§ 32. Mr. GEORGE HALL
asked the Minister of Labour whether he can give the name of any industry or district in which there is a shortage of skilled workers?
§ Mr. E. BROWN
An adequate reply to this question would demand a close analysis of the general unemployment position impossible in answer to a question. In general, however, the hon. Member will realise that the existence of heavy unemployment among unskilled workers in many trades does not imply that there does not exist a shortage of 946 highly skilled workers in certain branches of certain trades. I cannot by way of question and answer cover the whole ground, but I would cite as an example that shortages of certain classes of skilled workers in both engineering and building trades are reported from various districts.
§ Mr. BROWN
My difficulty has been to give the full answer that I should wish to give to the hon. Member, but there is a long schedule of districts. I will append to the OFFICIAL REPORT a list of certain places, and, if the places with which he is concerned are not included, perhaps he will talk to me about the matter.
§ Sir PERCY HARRIS
Will my right hon. Friend give us a complete schedule of all the areas where there is a real shortage, including London, as it is of great importance to people in London to know where these skilled jobs are?
§ Mr. KIRKWOOD
Can the right hon. Gentleman give us any idea in which district and in which branch of the engineering industry there is a shortage of skilled labour?
§ Mr. KIRKWOOD
Will the right hon. Gentleman be prepared to receive a deputation from the Amalgamated Society of Engineers, representing a quarter of a million organised engineers in this country, which will go to prove to him that there is no such thing as a shortage, and that we can meet any demand for the highest skilled engineers who may be required either in Birmingham or anywhere else?
§ Following is the list referred to:
§ Some of the districts in which shortages are reported are:
- Sheffield, Bradford and other North-East towns—Various skilled grades.
- Manchester—Electric arc welders.
- Bolton—Panel beaters and electric lift erectors.
- Birkenhead—Electric welders (ship).
- Bootle—Iron moulders.
- Chepstow—Platers and pom pom riveters.
- Renfrew—Electric welders.
- West Riding of Yorkshire—Bricklayers.
- Lancashire and many districts of North-West England—Bricklayers.
- South-West England, many places—Bricklayers.
- Midlands—Bricklayers and plasterers.