§ 4. Mr. Sydney Chapman
asked the Secretary of State for Employment what percentage of the latest analysed monthly figures of unemployed persons are persons within five years of the retirement age; and how their average period of unemployment compares with other age groups.
§ The Minister of State, Department of Employment (Mr. Robert Chichester-Clark)
At 10th January, the latest date for which information is available, 14.6 per cent. of all males and females registered as wholly unemployed in Great Britain were within five years of retirement ages. Their median duration of unemployment was between 26 and 39 weeks, compared with 9–13 weeks for all registered unemployed.
§ Mr. Chapman
I thank my hon. Friend for that reply. Would not he agree that, however many people are unemployed from one month to the next, the nature and causes of unemployment are for ever changing and that this is a particular problem for older people? Is he satisfied that the Department is doing enough research to find out whether there are any short-term solutions which can be found to particular problems in these age categories?
§ Mr. Chichester-Clark
I am never satisfied that enough research is done on any of these subjects. At the same time, it is a fact that there is no disqualification on age grounds for people in this category which would prevent them from 213 going to Government training centres or taking advantage of any other Government training facilities, including the IRU.