HC Deb 05 December 1972 vol 847 cc1089-90
7. Mr. Walter Johnson

asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many school leavers in Derby are still unemployed; and what steps the Government intend to take to alleviate the position.

Mr. Dudley Smith

Sixty-eight school leavers were registered as unemployed in Derby in November. Careers officers are doing all they can to help them and it is expected that most will find work within the next month or two.

Mr. Johnson

Is not the hon. Gentleman aware that his figures do not include, for example, 40 school leavers who are forced to remain at school because no jobs are available for them? In addition, some of the 68 school leavers mentioned by the hon. Gentleman have been without work for periods of up to six months. Is not this a disgrace? Will the Government now take action to alleviate the position? I suggest that the hon. Gentleman should write to industry, not only in Derby but throughout the country, asking it to take on some of these youngsters supernumerary to establishment in order to alleviate the position.

Mr. Smith

The situation is not nearly as bad as the hon. Gentleman makes out. The November total of unemployed school leavers was 39 less than in October. There has been a marked improvement in the employment position of young people in his area. The situation generally in Derby is improving and its unemployment percentage of 3.1 is now below the national average. But of course we shall continue to do what we can to help those young people who are unemployed.