HC Deb 08 June 1964 vol 696 cc12-3
9. Mr. Dudley Smith

asked the Minister of Labour if he will make a statement on the placing of Easter school leavers.

Mr. Godber

Of 157,000 Easter school leavers known to the Youth Employment Service, 2,510 or 1.6 per cent. were still registered for first employment on 11th May. There were fewer Easter leavers than had been anticipated and it seems likely that many boys and girls have decided to stay on at school for a further term. We may therefore expect a large number of leavers at the end of the summer term. I am arranging for a circular to be issued advising employers of this so that they can plan their intake of young people accordingly.

Mr. Smith

Would my right hon. Friend agreed that these figures are very much better than expected? How do they compare with the figures available for 1963?

Mr. Godber

I am glad to note that these figures are encouraging; they are a striking improvement. In the comparable month last year, 9,100 school leavers, representing 6.5 per cent. of the output, were still unemployed.

Mr. Prentice

But is the Minister aware that 1963 is a very bad year for making a comparison? Does he realise that in 1963 there was, on average, 50 per cent. more youth unemployment than in 1962 and about three times more youth unemployment than ten years before? While everybody will welcome the improvement, we want to see an improvement compared with what went on before 1963 and not with what went on in 1963.

Mr. Godber

I accept that. Obviously I shall not be satisfied, and I do not suppose anybody else Will be satisfied, until we can get a complete intake. The fact that only 1.6 per cent. of the total number of school leavers, which was fairly substantial, was still unemployed on 11th May, is something with which both sides of the House will be pleased.