Written Answers. - Handicapped Persons' Employment Schemes.

Tuesday, 10 December 1985

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 362 No. 9

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Mr. Prendergast: Information on Frank Prendergast  Zoom on Frank Prendergast  asked the Minister for Labour if he is aware that mildly handicapped persons are seriously discriminated against in terms of employment opportunities because of intense competition for jobs from more highly qualified people; that this discrimination is compounded by the absence of a special scheme for such persons under the youth employment schemes; if he will introduce such a scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Minister for Labour (Mr. Quinn): Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  The training and placement of handicapped persons is primarily the responsibility of the Minister for Health under whose aegis the National Rehabilitation Board operates. The services provided by the board are complemented by the manpower service agencies including the Youth Employment Agency, National Manpower Service, AnCO and CERT who have worked closely with the National Rehabilitation Board over the years.

The manpower and training schemes for which my Department is responsible endeavour to enhance the prospects of all categories of unemployed persons in obtaining open employment.

The manpower agencies give specific attention to the needs of handicapped persons suitable for placement in open employment and take positive steps to integrate such persons on to their programmes as an aid to eventual placement in open employment. Such measures, however, are undertaken in consultation with the National Rehabilitation Board.

The Youth Employment Agency has assisted a number of programmes for [1689] mentally handicapped persons under its community enterprise programme.

Sponsors of projects under my Department's teamwork programme are encouraged to include a number of disabled persons among their participants. The provision of a scheme confined to handicapped persons would be a matter for the Minister for Health.

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