HC Deb 27 April 1960 vol 622 cc187-8
10. Mr. Gourlay

asked the Minister of Labour what was the ratio of boys under 18 years, registered as wholly unemployed, to the number of unfilled vacancies in the County of Fife, at the latest available date.

Mr. Heath

On 11th April, there were 23 notified vacancies for every 100 wholly unemployed boys.

Mr. Gourlay

Is the Minister aware that the position which is indicated by these shocking figures was borne out recently in Kirkcaldy, where a local coach-building firm advertised two vacancies for apprentices? The first boy arrived at 5 o'clock in the morning and by 6 a.m. there were 30 boys in the queue waiting to be interviewed. Will the right hon. Gentleman, therefore, press his colleague the President of the Board of Trade to give every possible financial inducement to industry to come to Fife, so that we may have the kind of position which now obtains in Birmingham of over 2,000 jobs for every 100 unemployed boys?

Mr. Heath

On 1st April, my right hon. Friend added the Dunfermline district, including Cowdenbeath and Anstruther, to the list of development districts to provide some of the help for which the hon. Member has asked. I am glad to see that the Transport Commission is recruiting in Dunfermline, and it is expected also that there will be a higher intake of young people into coal mining in the area this year.