HC Deb 09 December 1971 vol 827 cc1477-8
3. Mr. John Hall

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he is satisfied with the scope and operation of industrial rehabilitation units; if they are working to capacity; and if he will make a statement.

The Under-Secretary of State for Employment (Mr. David Howell)

Although my right hon. Friend is generally satisfied with the scope and operation of the units, he is studying ways in which the industrial rehabilitation service might be improved. On 29th November 92 per cent of the 2,377 places at units were occupied. We plan to increase the number of places during the next few years to about 2,750.

Mr. Hall

In view of the very valuable work done by the units, although I am gratified to hear of the proposed expansion, does my hon. Friend believe that it is sufficient to meet the need? Is it proposed that another unit should be established rather nearer my constituency of Wycombe than Garston Manor?

Mr. Howell

I am grateful for my hon. Friend's recognition of the valuable work of the units. An expansion programme was begun back in 1969. New units have been built at Plymouth, Hanley and Dundee since the beginning of last year and new units will be built at Birmingham, Portsmouth, Preston and East London by the end of 1974–75. I do not know how that works out in relation to my hon. Friend's constituency, but that is the pattern.

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