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Departmental Staff

Volume 451: debated on Wednesday 8 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if his Department will (a) carry out an age audit of its staff to establish an age profile of its work force, (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. (96501)

All staff in the Scotland Office are on secondment from either the Department for Constitutional Affairs or the Scottish Executive and are covered under any age-related policies or initiatives operated by their parent Departments.

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) 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; (96741)

(2) whether his Department recognises the International GCSE as an acceptable substitute for a GCSE for the purposes of recruitment.

The Scotland Office does not recruit staff directly and all staff are on secondment from either the Department for Constitutional Affairs or the Scottish Executive. Posts in the Office are filled by civil servants who meet the competencies and skills relevant to that post.