§ Mr. Redmond
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what action heads of his Department's executive agencies are taking to safeguard the provision of pre-retirement courses; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Sir John Wheeler
Staff in agencies of the Northern Ireland Departments have access to the pre-retirement courses provided by the management development centre—MDC—of the Department of Finance and Personnel, which are supported by the chief executives and which are planned to continue for the foreseeable future.
Agencies of the Northern Ireland Office attend pre-retirement courses provided by its training and development branch; these courses are, and will continue to be, demand-led. Staff also have access to the pre-retirement courses provided by MDC.