§ Mr. Viggers
asked the Secretary of State for Employment to what extent the Government guidelines for the employment of disabled people are fulfilled by companies, nationalised industries, local authorities and Government Departments in the Gosport area.
§ Mr. Jim Lester
Guidelines on the employment of disabled people are incorporated in the Manpower Services Commission's literature associated with its "Fit for Work" campaign, which seeks to influence attitudes, policies and practices in all aspects of the employment of disabled people. It is too early yet to assess the impact of the campaign, but the early signs are encouraging.
The campaign was launched by mobile train exhibition in September 1979, which included a visit to Portsmouth on 19 and 20 September. Employers in Gosport were amongst the 570 people, which included over 300 employers and trades unionists, who visited the exhibition in Portsmouth. A programme of visits to employers by disablement resettlement offices, to capitalise on the impact of the train exhibition, is continuing and employers in Gosport, will be among those visited.
The campaign promotes policies which go beyond the statutory requirements of the 3 per cent. quota scheme. However, the latest available quota information, which predates the launch of the campaign, shows that on 1 June 1979 the average level of quota fulfilment amongst employers subject to quota in Gosport was 1.6 per cent., including 1.9 per cent. for Gosport borough council. National average figures for all employers, and all local authorities, were 1.6 per cent. and 1.2 per cent. respectively. Comparable information about nationalised industries and Government Departments, limited to Gosport, is not available.