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Departmental Staff

Volume 450: debated on Wednesday 25 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if his Department will (a) carry out an age audit of its staff to establish an age profile of its workforce, (b) negotiate an age management policy with trade unions and employees to eliminate age discrimination and retain older workers, (c) identify and support training needs and offer older staff flexible working to downshift towards retirement and (d) extend to over-fifties the right to request to work flexibly and the right to training with paid time off; and if he will make a statement. (96505)

The Wales Office is a small organisation with a diverse workforce. Staff represent all working age bands, and the Wales Office is fully compliant with age discrimination legislation. Opportunities for training, flexible working, recruitment and retention are available to all staff, regardless of age. On this basis, it is not necessary for the Wales Office to undertake an age audit.

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what proportion of vacancies in his Department in the last 12 months required candidates to have at least a grade C in (a) English and (b) mathematics GCSE. (96742)

The Wales Office is a small organisation, with fewer than 60 staff based in Cardiff and London. It draws its staff from other bodies, namely the National Assembly for Wales and Department of Constitutional Affairs. These staff have already had their qualifications assessed, and so we do not directly specify any requirement for these qualifications in our vacancies.

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales whether his Department recognises the International GCSE as an acceptable substitute for a GCSE for the purposes of recruitment. (96866)

The Wales Office is a small organisation, with fewer than 60 staff based in Cardiff and London. It draws its staff from other bodies, namely the National Assembly for Wales and Department of Constitutional Affairs. These staff have already had their qualifications assessed, and so we do not need to carry out any further assessment of GCSEs or other qualifications.