HC Deb 11 March 1997 vol 292 cc141-2W
Mr. Hall

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the private employment agencies used by his Department and its agencies in each of the last three years for which figures are available, indicating(a) the names of the agencies, (b) the numbers employed by the agencies in work for his Department, (c) the total cost to his Department of using employment agencies and the median cost paid to the agency per person recruited and (d) the average length of contract for persons recruited via such agencies. [16178]

Mrs. Angela Knight

The Treasury does not use private employment agencies for the recruitment of permanent staff. In the last three years, it has used only the Recruitment and Assessment Agency. However, it does use Brook Street Bureau plc and Excel Recruitment Ltd. to provide emergency secretarial cover on anad hoc basis—and also Employment Services to recruit administrative staff on a casual basis.

The responses for the Department's agencies are given below.

HM Customs and Excise and Inland Revenue

As the recruitment of staff has been delegated to local budget holders the information requested is not readily available.

Royal Mint

In 1996 the Royal Mint used two agencies. The answers to the specific points are given below.

  1. (a) NBS consultants
  2. (b) 1
  3. (c) £14,000
  4. (d) Permanent
  5. (a)Office Angels
  6. (b)1
  7. (c)£3,000
  8. (d)Permanent

In 1995, the Royal Mint also used the following agency to employ a casual for six months: Hays Accountancy Personnel—cost £916.


Paymaster has not used private employment agencies during the past three years.

Office for National Statistics

The ONS was formed on 1 April 1996 following the merger of the Central Statistical Office—a Chancellor's Department—and the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys—formerly the responsibility of the Secretary of State for Health. The CSO assumed responsibility for part of the former Employment Department in July 1995. The answer refers only to the former CSO part of the ONS.

The CSO used private employment agencies to provide short-term only temporary cover, usually for secretarial staff and messengers. The number of such staff employed is not readily available, nor the cost to CSO. The usual period of employment was about two weeks.

The private employment agencies used for the employment of temporary staff were: Josephine Sammons Ltd., Adecco Alfred Marks and Meridian.

The Recruitment and Assessment Agency was used to assist in recruitment when it was a Government agency. Its successor, Capita, was similarly used in November—December 1996 for an executive officer recruitment scheme. The total cost was £14,733.32. The median cost per person recruited was £998.75. All 13 recruits were offered initial one-year contracts, with the possibility of subsequent permanent status.

Valuation Office

The following is all the information available from the Valuation Office's new financial system. The system holds information relating to payments made on invoices but does not hold the detail necessary to ascertain the answers to parts (b) and (d) of the question.

  1. (a) The agencies used by the VA are:
    • Brook Street Bureau
    • Back-up Training and Personnel
    • Blue Arrow Personnel
    • Susan Hamilton Personnel
    • Michael Page UK Ltd.
    • Reed Staffing Services
    • The Capita Group PLC
    • Manpower PLC
    • Kelly Services (UK)
    • Adecco Alfred Marks.
  2. (c) Figures are only available from the NFS for this financial year—1 April 1996 to date: £66,280.82.

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