I'm in my first role as a Fast Stream statistician and I'm working for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). I produce and update management information reports across a range of DWP benefits, mainly focussing on Personal Independence Payments.
If you're thinking of applying and would like advice on the assessment day, I found the writing exercises at the fast stream assessment centre very time pressured but doable. If that's something you're concerned about, practise writing exercises beforehand if possible as that really helps.
Also, a really vital piece of advice I received before the assessment centre was to actually enjoy it and not be overly concerned if one of the exercises went badly. As the exercises examine different competencies, there's an opportunity to recover later on. This advice helped me as I struggled in the group exercise at the start of the day, but was able to relax and perform much better as the day went on.
Before joining the Fast Stream, I was already working in government as a statistical officer at the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG). I was an analyst in the local government finance directorate, providing support to policy colleagues on business rates and enterprise zones. I felt that the Fast Stream would be the next step in my career development, allowing me to experience challenging roles and providing the flexibility to move across different government departments.
In my brief time as a fast streamer, I've been able to work with two fellow fast stream statisticians to organise a voluntary sector placement scheme for the government statistical service. We've managed to organise placements for over 30 government statisticians to provide third-sector organisations with analytical support and advice which the organisations do not readily have access to. These placements are up to five days long and provide a great way of using the skills of government analysts to benefit wider society.
I also spend time querying databases to investigate data issues and answer customer helpdesk questions on our reports. Recently, I've also started managing a student operational researcher on the team.
I've really enjoyed my time so far as a fast streamer, and I'm glad I applied.