§ 67. Mr. DAY
asked the Minister of Labour whether he will make a statement giving particulars of what steps His Majesty's Government are taking to ensure that soldiers, sailors, and members of the Air Force are given good employment or opportunities of finding same on their discharge from the Services and their return to civil life?
§ Lieut.-Colonel MUIRHEAD
During the concluding period of their Colour Service in the Army, about 3,000 men each year are given courses of training in occupations in which they are likely to be able to obtain employment on discharge. So far as the Navy is concerned, all ratings in their second period of service have the opportunity of taking a course of training prior to completing their time for pensions. Airmen have opportunities during their service of learning a skilled trade which is of benefit to them in civil life; during their last year of service they are also given facilities for taking educational courses, and obtaining experience in Royal Air Force workshops, which will assist them in obtaining civil employment on discharge. Men from all three Services are registered with the Employment Exchanges before they take their discharge, so that the exchanges may give them every assistance in finding suitable employment. They are also advised to register with the National Association for Employment of Regular Sailors, Soldiers and Airmen, their regimental or other Service Association, the British Legion and other organisations which endeavour to find employment for ex-regulars. The National Association, which has been in existence now for over 50 years, and has done very valuable work in finding employment for ex-regulars, receives grants from the three Service Departments. Vacancies in Government Departments suitable for ex-members of the Forces are reserved for them, the first preference being given to men who served in the Great War. Many of these vacancies occur in the General Post Office. In filling these vacancies, and generally, my Department co-operates closely with the National Association.