HC Deb 06 May 1968 vol 764 cc29-30
42. Mr. Eadie

asked the Secretary of State for Employment and Productivity what estimates to date have been made in relation to shortages of skilled labour in Scotland; and what are the relevant trade descriptions.

Mr. Fernyhough

My Department collects monthly statistics of unemployment and vacancies notified to employment exchanges but unfilled; also, an analysis of unemployment and vacancies by occupation is made. These figures, which cover Scotland, provide information about labour supply and demand on a continuing basis. Shortages of skilled labour in Scotland are at present local rather than general, and their extent varies according to occupation and area.

The regular procedure is currently being supplemented by a special inquiry among firms in Scotland about shortages of skilled workers and technicians in certain occupations.

Mr. Eadie

Is my hon. Friend satisfied that enough publicity is given to some of the information which he has given the House today? Is he aware that there is concern in Scotland on the question of skilled and unskilled labour?

Mr. Fernyhough

Yes, Sir, I am aware of the concern. That is why, in addition to the normal machinery which we have for trying to find out where the shortages are, we have now set up a special inquiry, with which the T.U.C. and the C.B.I. are associated. I am sure that, when we have the information which they will provide, we shall be able to take further steps along the lines my hon. Friend requires.

Mrs. Ewing

Will the special inquiry report on the extent to which emigration causes the shortages, local or other-wise?

Mr. Fernyhough

I very much doubt that, but I hope that those doing the inquiry will note the hon. Lady's question.