A Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) employee has been awarded a CBE in the King’s New Year Honours List.

Nageshwara (Nagesh) Reddy, a senior civil servant of 30 years was honoured for his long career serving the public.

Nagesh, from Lytham St Annes is currently a Portfolio Director at DWP, covering a number of areas including labour market strategy, devolution and financial inclusion.

His three decades in the civil service was an unexpected career; he took on a stopgap job as an administrative officer in 1992, not knowing it would turn into a meaningful career he still enjoys today.

Nagesh said: “I was in shock. I had to read the letter a few times. And then I rang the Cabinet Office just to check it was me.

“You never think it’s going to be you. People that receive these do amazing things. So to even be considered in that way is absolutely humbling and I’m so delighted and honoured to be in the company of such truly remarkable people.

“It's my 30-year anniversary at DWP. I started as a casual administrative officer in operations and it was meant to be a stopgap, not a long term career. But I love what I do and it led me to become a director a couple years ago.

“I’ve pretty much worked on every benefit apart from child maintenance, including working in local offices early on in my career. I’ve moved around in different corporate roles - finance, HR and digital, but in the last 10 to 15 years I’ve worked in the programme/ project management sphere and I absolutely love it.

“As well as DWP, I've worked at the Ministry of Defence, HMRC and the Cabinet Office. My current role is focused on a range of key activities including labour market strategy, bringing the Government’s Plan for Jobs to life and also DWP’s response to Ukraine. Other areas of work have included devolution, EU exit, and Covid.

“I’ve worked in so many roles and I've been fortunate, very fortunate.

“One thing I’m passionate about and have been very heavily involved in over the years is diversity and inclusion. It's something that's very close to me. I come from a very humble background. My parents were immigrants into this country and they inspired me to have a hard working ethic. With hard work, focus and opportunity, you can achieve anything, and I believe that.

“My passion is making sure that you create the opportunities for everybody to realise their potential, irrespective of background, where they've come from, their educational or vocational qualifications, what they learned or what they know - everybody has potential. I'm a product of that which motivates me to give that back to people.

“The civil service is there for the communities we serve and the wider public. So it’s important having people in our organisation that both represent the communities we serve, but also have the insight into the decisions we take for those communities. Having a greater diversity of thoughts, knowledge and experience inputting into decisions that we make is critical to success.”

Nagesh Reddy is one of 15 employees at the Department for Work and Pensions and its arm’s length bodies to be recognised in the King’s first New Year Honours List 2023.

Mims Davies MP, DWP Minister for Social Mobility, Youth and Progression said: “It is fantastic to see so many of our DWP staff being recognised at such a high level for all the amazing work they do for their area both as civil servants and in their spare time.

“Hearing about their stories, and the lives they’ve changed for the better, never fails to amaze me. Many of our staff have dedicated decades of service to DWP, going above and beyond to support their communities and customers across the country.

“Congratulations to all 15 of our staff for being recognised in the King’s first New Year Honours, and thank you for all that you do and the inspiration you give us.”