HC Deb 01 July 1971 vol 820 cc557-8
6. Mr. Ashley

asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many local authorities have established workshops for the physically handicapped; and how many new projects have been established in the last 10 years.

Mr. Dudley Smith

The figures are 49 and 22 respectively.

Mr. Ashley

Is the Minister aware that between 11,000 and 23,000 people who are capable of sheltered employment are at present out of work and allowing for the fact that one-third of the 11,000 are all unemployable unemployed, the rate is 40 per cent.? Does the Minister not regard that as scandalous? What will he do about it?

Mr. Smith

It is true that there are about 11,000 still registered for sheltered employment, but it is our experience that a high proportion of these are not eventu ally suitable even for sheltered employment. I am glad to tell the hon. Gentleman that our plans for new workshops and Remploy factories over the next five years will meet entirely the current demand.