HC Deb 12 May 1998 vol 312 c58W
Mr. Öpik

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many and what proportion of her Department's appointees to non-departmental public bodies are (i) aged under 25, (ii) aged 25 to 30 and (iii) aged 31 to 35 years. [40734]

Mr. Paul Murphy

The information requested is not available. Dates of birth of appointees were not recorded before 1 July 1996, the date on which the Guidance of the Commissioner for Public Appointments took effect. Details covering the period 1996–97 are available in the Secretary of State's First Annual Report on Public Appointments, copies of which have been placed in the Libraries of the House.

The Government are committed to encouraging a wide range of candidates, including young people, to apply for positions on public bodies. This includes encouraging more young people to put themselves forward as potential candidates for public appointments. All appointments are made on merit, and candidates must demonstrate that they have the necessary skills and experience to match the needs of the public body on which they wish to serve.