§ Mr. Fitzpatrick
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many disabled people have started a rehabilitation programme in the last 12 months; and what is his estimate of the average cost per place on an employment rehabilitation programme. 
§ Mr. Alan Howarth
Responsibility for the subject of the question has been delegated to the Employment Service agency under its Chief Executive. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given.
Letter from Leigh Lewis to Mr. Jim Fitzpatrick, dated 9 February 1998:The Secretary of State for Education and Employment has asked me to reply to your question relating to the number of disabled people who started a rehabilitation programme in the last 12 months, and his estimate of the average cost per place on an employment rehabilitation programme. This is something which falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Employment Service Chief Executive.In the 12 months to December 1997, 14,262 people with disabilities started employment rehabilitation programmes. In the same period, £9,526,000 was spent on the programme.Unfortunately, the Employment Service do not hold information on the average cost per rehabilitation place as this is not a particularly meaningful measure in the context of this programme. This is because employment rehabilitation programmes are individually tailored to the needs of each person. The programme can therefore last a few days or a few weeks, and can be on a part time or full time basis. Whilst the majority of employment rehabilitation programmes are within daily travelling distance, there may also be instances where a period of more costly residential rehabilitation may be necessary.I hope this is helpful.