HC Deb 13 March 1963 vol 673 cc1327-8
1. Mr. Dempsey

asked the Minister of Labour if he will consult local authorities and other interested bodies, with a view to launching a drive to provide adequate training and employment opportunities for mentally and physically handicapped persons.

The Minister of Labour (Mr. John Hare)

I understand that the hon. Member is concerned about the adequacy of sheltered employment facilities for severely disabled persons. These facilities are provided by Remploy and by a number of local authorities and voluntary bodies, with financial assistance from my Department. Plans are being made for two more workshops in Scotland and the need for additional facilities is kept under review. If the hon. Member will let me have details of any particular problems he has in mind I will certainly consider them.

Mr. Dempsey

Does the right hon. Gentleman agree that there is not the same enthusiasm among local authorities for this type of service as is evident for other services in different parts of the country? Will he appoint someone in his Department to try to raise enthusiasm for this lofty project so that these unfortunate people not only have training facilities but will be able to look forward to a life of employment?

Mr. Hare

I do not disagree with what the hon. Gentleman says, but he knows that two establishments were opened last year at Falkirk and Mother-well. I hope that other local authorities in Scotland will follow that example, where there is a need for additional facilities. I trust that hon. Members on both sides will do all that they can to stimulate local authorities to move in this direction.

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