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Civil Service (People With Disabilities)

Volume 404: debated on Thursday 1 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what progress has been made in meeting targets for the proportion of people with disabilities in senior posts in the Department. [110529]

The Department for Transport currently has 0.1 per cent. of senior civil servants (SCS) with a disability. Following last year's machinery of government changes, we are yet to revise the former DTLR diversity targets for DfT. However, we are reviewing this, and are working with two other departments on work they are doing on modelling for setting targets for under-represented groups in the senior civil service and below. It is expected that a model will be in place by the summer. In addition to this, we propose to undertake a disability resurvey of all our staff later in the year.We are engaged in a number of measures and initiatives to help increase the representation of disabled people in more senior posts. The Department advertises open competition vacancies in media targeted at disabled people eg Disability Now, and Ready, Willing and Able as well as other medium. We also operate a guaranteed interview scheme (commonly known as "Two Ticks") whereby all disabled applicants meeting the minimum criteria for advertised posts are guaranteed an interview.The Department is a corporate sponsor of the Employers Forum on Disability, and has a contract with disability consultants to advise on disability issues including ways in which we might increase the representation of disabled people within the Department.We are continuing to support the Cabinet Office Disability Bursary Scheme, and are providing central funding for two successful applicants on the 2003 scheme. We also ran a short career development workshop for disabled staff in 2000 and 2001. We are offering work placements to disabled graduates in the summer to undertake specific high level projects, and will continue to monitor the progress of these measures, and consider additional initiatives to help bring about an increase in the proportion of disabled staff at senior levels.