HC Deb 12 July 1961 vol 644 cc363-4
3. Mr. Swingler

asked the Minister of Labour for how long his Department has been trying to find suitable workers to fill vacancies at Newcast Foundries Limited, of Newcastle-under-Lyme; and after what period of time he will be prepared to consider an application for labour permits for foreign workers.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Labour (Mr. Alan Green)

There are at present sixteen unfilled vacancies with this firm which were notified to the employment exchange on 18th May. We are now prepared to consider an application from the firm to employ suitably qualified foreign workers.

Mr. Swingler

While thanking the Parliamentary Secretary very much for the good work he has achieved so rapidly in adopting a more reasonable attitude to these applications, may I ask if he will comment on the fact that so much difficulty is being found by his Department, in view of the unemployment that exists, in trying to meet the demands from this firm for workers in the foundries?

Mr. Green

Naturally, we seek to fill vacancies wherever possible locally. The vacancies are circulated in addition, of course, to other employment exchanges but there is difficulty in filling these places as there is a shortage of lodging accommodation, as I expect the hon. Member quite understands. It takes perhaps a fortnight to establish the fact that there are no home citizens available to fill these jobs. It seldom, if ever, takes more than a month, and, as soon as that has been established, we consider applications to employ foreign labour.