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Disabled Persons

Volume 981: debated on Tuesday 18 March 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Employment what steps are being taken to provide employment and training for disabled people.

The Government will continue to support the Manpower Service Commission (MSC) in its efforts to provide the most effective means of helping disabled people into employment. To this end the Commission launched its "Fit for Work" campaign and award scheme last September and is currently reviewing the quota scheme for the employment of disabled people.The Commission provides a range of measures for helping disabled people train for and obtain suitable employment and we have for example recently approved the establishment of the MSC's experimental job introduction scheme (JIS) on a permanent basis. The scheme aims to encourage employers to give certain disabled people a trial period of employment, of normally six weeks, during which they will have the chance to prove their ability to do a particular job. It is applied selectively in cases where, in the judgment of the MSC's disablement resettlement officer, the disabled person is prima facie suitable for the job but the employer has reasonable reservations about his ability to do it satisfactorily. The MSC has monitored usage of the scheme since its introduction in July 1977 and results have proved most encouraging with 3,039 disabled people being placed under the scheme to the end of January 1980.