Dáil Éireann - Volume 611 - 06 December, 2005

Written Answers. - Jobs for People with Disabilities.

  132. Mr. Cuffe asked the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the reason so many disabled persons do not take part in ordinary FÁS courses in view of the initial decision to mainline the training of disabled persons, [1226] especially when statistical evidence reveals that participants of segregated courses are at a disadvantage in the labour market. [37925/05]

  Mr. Killeen: “Mainstreaming”, as defined in the Report by the Commission for the Status of People with Disabilities, relates to the systematic integration of people with disabilities into the open labour market; by actively creating conditions whereby people with disabilities can compete and operate in the labour market on an equitable basis.

All FÁS vocational training is mainstreamed and people with disabilities have access to the widest possible training provision. This mainstream provision includes FÁS mainline training centre provision for people with disabilities who, with supports, can meet the particular training programme specification. However, because some people with disabilities may require additional training duration, adapted equipment, enhanced programme content and reduced trainer to trainee ratios and-or staff specially qualified in training people with disabilities, FÁS also provides specialist training provision by contracting with some 20 specialist training agencies to provide this type of training.

There is no statistical evidence of which I am aware in relation to training that identifies that trainees who successfully complete their courses and achieve certification are at a disadvantage in the open labour market. This includes all mainstream training whether provided in mainline FÁS training centres or by specialist training providers on their behalf.