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Civil Service (People With Disabilities)

Volume 404: debated on Tuesday 6 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what progress has been made in meeting targets for the proportion of people with disabilities in senior posts in the Department. [110531]

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has set a target to have 5 per cent. of senior posts filled by people with disabilities by March 2005. Data on disability is collected on the basis of voluntary self-classification. There are currently no staff filling senior posts who have declared a disability. Some specialist senior posts are advertised in open competition in order to provide a wider pool of diverse applicants. An initial disability survey resulted in an 80 per cent. response rate and the Department will shortly be carrying out a mop-up survey to further improve on this.The Department participates in the Civil Service Bursary Scheme for People with Disabilities by offering senior mentors and by sponsoring those successful in securing a place on the scheme. The Department is also a member of the Cabinet Office Working Group on Disability. This year the Department will be hosting a number of graduate level work placements for people with disabilities, focusing its recruitment activity on attracting a wider pool of diverse applicants and running a number of awareness raising initiatives.