HC Deb 01 April 1963 vol 675 cc24-5
37. Mr. Kelley

asked the Minister of Labour how many boys and girls will be leaving school in the Don Valley at Easter, according to the latest information available to the youth employment officer; how many jobs are available for them; and how many boys and girls who left school in 1962 are still not in employment.

Mr. Whitelaw

About 720 boys and girls are expected to leave school at Easter in the Don Valley, including Thorne and Goole. It is not possible to forecast how many jobs will be available, but the Youth Employment Service will make every effort to get them suitable employment as quickly as possible. On 11th March, 100 school leavers out of 2,943 were registered for employment.

Mr. Kelley

Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that the Doncaster figures of youth employment compared with the figures of total unemployment in the area are somewhat grave and are actually the worst in the United Kingdom? Should not the Government take some urgent, special steps to deal with this problem in an area where reasonably full employment is in existence? Is the hon. Gentleman further aware that if his advisers have no ideas on how to tackle this problem there are plenty of hon. Members who have ideas about which he may not be aware for tackling it? Does he not know that we are sick and tired of this drift into unemployment and poverty in areas which formerly were fairly reasonably well off? What do the Government intend to do to bring about some improvement in the situation in the Don Valley?

Mr. Whitelaw

I could not accept what the hon. Gentleman says about the position in Doncaster being the worst in Great Britain. I realise, however, that there are some extra difficulties there at the moment. Nevertheless, there are opportunities in the surrounding areas and the figures of placings of the Christmas school leavers are such as to give us encouragement. While progress is slower than it has been in the past, it is, nevertheless, being made.