§ Mr. Ashley
asked the Secretary of State for Employment on behalf of how many registered disabled people the £30 a week job introduction allowance has been paid since it was introduced; how much money has been paid out; and if he will make a statement on the operation and effectiveness of the scheme.
§ Mr. John Grant
I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission that 111722W disabled people have been helped by the job introduction scheme by the end of October, resulting in a payment of £6,462 to date. The scheme is operated by the Employment Service Agency's disablement resettlement officers, who can offer a contribution of £30 a week for a six-week period to an employer who has reasonable doubts about engaging a disabled worker whom the disablement resettlement officer considers to be prima facie suitable for the vacancy. It is open to all disabled people, whether registered or not, who have been unemployed for six months.
The scheme was introduced in July of this year for an experimental 12-month period. It is too soon to evaluate its effectiveness but the scheme itself and the low take-up to date will be closely monitored.