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Civil Service (Ex-Service Candidates)

Volume 466: debated on Tuesday 21 June 1949

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asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether he is aware that the provision under which the recruitment of assistant experimental officers through the 1949 Civil Service open competition is debarred to anyone born before August, 1923, reacts hardly on older ex-Service candidates; and whether he will take action to ensure that such persons, whose university course has been delayed by the duration of their service in the Forces, are not penalised.

I do not agree that the regulations for this competition cause any hardship to older ex-Service candidates. In the first place, a university degree is only one of several acceptable qualifications, and is not a necessary requirement. Many candidates who are recruited as Assistant Experimental Officers have only Higher School Certificate or an equivalent qualification which they have gained before their military service. Secondly, we have already taken action to ensure that older ex-Service graduates should not be penalised because in the reconstruction arrangements, which have only lately been discontinued, we gave the opportunity to anybody whose university course had been delayed by service in the Forces to put his name down as a prospective candidate. This allowed him time to take his degree before being interviewed for appointment by the Civil Service Commission.