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Civil Service recruitment code must address imbalance at senior grades

30 March, 2004


Sinn Fein Spokesperson on Equality and Human Rights, South Down MLA Caitríona Ruane has said that a new civil service recruitment code must address the gender and background imbalance at senior grades.

Ms Ruane said:

"I welcome the consultation on the recruitment code for civil servants. However it will adjudged to be a failure unless it addresses the fundamental problem of recruitment at senior grades.

"The figures speak for themselves. Of 51 appointments to senior civil service grades in the last 3 years only four have been Catholic women and there have been only 13 Catholics appointed in total. This situation is clearly unacceptable.

"This is evidence that considerable barriers remain within the civil service that blocks the advancement of Catholics and Catholic women in particular into the senior civil service grades. This should send out a serious message that there is an urgent need for change in supporting the career advancement of Catholics and Catholic women in particular within the civil service.

"We have had a review of appointments of senior civil servants. We now need to clear evidence of measures that will effectively address this situation. This requires a major sea change in the ethos within the civil service and the appointments process.

"A new civil service recruitment code must address the gender and background imbalance at senior grade. In looking at the general recruitment code of practice it is vital the new code supports rapid change at all levels and particularly at senior levels within the civil service." ENDS

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