§ Mr. Hannam
asked the Secretary of State for Employment if there are any plans to alter the number of senior disablement resettlement officer, disablement resettlement officer or assistant disablement resettlement officer posts at any future date.
§ Mr. Jim Lester
[pursuant to his reply, 29 October 1980, c. 225]: The Manpower Services Commission's present plans envisage that as an aid to retaining a less staff-intensive service, and subject to experimentation, those disabled people 426W whose needs are less demanding should be assisted by employment advisers in the general employment service, and that the disablement resettlement officer service should concentrate on those whose needs are greatest. If these experiments are successful, this approach might lead to some reduction in the number of specialised DRO posts.
The commission's plans for its services as a whole in future years will need to reflect the Government's intention to reduce the size of the Civil Service to about. 630,000 by 1984. It is too soon to say how this may affect the number of posts in the disablement resettlement service. I will inform the House if the service to disabled people will be adversely affected.