HC Deb 21 February 1966 vol 725 cc5-6
8. Mr. William Hamilton

asked the Minister of Labour what steps he intends to take to modernise the facilities provided and the techniques used by the employment exchanges, in view of the rapid growth of employment agencies.

Mr. Gunter

The measures I outlined in reply to Questions on 12th April last are being pursued vigorously as part of the National Plan. In addition, an experimental occupational guidance service for adults will begin on 1st March.

Mr. Hamilton

Does my right hon. Friend recognise that the country in general welcomes the proposal he announced to which he has referred, but can he give any indication whether the Government are dealing specifically with the problem of professional, secretarial and clerical people? The very fact that they take advantage of employment agencies indicates their dissatisfaction with current facilities at the employment exchanges.

Mr. Gunter

On the latter part of my hon. Friend's supplementary question, a review is taking place of what is happening in the employment agencies. The National Joint Advisory Council hopes to make a report very shortly on their operation. On the first part of my hon. Friend's supplementary question, we are very anxious indeed to deal with professional and commercial people. One of the tasks before us is to deal with the employment exchanges as almost the last relic of the poor law. Professional and executive offices have been opened in some of our great cities, and we hope to develop this concept further.