HC Deb 01 May 1972 vol 836 cc18-9
24. Mr. Kinnock

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what efforts he is making to ensure an expansion of industrial employment opportunities for young people in Wales.

Mr. Peter Thomas

The major measures already taken or announced by the Government to stimulate general economic growth will help to provide additional employment opportunities for our young people.

Mr. Kinnock

Does the right hon. and learned Gentleman appreciate that, having heard all this before, we want to hear something different? Does he recognise the chronic unemployment situation which is affecting the whole of the working population, in no sector more than among young people? Does he appreciate that it is time that he did more than talk about the problem? Will he take emergency action and institute an emergency youth employment premium to encourage the employment of young people in Wales?

Mr. Thomas

The hon. Gentleman will be glad to know that the number of young people in Wales placed in employment is now rising again. Employment opportunities for young people cannot, of course, be considered in isolation. What matters most of all is the state of the national economy. We have taken massive steps to increase the rate of growth and to sustain that increase.

Mr. John Morris

The Secretary of State keeps talking about "massive steps" and "massive measures ". Does he understand that since his coming to office only five new advance factories have been established in Wales, while one factory after another has remained empty, not only in the remote areas but at first-class sites, such as the Gramic Engineering factory at Port Talbot? When can we expect some fruits from the Government's recent change of heart?

Mr. Thomas

The interest which is being shown by industrialists in Wales has considerably increased lately, and particularly since my right hon. Friend's recently introduced measures.

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