§ Mr. Hare
In the first nine months of this year 491,000 boys and girls entered employment—31,000 more than in the same period last year. Of the boys, 98,000, or 38.4 per cent., went into apprenticeship or learnerships. The corresponding figure last year was 87,000 or 36 per cent. This shows an increase of nearly 13 per cent. over last year.
These figures are encouraging and tribute is due to the efforts made by the Industrial Training Council and others to stimulate the expansion of training opportunities. I must emphasise that a still greater expansion will be necessary next year when the number of school leavers will again increase.
§ Mr. Mawby
While we all agree with what my right hon. Friend said, that some progress has been made, may I ask my right hon. Friend whether he does not think that, next year being a really crucial year, we should approach this matter of the bulge not as a problem but rather as an opportunity which will not he repeated? Will he continue to press for as much progress as possible next year?
§ Miss Herbison
Can the Minister say whether the increase of 13 per cent. is evenly divided over the country as a whole? As he said earlier, we in Scotland have a higher rate of unemployment than anywhere in the British Isles. What opportunities will there be for work, particularly for apprenticeships for our young lads, when we have the bulge next year?