What does the new government mean for talent?

11th July 2024
Liam Young

Labour have won the 2024 general election. Keir Starmer is forming his government, with “change” as the watchword throughout his campaign. New Ministers are getting to grips with their departments and arm’s length bodies (ALBs). We are likely to see the creation of new entities to secure the successful delivery of Labour’s pledges. What will these changes mean and how might they impact the talent strategy for business and government?


Energy & Net Zero

We hosted the new Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, Rt Hon Ed Miliband MP, last year. He discussed the path to net zero, with leaders from across a broad spectrum of industries. Commenting on the criticality of collaboration in meeting the ambitious targets, he promised “genuine partnership and genuine ability to listen and understand”.

The new publicly owned Great British Energy promises to oversee the provision of clean energy to the UK, in part through offshore and onshore wind and solar power. The company will be headquartered in Scotland: the depth of expertise there makes it a wise choice. Collaboration between public and private sectors is key to deliver major projects such as decarbonising the grid. It remains unclear whether the public sector has the talent and specialist expertise required to deliver on this highly complex, challenging mandate. Doubtless it will drive the need for future talent shifts between the public and private sectors, as explored in our Switching Sectors video.



The government has promised 1.5 million new homes over this Parliament, subject to the support of Local Authorities and key planning entities in releasing grey belt land. It has committed to £6.6bn investment in the “Warm Homes Plan”, promoting insulation, solar panels and low carbon heating for homes in the privately owned and rented sectors. Similarly, this requires increased collaboration with private finance and local government. We expect an increased demand for talent both in sustainability roles and energy & renewables with the skillsets to drive sustainable development whilst ensuring the decarbonisation of existing assets.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities will have a major role in housing delivery where Rt Hon Angela Rayner MP is now Secretary of State and Deputy Prime Minister. The Land Registry moving under their remit has been advantageous – a critical adjacency with Homes England.

Whether organisations have the volume of employees, and importantly the right leadership, to get things moving fast, in particular in social housing remains to be seen. We are likely to see more sector consolidation amongst housing associations, enabling greater ‘buying’ power to secure the financing to build more.



The government is committed to a modern industrial strategy  reforming planning rules and removing barriers. The demand for expertise in infrastructure and supply chain will increase; these key skills are instrumental in driving forward ambitious projects. The creation of new entities, such as Great British Railways, crucially requires leaders who can navigate the complexities of government and the franchise network.

As we embrace the changes that this new Labour government brings, we know certain things will remain constant. The Civil Service will remain committed to recruiting talent from the private sector and to “have the best people leading and working in government to deliver better outcomes for citizens”. The intellectual challenge, scale, complexity and importance government work is unmatched, offering candidates a wide scope of opportunities that we believe will be more compelling than ever as the government enact the changes outlined in their manifesto.

Our dedicated functional and sectoral practices identify exceptional talent from across the breadth of industry to transition successfully into government, securing key leadership roles.


This article was written by Liam Young, Consultant in our Education Practice. Prior to joining Berwick Partners, Liam worked for a boutique firm, specialising in the appointment of communications and public affairs leaders. He also held a number of in-house roles in the same fields before entering recruitment, serving as the Head of Political Strategy and National Press Officer for a leading membership organisation. He also worked as an advisor to Members of Parliament in the House of Commons.

Categories: Central Government, Local Government