HC Deb 02 November 1959 vol 612 cc648-9
14. Mr. Slater

asked the Minister of Labour how many vacancies there are on the Aycliffe Trading Estate; and what are the categories of employment available.

Mr. Heath

Vacancies notified by employers on the Aycliffe Trading Estate and still unfilled total 44 in a wide variety of industries, of which the most important are construction and engineering for men and cotton textiles for women.

Mr. Slater

Would the right hon. Gentleman not agree that the figure he has given for the Aycliffe Trading Estate is a poor form of assistance for the people in the new town adjacent to the estate and those living outside the new town who depend on the trading estate for employment? Does he not think the time has arrived when consultation should take place between his Department and the Board of Trade to see whether something cannot be done to avoid the situation in which these people find themselves in this part of my constituency?

Mr. Heath

My Department is always in close touch with the Board of Trade and advises the Board about particular areas where the unemployment problem is greatest. If one takes the wider area to which the hon. Member referred, the Darlington Employment Exchange area, which includes the estate, there were 396 vacancies on 7th October and the percentage of unemployment was 1.8 per cent., which was slightly less than the national average.