To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what plans he has to encourage the participation of women in full-time employment.
We are determined that women should be allowed every opportunity to participate as fully as possible in the labour market. The number of women working full-time has risen by 9 per cent. since 1983 and women are projected to account for just over 80 per cent. of labour force growth by 2006. The Government welcome this trend and will continue to encourage women to make the most of the opportunities available.Our "New Horizons for Women" initiative promotes the whole range of opportunities open to women, including those in employment and training. The flexibility built in to many employment service and training and enterprise council programmes are ideally suited to the needs of many women and our out-of-school child care grant will benefit women who wish to return to work after their children start school.The ministerial sub-committee on women's issues accords a high priority to action throughout government, which will extend choice and opportunity for women in general. including in employment.