HC Deb 25 July 1963 vol 681 cc1754-5
12. Mr. Wainwright

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware of the heavy unemployment which exists amongst the boys and girls registered at the Mexborough and Wombwell youth employment centres; and what his plans are to bring new industries into this area.

Mr. Erroll

I am aware of the unemployment figures for boys and girls in Mexborough and Wombwell given by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour on 15th July. Subject to my overriding obligation to development districts, I am prepared to encourage suitable developments in the area.

Mr. Wainwright

Will the right hon. Gentleman take account of the summer school leavers—the hundreds of boys and girls who will be coming on to the labour market? Does not he realise that this district is in a coal mining area and that boys who are not physically fit to go into the mines have difficulty in getting jobs and may be unemployed? Is he aware that girls are having to travel to Bradford, Huddersfield, Doncaster and Sheffield from the Dearne Valley if they desire a job, and that something ought to be done for South Yorkshire as a whole?

Mr. Erroll

We must accept that in modern conditions an increasing degree of travel to work may be necessary.

Mr. Darling

Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind the long-term problem which is involved, that with growing automation in the coal mining industry the number of youngsters who go into the pits may be reduced, and that something ought to be done to keep pace with the growing automation which may exacerbate the problem?

Mr. Erroll

Automation is only in its very early stages, and automation underground may lead to additional employment on the ground, because of the need to look after the automated equipment and deal with problems which may arise.