22. Mr. R. C. Mitchell
asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many vacancies for skilled building trade workers exist in the South Hampshire area including Southampton and Portsmouth.
§ Mr. Dudley Smith
I shall circulate in the OFFICIAL REPORT an occupational analysis of vacancies for men in the construction industry, both nationally and in South Hampshire. The totals are, respectively, 24, 111 and 709.
§ Mr. Hardy
Since the shortage is serious and seems likely to continue, will the hon. Gentleman urgently ensure that training facilities are properly and fully utilised? Does he agree that the existence of the lump is an aggravation since it discourages apprenticeship? Will he deal with that problem?
§ Mr. Smith
I note what the hon. Gentleman says on the latter point, and the matter is under consideration. As regards training, we have significantly increased the number of training places for construction skills in Government training centres. The total rose from 2,940 a year ago to 3,470 in March 1973. We must do everything possible to fill them because there are regional imbalances in vacancies in the construction industry.
§ Mr. Idris Owen
Is my hon. Friend aware that the situation in the construction industry in terms of labour is so critical that any new project can be staffed only as a result of poaching and that such poaching is being carried out at a rate far in excess of any figures being dealt with in the counter-inflation policy? Does my hon. Friend agree that the situation demands an urgent crash programme of training for a period of years to bring forward apprentices to cope with the situation?
§ Mr. Smith
These are matters which we have to have under consideration. Ministers in my Department and also 975 Ministers in the Department of the Environment are studying means of stepping up the supply of skilled construction labour. It is important that there should be adequate numbers of people to fill the expansion that is now taking place in the building industry.
Will the hon. Gentleman now answer the second part of the question put to him by my hon. Friend the Member for Rother Valley (Mr. Hardy)? Is he aware that the practice of the lump is responsible for the serious shortage of skilled building workers because it discourages training? Could he say more on this point?
§ Following is the information:
|Unfilled Vacancies Nationally|
|Carpenters and joiners (construction sites and maintenance)||4,462|
|Electricians (installation and maintenance), premises and ships||1,555|
|Cable jointers and linesmen||25|
|Plumbers, pipe fitters||1,165|
|Heating and ventilating engineering fitters||253|
|Steel benders, bar benders and fixers||97|
|Painters and decorators||1,140|
|Floor and wall tilers, terrazzo workers||126|
|Roofers and slaters||216|
|Asphalt and bitumen road surfacers||23|
|Concrete erectors /assemblers||3|
|Mains and service layers and pipe iointers (gas, water, drainage, oil)||156|
|Unfilled Vacancies Nationally|
|Mechanical plant drivers/operators (earth moving and civil engineering)||378|
|Fork lift and other mechanical truck drivers /operators||24|
|All other occupations||9,063|
|Total vacancies notified in the construction industry||24,111|
|The statistics relate only to notified vacancies remaining unfilled and do not purport to measure the total unsatisfied demand for labour.|
|Unfilled Vacancies in South Hampshire|
|Carpenters and joiners (construction sites and maintenance)||85|
|Electricians (installation and maintenance) premises and ships||48|
|Plumbers, pipe fitters||22|
|Heating and ventilating engineering fitters||12|
|Steel benders, bar benders and fixers||3|
|Painters and decorators||26|
|Floor and wall tilers, terrazzo workers||1|
|Roofers and slaters||16|
|Asphalt and bitumen road surfacers||5|
|Mains and service layers and pipe jointers (gas, water, drainage, oil)||1|
|Mechanical plant drivers/operators (earth moving and civil engineering)||12|
|Fork lift and other mechanical truck drivers/operators||1|
|All other occupations||360|
|Total vacancies in the construction industry||709|
|The statistics relate only to notified vacancies remaining unfilled and do not purport to measure the total unsatisfied demand for labour. They are for the area covered by the Bournemouth, Christchurch, Ringwood, Southampton, Eastleigh, Hythe, Romsey, Wool-ston, Portsmouth, Fareham, Gosport, Havant, Petersfield and Lymington employment exchanges.|