asked the Secretary of State for Energy what action he is taking to increase the number of registered disabled persons employed in his Department; and when he expects to achieve the 3 per cent. target.
When recruiting staff, my Department encourages registered disabled persons to apply, and in the case of clerical vacancies disabled persons may be accepted on the basis of ability to pass a short answer test as an alternative to the possession of GCE qualifications. With current restrictions on recruitment it may take some time to raise the current 1·8 per cent. to the target of 3 per cent., but my Department will take every opportunity to bring this about as soon as possible.