§ Mr. St. John-Stevas
asked the Secretary of State for Employment what measures are being taken by the Government to seek to ensure that young people with the dual disabilities of deafness and mental handicap are able to enter suitable placements upon leaving school; and what information he has as to the facilities which exist in the Chelmsford area.
§ Mr. Alan Clark
The Government are concerned that adequate measures are taken to ensure that all young people with disabilities, including those with the dual disabilities of deafness and mental handicap, are able to enter suitable placements upon leaving school. The young people concerned should be identified by the careers service while still at school and given appropriate guidance and help. Further special assistance can be provided by local education authorities through "bridging courses" at local colleges of education, by voluntary agencies or by the Manpower Services Commission through the youth training scheme, employment rehabilitation centres, sheltered employment and other assistance.
There are bridging courses at Chelmsford and Braintree and there should be adequate suitable provision through the youth training scheme and other facilities. I would be very glad to look further into the adequacy of these provisions if there is concern over particular facilities or individual young people.