30/05/2003

Civil Service representative of religious population

NIO Minister Ian Pearson has said that the promotion of equal opportunities within the Northern Ireland Civil Service (NICS) has ensured the number of Protestants and Catholics within the workforce is now more representative of the population.

Mr Pearson was responding to a new report detailing the composition of the NICS workforce, published by the Department of Finance & Personnel’s Equal Opportunities Unit.

The report indicates that of the 29,480 employees in the NICS at 1 January 2002, 54% were Protestant, while 42.5% were Roman Catholic.

Mr Pearson said: “It is pleasing to note that the overall trend continues to be towards an NICS workforce which is increasingly representative of the community it serves.

“The progress made is good news, but there can be no grounds for complacency and there is an ongoing commitment within the Service to tackle under-representation through programmes of affirmative action.

“The report provides evidence and reassurance for all sections of the NICS workforce and external interests that NICS employment policies, practices and procedures continue to have a definite focus on providing and promoting equality of opportunity.”

(MB)

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