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Equal Opportunities

Volume 128: debated on Thursday 25 February 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what manpower modelling processes have been set up within the equal opportunities unit of the Department of Finance and Personnel (NI); and if he will make a statement on their operation.

The equal opportunities unit has concentrated to date on establishing a sound data base and analysing the resultant material in terms of age profile, promotion rates, wastage and so on. This enables trends to be identified leading to measurement and evaluation of the variables which are influencing those trends. The results have been fully reported in the unit's first two reports. When the analytical work is completed, the unit will be considering whether there exists a sound foundation for manpower modelling which avoids the dangers of projections based on uncertain trends and simplified assumptions.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland why the equal opportunities unit of the Department of Finance and Personnel (NI) has only produced one report of its investigations in four years.

Following the instituting of comprehensive monitoring arrangements, the unit has produced two reports—the first on 22 July 1986 and the second on 17 December 1987. Copies of both reports are in the Library.