HC Deb 02 March 1972 vol 832 cc730-1
16. Mr. Ronald Bell

asked the Secretary of State for Employment whether he is satisfied with the progress being made on the restyling of the Professional and Executive Register and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Dudley Smith

Yes, Sir. The target date for the introduction of the restyled service remains January, 1973.

Mr. Bell

Will my hon. Friend say on what basis the restyling is being conducted? Does he agree that at a time when there is considerable unemployment in these categories, it is desirable that facilities should be provided as soon as possible for the placing of unemployed professional and executive people?

Mr. Smith

Yes, Sir. We hope to improve the service in the interim. The restyling plans were put into operation after a searching study under the direction of a business adviser. At the same time we had the results of an independent market survey into employment, recruitment practices and attitudes which indicated that many employers were ready to make much greater use of the restyled service than of the present service. The new approach fulfils a real need and I believe that it will be much appreciated once it gets under way.

Mr. Dalyell

What is the evidence for saying that the employers will make greater use of the service?

Mr. Smith

As I have just told the House, an independent market research survey was conducted which, so far as a judgment can be made, is one of the best in this field.

Mr. Kinnock

What is the Minister doing to attract women to the Professional and Executive Register? If he is having difficulty in this, will he employ his hon. and learned Friend the Member for Buckinghamshire, South (Mr. Ronald Bell) as public relations officer?

Mr. Smith

All suitable applicants will, of course, be considered by our staff. Without going into too much detail and getting out of order, I can tell the hon. Gentleman that there is no sex discrimination in my Department.

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