HC Deb 19 October 1976 vol 917 cc1102-3
7. Mr. Luce

asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many young people between 18 and 21 years of age are unemployed.

Mr. Golding

The precise information requested is not available. On 8th July, when the unemployed register was last analysed by age groups, the figures included 121,886 people aged 18 and 19 and 224,850 aged 20 to 24.

Mr. Luce

In view of those very grim figures, does the Minister agree that the money invested through the Job Creation Programme must be used for long-term purposes—for example, for training young people for productive jobs? What action is the Minister planning to take to evaluate the wide variety of schemes being operated at present in order to ensure the most efficient use of people and resources?

Mr. Golding

We constantly evaluate all these special measures. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State announced on 24th September a wide variety of measures, which we believe will create 160,000 new jobs, training or work experience for young people in the coming 12 months.

Mr. Blenkinsop

I welcome what the Department has done in extending training facilities for young people. However, will the Department keep up its pressure over training and particularly take account of some of the practical recommendations made by the South Shields trade union council, of which my hon. Friend has a copy?

Mr. Golding

Of course we will at all times try to ensure that as many young people as possible receive training. We would particularly ask that the employers and trade unions give as much support as they can to the work experience scheme.

Mr. John Page

In view of the Minister's original answer, has he studied the letter in The Times this morning explaining how an employer in Croydon applied at the employment exchange for a warehouseman? The employment exchange said that four men would be coming along for the job. None came. The fifth man, a visiting Australian, got the job. In view of the unemployment among young people, will the Minister discover whether there are any suitable young people on the list at that exchange, and whether they should have taken the job?

Mr. Golding

This is a matter for the Employment Services Agency, which I am sure will take note of the hon. Gentleman's remarks.