HC Deb 12 June 1995 vol 261 c386W
Mr. Battle

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment (1) what training is provided for disability employment advisers and special needs careers advisers to enable them to advise appropriately people with epilepsy about employment and training; [27764]

(2) what training welfare rights officers receive to enable them to advise appropriately people with epilepsy about welfare benefits to which they are entitled. [27765]

Miss Widdecombe

The training currently provided by the Employment Service for disability employment advisers covers a wide range of disabilities, including epilepsy. From July this year, the training will be enhanced. Training will continue to include information on specific disabilities such a epilepsy.

DEAs, like all ES client advisers, are trained on the full range of benefits available to unemployed jobseekers and to those in employment. Clients can be referred to benefits specialists within jobcentres or the Benefits Agency to assist them in making decisions about work and training opportunities or to ensure that they receive their correct entitlement to benefits. The new DEA training will include material on benefits for clients with all types of disabilities and special needs.

The skills, knowledge and attitudes required of careers officers dealing with young people with special needs are included in the post-graduate diploma in careers guidance. Careers officers must hold this or an equivalent qualification. In addition, there are specific training courses run by higher education establishments in a range of topics relating to special needs.