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Equal Opportunities

Volume 78: debated on Monday 29 April 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Employment what methods are used by the Manpower Services Commission in its pursuit of an equal opportunities policy and in encouraging the participation of all eligible youngsters in mode A schemes.

The commission encourages all young people, irrespective of sex, race, or disability, to consider the full range of opportunities available under the youth training scheme. It is the responsibility of the referral agencies, such as careers offices, to identify the training programme which will be of greatest benefit to the young person concerned, and the commission provides guidance to this end. The commission also pursues its equal opportunity policy through a variety of methods including publicity material, regular monitoring of trainee participation, and the identification of particular groups of young people who have special needs.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment of what sex and ethnic origins are the officers designated by his Department as equal opportunities officers.

Of the 24 officers currently designated as equal opportunity officers in the Department of Employment group, five are female. Their ethnic origin is not at present recorded.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment whether he is satisfied with the equality of opportunities in his Department in so far as they concern sex and race discrimination; and what advice has lately been given to staff in his Department in respect thereof by the officer designated as equal opportunities officer with responsibility for giving such advice.

The Department of Employment group's policy is that there must be no unfair discrimination against staff on grounds of sex or race, and this has been made clear to all staff. Implementation of the programme of action on women in the Civil Service is underway and arrangements are in hand to monitor the various aspects. In common with other Departments we will be conducting surveys of the ethnic origin of all staff to enable equality of opportunity for ethnic minorities to be monitored. The equal opportunity officers throughout the Department of Employment group give constructive day to day advice to staff and managers on the implementation of the whole range of equal opportunity policies.