HC Deb 08 July 1963 vol 680 cc838-9
6. Dr. Bray

asked the Minister of Labour how many unemployed boys and girls there now are in the Northern Region; how many there were on the same date last year; and how many have been placed in training schemes established by Her Majesty's Government in the course of the past year.

Mr. Whitelaw

On 10th June, 6,505 boys and girls were unemployed compared with 3,694 a year ago. Since June, 1962, 60 boys have commenced training in first-year apprenticeship courses at Government training centres. I understand that some 960 young people are also attending full-time first year apprenticeship courses or pre-apprenticeship courses at technical colleges in the region. The proportion of boys in the region entering apprenticeships continues to be well above the national average.

Dr. Bray

Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that those places will cope with less than one-third of the rise in unemployment since this time last year? Is he aware that the situation is now so serious that emergency Government training and employment schemes are required? Is he aware that the kind of reply given to my hon. Friend the Member for Blaydon (Mr. Woof) simply will not do? Is he aware that, for example, in Middles rough alone 1,050 school leavers are joining the 600 already unemployed and the average period of unemployment that a young person can expect on Tees-side today is two terms before he gets a job?

Mr. Whitelaw

I do not think the hon. Member would expect me to agree that any answer I make personally will not do, but he has done me the courtesy of writing a letter, asking for a full report on this, and I shall certainly give it to him.

Mr. P. Williams

In view of the large number of young people who will be requiring a job in the near future, will my hon. Friend consider a request—or even an exhortation—to employers and trade unions in the area to combine together to take on supernumary apprentices to deal with this very human problem?

Mr. Whitelaw

My right hon. Friend will be very pleased to respond to that.