§ 6. Miss Burton
asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that there is anxiety in Coventry concerning the duration of unemployment, both male and female, that the figure for the quarter ended in June was 244 men and 63 women out of work for more than six months, and that these had increased, respectively, to 332 and 86 in the quarter ended September; and what steps he proposes to take to deal with this problem.
§ Miss Burton
Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that the position is getting worse and that his officers are not meeting with any success? Does he realise that for the past two quarters, the figure has increased and there is every indication it will get still greater? Does not the hon. Gentleman feel that the Government should dissociate themselves from the statement made yesterday by the President of the British Employers' Confederation? What hope is there for men and women when we have a statement like that?
§ Miss Burton
The hon. Gentleman is, I think, answering the next Question—we have not got there yet. I am dealing with the duration of unemployment and the figure has been greater, and not less.
§ 7. Miss Burton
asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that a number of young people in Coventry is unable to find work of any kind, that this number includes many who left school last July, and that the position is made worse by the increasing number of men and women also remaining unemployed; and, in view of the fact that many more children will be leaving school in December next, if he will make a statement concerning the employment position for young people in Coventry.
§ Miss Burton
Does the Parliamentary Secretary realise what gravity underlines that statement of his? Is he aware, for example, that the long-term prospects for our school leavers in Coventry—I have this on very good authority—are worse than at any time since the war? Does he appreciate that the number of school leavers is 10 per cent. up on last year and that by 1962 it will be 50 per cent. up? Can the hon. Gentleman hold out any hope for us?
§ Mr. Wood
The hope I would hold out is that at the moment the number of boys unemployed is 59, whereas there are 190 vacancies for them. On the other hand, the serious aspect of the situation is that there are many fewer vacancies for girls. For 72 girls unemployed, there are, unfortunately, only 64 vacancies. Therefore, it is on the girls' side that I feel the most disquiet. It is, however, too early to say whether any pessimism about the December school leavers will prove eventually to be justified. There was a great deal of pessimism about the July school leavers, who in most areas have been able to find jobs.