HC Deb 16 October 1969 vol 788 cc583-4
15. Mr. Blenkinsop

asked the Secretary of State for Employment and Productivity if she will give further consideration to proposals for special training and retraining courses for unemployed young unskilled and older men, as proposed to her Department by the hon. Member for South Shields, in view of the continuing heavy unemployment in the area.

Mr. Walker

Government training facilities are being greatly expanded in the Northern Region, and direct Government grants are also available to assist employers with the cost of training workers for new jobs. I am always ready, however, to consider proposals for new training facilities which would be likely to reduce unemployment.

Mr. Blenkinsop

Is my hon. Friend aware that in South Shields there are more than 400 young people under the age of 24 who are out of work, of whom more than 100 have been out of work for over six months? Is not it necessary to take into account the possibility of using the special facility of the Marine and Technical College for the general training of these young men, most of whom are unskilled?

Mr. Walker

Although industrial training can make an important contribution to helping people find new jobs, I do not think that this is the whole answer to the problem of unemployment in my hon. Friend's constituency. The Northern Region now has 1,062 training places in G.T.C.s, compared with 400 in October 1964, and 309 were unoccupied as recently as 8th September 1969.