HC Deb 22 May 1997 vol 294 cc110-1W
Mr. Vaz

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many civil servants at each grade within his Department were of Asian origin on 5 May. [243]

Mr. Straw

The information requested is given in the following tables, table 1 relating to the non-prisons Home Office and table 2 relating to the Prison Service. To avoid the possibility of identifying individuals because of low numbers in particular grades, the figures are given by grade level (i.e. main grades plus equivalent specialist grades) and grade levels are amalgamated where necessary.

The computer systems used do not allow for the provision of data on a particular retrospective date and the figures, which have been supplied by the Department's Information Technology units, relate to the position on 12 May (table 1) and 15 May (table 2). The Prison Service information has been supplied from a database which is currently being updated.

Table 1: Number of Civil Servants of Asian origin (excluding prison service) by grade level
Grade level Number
Administrative assistant 147
Administrative officer 189
Executive officer 94
Higher executive officer 18
Senior executive officer and above 8
Total 456

Data extracted on 12 May 1997 (monthly snapshot) for serving, permanent, non-industrial staff.

Table 2: Number of civil servants of Asian origin by grade level: prison service
Grade level Number
Administrative assistant 60
Administrative officer 212
Executive officer 47
Higher executive officer and senior executive officer 22
Grade 7 13
Grade 6 and above 37
Total 391

Data extracted on 15 May 1997 for serving, permanent, non-industrial staff.

Mr. Vaz

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proposals he has to increase the number of employees from ethnic minorities within his Department. [244]

Mr. Straw

I am undertaking a review of the current position. Although measures used in the past have been relatively successful in attracting ethnic minority recruits, I remain concerned about the under-representation of employees from the ethnic minorities, particularly in higher grades.

The measures used up to now include targeting job advertisements where they are most likely to reach prospective ethnic minority applicants, and raising the Department's profile with prospective ethnic minority applicants, for example, by participating in the Windsor Fellowship programme and the National Mentoring Consortium.

As part of the Department's commitment to securing equality of opportunity for all staff, the procedures in the non-prisons Home Office for dealing with complaints of harassment and discrimination are being reviewed. The Prison Service will shortly begin a programme of racial harassment awareness training for all staff.