26 September 2008 | Jake Kanter
The top job in the civil service could be filled by a former buyer in the future, according to the current post-holder.
Cabinet secretary Sir Gus O'Donnell, said public sector buyers could aspire to the role: "Why couldn't a future permanent secretary or a future cabinet secretary have started their careers in procurement?" he told supplymanagement.com. "This is all about a career, not a job. Just because you've got a professional career in procurement doesn't mean you have to spend the rest of your life it that [area]."
Speaking at the launch of the OGC's second year procurement graduate scheme, he said he wanted graduates to enter purchasing to help make the sector more professional and increase efficiency.
He added he wanted to see graduates entering the civil service now become the next generation of public sector commercial directors.
"I want more commercial directors spread around government, and procurement is a hugely important part of that," he said. "We need to think about using procurement to achieve a wide range of goals to improve our sustainability, be more innovative, take managed risks and through that get better value for every pound of taxpayers money."
Nigel Smith, chief executive of the OGC, added the government needs the best talent to improve its capabilities. "Government has got tremendous capability in procurement, but we haven't got it consistently. We want enthusiasm, people who can come in and challenge and make us better. These graduates have got a responsibility, they have to be a success."
The three-year graduate course has taken on 10 new business graduates, giving them the opportunity to secure CIPS diplomas and gather government purchasing experience.