To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the answer of 25 January, Official Report, columns 18–20, if he will make a further statement on progress in implementing the monitoring of the ethnic origin of the Government's own employees; and what results have so far been achieved therein, with particular reference to the pilot schemes which have been introduced.
I have been asked to reply.The final stage of the programme of ethnic origin surveys of staff in post is almost finished. The results of the remaining phases of these monitoring surveys will be published later this year. The results of the pilot promotion monitoring projects are not yet available. The Civil Service Commissioners will be reporting shortly on the results of their monitoring of recruitment.In the meantime, two other positive initiatives are in progress. First, my officials are exploring the feasibility of designing a short pre-employment training course for near-miss candidates for the executive officer competition with a view to enhancing their work—relevant skills and their capacity to compete on merit. I hope this will be of particular benefit to black and Asian candidates who, currently disproportionately, fail the qualifying test for this competition.Second, the Civil Service Commission has carried out an advertising campaign designed to attract more black and Asian men and women to apply for professional and technical vacancies. The early results are encouraging, with over 500 inquiries in response to these advertisements.