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Civil Service (People With Disabilities)

Volume 405: debated on Monday 19 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what progress has been made in meeting targets for the proportion of people with disabilities in senior posts in the Department. [110532]

The Department for Work and Pensions has made progress in meeting targets for disabled staff in senior posts as follows: 5 per cent, of Senior Civil Service Managers currently in post are disabled compared to a target figure of 3.2 per cent. In addition 4.1 per cent of staff at grades 6, 7, and SEO are disabled compared to a target figure of 3 per cent.The Department is committed to increasing the number of disabled people in senior posts in the Department by for example using open competition to provide a wider pool of diverse applicants for senior posts. The Department is also involved in various developmental schemes for disabled people such as Fast Track, a graduate development programme for disabled people co-ordinated by SCOPE. This is a work based development programme that aims to provide disabled people with their first step into a chosen career. As part of this programme we currently have two graduates on six month placements. In addition we are during the period 2002–04 supporting 11 staff as part of the Civil Service Bursary scheme for disabled staff.The Department also plays an active role in the Cabinet Office Disability working party that has been established to examine better ways of collating and monitoring disability data.The European Commission has designated 2003 as the European Year of Disabled People. The Department is playing a key role in co-ordinating the UK programme of activities for this year. The UK theme for the year is "Promoting Rights and Participation".