Ambitious Ministry of Justice plans to encourage social mobility could lead to a wider mix of staff working in areas relevant to legal professionals. According to the ministry's latest social mobility action plan the department's new 'STEP into Justice' work experience scheme will offer short and medium-term placements in MoJ functions such as legal, communications, commercial, project management, finance, computing and digital.

The ministry's 70,000 staff were invited to comment on the action plan's seven key areas of work for this year: working with young people, investing in non-university graduates, attracting an array of talent, removing barriers, expanding the department's understanding, career progression and working with others. 

The department plans to organise up to 400 awareness-building events at schools where more than 20% of pupils are eligible for school meals, engage with 25,000 students and expand its volunteer pool from 500 to 700. The ministry also hopes to hire 50 'summer diversity' interns. The department has also been targeting young people who have just left the care system - the first recruits will start in April.

The ministry will also continue to collect data on its workforce to spot trends in different business areas, and identify differences when staff data is broken down by grade, location, gender and sexual orientation. 

Matthew Coats, MoJ chief operating officer and social mobility champion, said: 'We take social mobility very seriously. We believe that where you start out in life should not determine where you end up and so this plan makes sure at the MoJ, you can get in and get on. The civil service needs to reflect the society it serves so we make fair, informed decisions in the public interest. We will only achieve the best possible results in the justice system if we pick our people from the widest pool of talent available.'