HC Deb 08 July 1963 vol 680 cc837-8
4. Mr. Prentice

asked the Minister of Labour whether he will take steps to expand the Youth Employment Service so as to provide comprehensive vocational guidance for young people entering employment, and to ensure that it may continue to be available during their first few years at work.

Mr. Hare

The Service already offers vocational guidance and help to all young people up to the age of 18 or over 18 if still at school; and staffing levels are kept under regular review by the Central Youth Employment Executive. I do not think it appropriate to extend the scope of the Service beyond these age limits.

Mr. Prentice

Would the Minister agree that a number of young people try one job and then want to change to another and that they would benefit from advice during the early years of their working life? Should it not be his objective to convert this excellent service into something which provides for longer and more comprehensive training of young people in industry so that it can become a full-scale vocational guidance service?

Mr. Hare

What we want to do now is to improve the quality of the service for school leavers and those under 18 rather than to extend its scope. The hon. Member will realise what a great strain the service is working under, particularly in dealing with the bulge. It is our intention to improve the quality of the whole service; in particular the quality of the vocational guidance given.

Mr. K. Lewis

Will my right hon. Friend look particularly at youth employment liaison between one area and another to improve the links between youth employment officers in areas of high unemployment and those where unemployment is not so high?

Mr. Hare

I think my hon. Friend is right. This is exactly what I have in mind in trying to improve the quality of the existing service.