§ Mr. Waterson
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps her Department is taking to comply with Government policy on age discrimination. 
§ Ms Hewitt
As an equal opportunities employer, my Department regularly monitors its personnel procedures, including by age, to identify any potential discrimination. The Department aims to be fair to everyone and ensure that no eligible job applicant or employee receives less favourable treatment on the grounds of age. For example internal job applicants are not required to give details of their age nor does age appear on staff appraisal reports.
§ Mr. Andrew Turner
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if(a) her Department and (b) its agencies have a policy of not considering applications for employment by persons over a particular age. 
§ Ms Hewitt
The normal age of retirement for staff in my Department is either 60 or 65, depending on the grade held by the individual.
All applications for employment in my Department are considered on their merits, against the criteria and competences required for particular opportunities. New entrants are expected to complete a minimum of between one and three years' service, before they reach their normal age of retirement, to complete a probationary period and to justify the expense of recruitment and initial training.