asked the Secretary of State for Employment and Productivity (1) what is the total number of persons at present working in sheltered employment;(2) what action is being taken to provide jobs for the 9,020 disabled who are only capable of sheltered employment but who are at present unemployed.
The figure of 9,020 in my Answer of 11th November related to severely disabled people who are regarded as unlikely to obtain employment except under sheltered conditions. However, it is our policy that they should be placed in open employment if possible, under special conditions if necessary, and many of them are. The annual average of such placings is about 2,000.Provision for sheltered employment is made with financial assistance from my Department, nationally by Remploy Ltd. and locally through the agency of local authorities and voluntary bodies. The present total is about 12,500, of whom 7,300 (a record total) are now employed by Remploy Ltd., whose current three-year plan envisages an annual increase of 300 in the severely disabled labour force. Projects currently under discussion with local autorities and voluntary bodies would result in an annual expansion of 200 places over the same period.