§ Mr. McNamara
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what proposals he has to introduce goals and timetables for the professional and technical grades of the Northern Ireland civil service.
§ Mr. Mates
The professional and technical grades of the Northern Ireland civil service comprise a wide range of occupations many of which require particular skills and specific qualifications. It is not practicable therefore to consider a single goal and timetable in respect of this group of staff as a whole. Nevertheless, the appropriateness and practicability of goals and timetables as an affirmative action measure in respect of the various disciplines which comprise the professional and technical grades of the NICS are presently under consideration and will be the subject of further discussion with the Fair Employment Commission, the Equal Opportunities Commission and the Northern Ireland civil service trade unions.