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Working collaboratively across government departments

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How the Government Office for Science helped my team to develop the government’s approach to fuller working lives.

As a government economist, I have always been interested in the wide reaching work of the Government Office for Science (GO-Science). Their Foresight Future of an Ageing Population project enabled me to get involved in their work first hand.

This is a topic close to my heart as the team leader for Fuller Working Lives (FWL) Analysis at the Department for Work and Pensions. That the UK population is ageing affects and will affect everyone: businesses, individuals and government.

The majority of central government departments will be impacted by this demographic change, whether it is through the increasing demand for social care, ensuring that we have housing that’s appropriate for older residents or supporting older workers to remain in employment.

So how did GO-Science support my team?

We launched the government’s FWL strategy six months after the publication of the Foresight Future of an Ageing Population report. GO-Science enabled and facilitated my team to use the developed networks and research they had already assembled for their project. They still do, long after the publication of their report. You can find some of the evidence they collected in our FWL Evidence Base published alongside the strategy.

It is easier said than done to achieve collaboration across government departments and get the right people in the room. The team helped us to do this. For example, they had developed a strong working relationship with the Office for National Statistics (ONS). GO-Science introduced us, facilitated the sharing of the ONS’s analysis and then off we went – with expert input from ONS on our future analysis.

With the support of GO-Science, I believe that we were able to deliver a more collegiate approach to the research and analysis on ageing across government.

My final point: if you get the opportunity to work with GO-Science then do it. They bring an objective view to research and policymaking, which can only be a benefit. They stay interested, they stick around and they’ve always been willing to support efforts to drive cohesion across government.

Find out more about GO-Science’s Foresight projects. Or get in touch if you’d like more information.

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