Appointments (Clerical Assistant and Clerical Officer)

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 1st July 1981.

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Photo of Mr Alfred Dubs Mr Alfred Dubs , Wandsworth Battersea South 12:00 am, 1st July 1981

asked the Minister for the Civil Service how many appointments were made in 1980 in the Civil Service to the posts of clerical assistant and clerical officer; and how many of these were (a) women and (b) members of ethnic minority groups.

Photo of Mr Barney Hayhoe Mr Barney Hayhoe , Hounslow Brentford and Isleworth

In 1980 19,527 clerical assistants and 7,067 clerical officers were appointed in the Civil Service; of those 15,259 clerical assistants and 4,927 clerical officers were women. Information on the ethnic origin of those appointed is not recorded.

Photo of Mr Alfred Dubs Mr Alfred Dubs , Wandsworth Battersea South

Given that an increasing number of civil servants—men as well as women—are keen to have the choice of part-time and flexible working, will the Minister take positive steps to encourage all Departments to make such opportunities as widely available as possible?

Photo of Mr Barney Hayhoe Mr Barney Hayhoe , Hounslow Brentford and Isleworth

At the moment, Departments have an ability to make -flexitime" arrangements possible. As I explained in the Adjournment debate on these matters last Friday, a review group composed of management and trade unions is now considering the implementation of recommendations and progress made since the Kemp-Jones report, which was about encouraging opportunities for women in the Civil Service.

Photo of Mr Nigel Forman Mr Nigel Forman , Sutton Carshalton

What opportunity will there be in the clerical grades for the introduction of new technology? How many word processors are being operated by the Civil Service in Whitehell?

Photo of Mr Barney Hayhoe Mr Barney Hayhoe , Hounslow Brentford and Isleworth

The number of word processors is about 500. A White Paper about efficiency in the Civil Service, giving further details about that aspect, is being published later today. I suggest that my hon. Friend should look at that. An agreement is being made between the Government and the Civil and Public Services Association with regard to word processors. We are looking at other ways in which the technology can be brought into the Civil Service to make it more efficient and effective.