visionaries and facilitators for our public sector workers, not meddlers.
Our current system where government ministers can directly intervene in departmental affairs seriously hampers the integrity of our civil service. This also creates a conflict of interest on the part of employees who feel that their jobs are at the whim of politics and cannot function independently.
Together Gibraltar will:
Empower chief executives, chief executives on the day-to-day running of their respective departments, in line with policies set forth by the government, and subject to relevant parliamentary committees and independent auditors/commissions, to ensure the proper functioning of each department.