HC Deb 08 August 1940 vol 364 cc374-6
3. Mr. Edmund Harvey

asked the Minister of Labour whether the Central Register can be expanded to comprise scientists and technicians of lower qualifications than those now included, whose services are now frequently needed for work of a more routine nature?

Mr. Bevin

The standard of qualification required for the Central Register is kept under review by the Advisory Committees, representative of the sciences and the professions, with whose assistance the Central Register is operated. Scientists and technicians who are not in employment, and whose qualifications fall below this standard, are included in the supplementary registers which deal with vacancies of the kind to which my hon. Friend refers.

Mr. Harvey

Have there been any recent changes in the qualifications?

Mr. Bevin

No, Sir.

Mr. Robert Gibson

How many scientists and technicians have been placed?

Mr. Bevin

I cannot give the figures.

4. Mr. Harvey

asked the Minister of Labour whether he will ensure that the Central Register is utilised to a greater extent for the purpose of finding appropriate work for the persons registered in it and not merely for finding persons occasionally for particular vacant posts?

Mr. Bevin

I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply which I gave on 18th July to the hon. Member for Dudley (Mr. Joel). I would add that more than 7,000 posts have been filled through the Central Register since the outbreak of war.

Mr. Harvey

Has there been an increase since the right hon. Gentleman undertook his office?

Mr. Bevin

I must have notice of that question.

Mr. Craven-Ellis

How many names are on the Central Register?

Mr. Bevin

I must have notice of that also.

16. Sir Patrick Hannon

asked the Minister of Labour whether he can make a statement on the extent to which his Ministry has taken advantage of offers of national service from business men over military age with experience of business administration, control of labour, and works maintenance; and whether any inspection of the Register is kept in process in order to take advantage of the services of highly-qualified business men?

Mr. Bevin

The Central Register has been able to place into employment on work of national importance over 7,200 persons. The classification of the Register does not correspond with the categories mentioned by my hon. Friend, and I cannot give separate figures for them, but if he will let me know more precisely the classes of candidates he has in mind I will send him such information as is available. The answer to the last part of the Question is in the affirmative, but I would refer my hon. Friend to the statement I made on 27th June last in reply to the hon. and learned Member for East Leicester (Mr. Lyons), in which I explained that the special abilities of many professional and business men are not required for the war industries, and suggested other directions in which their services would be of value.

Sir P. Hannon

Will the right hon. Gentleman give instructions for a review to be made of the great number of applications from capable administrative people in industry who are seeking some form of war employment?

Mr. Bevin

Steps are being taken by the Central Register. They are engaged on the task of improving the arrangement and are actually getting down to the interviews in order to ascertain the qualifications and abilities of the people on the Register, but I must remind the hon. Gentleman that of the people on the Register, 90 per cent, are in employment, and they seek to transfer from that employment to what they assume will be probably a better post somewhere else, and that creates difficulties.

Mr. R. Gibson

How many names are there still on the Central Register?

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