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Disability

Volume 229: debated on Tuesday 27 July 1993

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To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what steps his Department have taken against training and enterprise councils who have been found to be not making available suitable high quality training for people assessed to have a disability.

Each training and enterprise council sets out in its business plan its proposals for the year ahead including the help it can give to people with disabilities. Regional directors regularly review the performance of each TEC to ensure that it delivers the agreed plan. There are a range off sanctions which the Department can bring to bear.

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many disabled directors there are on each training and enterprise council board; and what percentage of the TEC boards this represents.

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many disabled people in the United Kingdom of working age are neither in work nor in training; and what percentage of the disabled population in this age group this represents.

The labour force survey—LFS—asks people of working age if they currently have any health problem or disability which limits the kind of paid work they can do. Estimates based on answers to this question will include people with short-term health problems and disabilities as well as those registered as disabled.The latest estimates show that of people in the United Kingdom with such health problems or disabilities, 523,000–10·4 per cent.—were unemployed on the ILO definition.These figures are based on estimates for Great Britain in winter 1992–93 and those for Northern Ireland in spring 1992 and are not seasonally adjusted.

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what percentage of training and enterprise council public meetings were fully accessible for disabled people in (a) 1990–91, (b) 1991–92 and (c) 1992–93.

The information requested is not available. It is a matter for each training and enterprise council to ensure proper access to their annual public meetings.

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what is meant by the term "suitable high quality training" as used in the 1993–94 training and enterprise council operating agreement in relation to the availability of training for people assessed to have a disability.

Suitable high-quality training means training that meets the requirements placed on training and enterprise councils' providers to achieve the standards of approved training organisation status or agreed alternative.From April 1994, new revised arrangements will come into effect covering all TEC products and services. These build on the existing arrangements and the considerable development work undertaken by TECs.

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many disabled employees there are within each training and enterprise council; and what percentage of the work force this represents.

The information requested is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. As an employer, every training and enterprise council is required to satisfy the statutory obligations of the Disabled Persons (Employment) Act 1944.

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what steps are being taken by his Department to measure and compare high quality training for disabled people within and between training and enterprise council areas.

Training and enterprise councils' business plans are examined before approval to ensure that they have included objectives and targets for helping people with disabilities. TECs are required by their contract to provide regular performance statistics relating to the training, and placing, of people with disabilities. The Department's regional contracts managers review TECs' achievements against objectives at regular intervals.Performance reports produced as part of this monitoring process are used to ensure that appropriate action is being taken and that TECs are delivering the agreed plan within the terms of their contract.

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what percentage of training and enterprise council resources are spent on disabled people in each TEC.