HC Deb 26 February 1958 vol 583 cc355-6
21. Mr. D. Howell

asked the Minister of Labour what action he proposes to take following the figures recently announced by his Department showing that the number of youths under 18 years of age now unemployed in Birmingham is higher than for many years; and how the Government intend to meet the further deterioration of this position that will follow the ending of national service and the increased numbers of young people shortly to leave the city schools and who will be seeking employment.

Mr. Carr

While there has been an increase in the unemployment figures, the number of unfilled vacancies for boys and girls in Birmingham is greater than the number unemployed. I do not anticipate that young people leaving school in Birmingham over the next few years should have difficulty in obtaining employment because of the factors mentioned by the hon. Member.

Mr. Howell

Is the Minister aware that that view is not shared by anyone on either side of industry in Birmingham, and that, in fact, there is considerable alarm that the number of proper training schemes and the like which have been provided are already saturated? Further, is he aware that there are plenty of jobs that are unworthy of young people? Will he tell us whether the Ministry is calculating the effect which the ending of National Service and the release of the school "bulge" will have on industry? How will these young people be absorbed in industry? Is he aware that these are the things that are worrying both sides of industry, and will he look into the matter again?

Mr. Carr

The hon. Member asked about employment, and I have replied about employment prospects. I am concerned that there should be adequate training facilities, which is a very important, but somewhat different, question. As the hon. Member will know, a report has recently been issued on that subject, and industry is now considering it.

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