HC Deb 06 June 1972 vol 838 c228
20. Mrs. Renée Short

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what action he is taking to assist young school leavers in Wolverhampton in obtaining jobs and to provide them with training for employment when they leave school in July.

Mr. Chichester-Clark

About 2,000 young people will be leaving school next July in Wolverhampton and careers officers are doing all they can to help them find jobs. It is as yet too early to say what special action, if any, to provide additional training opportunities will be necessary.

Mrs. Short

Is the hon. Gentleman, despite his complacency, aware that in addition to the 2,000 school leavers in July, we have 273 school leavers who are still looking for jobs, and 73 of them left school last year and have never had a job? Is it not time that the hon. Gentleman put this complacency on one side and did something to help young people in the West Midlands who are looking for jobs and who look in vain to the Government for help?

Mr. Chichester-Clark

It is particularly encouraging that unemployment among young people other than school leavers has fallen since April and, indeed, the position is very much better. The main problem is not with school leavers but with the placing of the less-qualified 16-to-17-year-olds who have had one or more jobs and who are unemployed. This problem is being studied by a working party of the National Youth Employment Council. There has already today been a suggestion of too much talking down. I hope that the hon. Lady will not disparage too much the improvement which has been made among school leavers, because unemployment among school leavers in her area fell by nearly 60 per cent. between April and May.

Forward to