HC Deb 09 August 1972 vol 842 cc1726-7
39. Mr. Sydney Chapman

asked the Minister for the Civil Service what progress has been made in his consideration of ways of increasing the proportion of registered disabled persons employed by the Civil Service.

Mr. Kenneth Baker

Departments have been asked to seek information about the availability of registered disabled persons from the local employment offices and, wherever they can, make it clear in advertisements for staff that registered disabled persons will be considered.

Mr. Chapman

While I am grateful for that reply, may I ask my hon. Friend how many registered disabled people are employed in the Civil Service Department? If it is true that the number has increased, would he say that it would be a good thing to have a target of at least 3 per cent.? Surely it is important that the Civil Service Department should set an example to commercial and industrial organisations in this very important matter.

Mr. Baker

Yes, indeed, there is a target of 3 per cent. both in the public and in the private sector to move towards. I have taken specific action in the last fortnight to improve the numbers of registered disabled persons in the Civil Service. We shall be publishing a booklet upon job opportunities for disabled people in the Civil Service and we shall be issuing instructions to relax the qualifications in respect of disabled people for the appointment of clerical assistants.