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Departmental Staff

Constitutional Affairs written question – answered on 27th October 2005.

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Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Shadow Minister (Education)

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what assessment she has made of the (a) literacy and (b) numeracy skills of new recruits to her Department.

Photo of Bridget Prentice Bridget Prentice Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs

There is no formal requirement for all new recruits to be assessed in literacy and numerical skills in my Department. However, certain posts in the magistrates courts and at Executive Grade and above may involve such tests for posts in a policy area, communications or Information Technology posts.

General recruitment asks for administration experience or the relevant qualifications (i.e. five GCSE's or equivalent at grade C or above including English language) for admin grades or 2 A levels (and English language GCSE) for executive grades.

My Department uses competence and job specification based recruitment which assesses candidates against the criteria in both the application form and at interview.

In our Department, all appointees to the Senior Civil Service attend a full day assessment centre during which they undertake a two-hour written exercise. In this exercise, candidates are given a mixture of word-based evidence and numerical data to analyse and evaluate, and are assessed in relation to their ability to build a constructive argument from the data provided.

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