§ Mr. Boswell
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will make a statement on(a) the extra demand for and (b) the extra provision of supported employment places in each year since 1997 and projected forward to 2003. 
§ Ms Hodge
[holding answer 28 February 2000]: A report on research conducted by the Institute of Employment Studies into the Supply and Demand for Supported Employment was published in July 1998. A copy is available in the Library.
Some 22,234 Supported Employment places were provided in 1996. In 1997 this rose by 506 places to 22,740 (a 2.2 per cent. increase) and in 1998 by a further 184 places to 22,924 (3 per cent. over 1996). Figures for 1999 are not yet available but for this year and for the period to 2003 I expect numbers to continue to increase.