§ 39. Mr. Morris
asked the Minister of of Labour what was the number of young persons who left school at Easter in the Port Talbot and Glyncorrwg area who have not yet been placed in employment; and to what extent children, who would normally be leaving, are staying at school for lack of suitable employment.
§ Mr. P. Thomas
On 13th June there were 15 out of a total of 183. Young people often think of leaving school but stay on for various reasons, and I cannot say how many went back because no job was available.
§ Mr. Morris
Having regard to the forecast substantial increase of school leavers in the next few years, will the hon. Gentleman consult with the President of the Board of Trade about the provision of suitable factories in the area and, in particular, of apprenticeships which are now like gold in this area?
§ Mr. Thomas
The overall employment situation in the area is extremely satisfactory. I believe it is 1.1 per cent. of the insured population. There is undoubtedly a difficulty in finding employment quickly for school leavers, but I do not expect that there will be any difficulty eventually in giving employment to all the school leavers in the area.
As to the question of additional factories, I believe there is unoccupied factory space at Glyncorrwg, and the Board of Trade has certainly tried to let this factory to a number of industrialists but, unfortunately, so far without success.
Following my hon. Friend's supplementary question, would the Parliamentary Secretary agree that we are now going into the beginning of the high rise in the bulge? Would he further agree that when we consider the apportionment of school leavers who are taking jobs but require apprenticeship for scientific training, the position is very unsatisfactory indeed? Unless we increase the numbers who go into such jobs we may see a rise in the number of boys and girls going into blind-alley occupations.
§ Mr. Thomas
I certainly agree that we need a substantial improvement in the intake of people into trained skills.