HC Deb 26 March 1964 vol 692 cc636-7
14. Commander Kerans

asked the Minister of Education if he will give the estimated numbers of boy and girl school leavers in The Hartlepools at Easter.

The Minister of Education (Sir Edward Boyle)

Information provided by the local education authorities concerned suggests that the number may be about 500, divided roughly equally between boys and girls.

Commander Kerans

Does not my right hon. Friend agree that these figures are higher from time to time and that the number of school leavers is about to increase? Will he consult his right hon. Friends with a view to attracting further industry to the area to take up the slack in employment? We never seem to catch up. We still have 6.3 per cent. unemployment.

Sir E. Boyle

I am not responsible for industry. I recently visited the North-East to discuss the contribution which the education service could make to solving the problem of unemployment among young people. As my hon. and gallant Friend will recall, I included in last year's building programme a technical college for The Hartlepools. I hope that might provide greater opportunities for school leavers.

Mrs. White

Is the right hon. Gentleman satisfied with the arrangements for advising school leavers in areas of this kind, where the normal prospects of employment are not good and where particularly careful advice may be needed to make sure that we do not waste ability?

Sir E. Boyle

I am obliged to the hon. Lady for saying that. This was one of the matters I ventured to discuss on my visit two months ago. I agree that this is a subject which my Department should always be bringing to the attention of the local authorities.

Mr. P. Williams

What work is done by voluntary bodies or the churches to help my right hon. Friend's Department in relation to school leavers?

Sir E. Boyle

I cannot answer that without notice, but my hon. Friend is quite right in suggesting that the churches and voluntary bodies are taking a very great interest in this matter.