HC Deb 15 February 1978 vol 944 cc431-2
16. Mr. Gourlay

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps are being taken to instruct pupils in secondary schools on employee-employer relations and the realities of working life.

Mr. McElhone

A major part of the curriculum development project on "Education for the Industrial Society", which I initiated in April last year, is intended to help secondary school pupils to gain a better understanding of the importance to our economy of good industrial relations.

Mr. Gourlay

Will the Minister give an assurance that the curriculum has been designed to show how potential conflict between management and labour can be prevented and to give pupils an insight into the many reasons for distrust and lack of communication on both sides of industry?

Mr. McElhone

One of the most pleasing aspects of this initiative was the tremendous encouragement from the CBI and the STUC as well as from shop stewards and management personnel. The project is designed to do what my hon. Friend wishes. I recognise that his local authority has been much in the forefront in getting young people to understand what the industrial society is all about.

Mr. Welsh

Given the reality of over 200,000 unemployed in Scotland and the past history of United Kingdom policies towards unemployment in Scotland, will the Minister consider arranging a course to give children instruction on the realities of a non-working life until Scotland can use her own resources to create a full-employment economy?

Mr. McElhone

We all regret the fact that so many people are unemployed, but the latest opinion poll recognises that people will not in future support the Scottish National Party.

Mr. Fairbairn

Will the Minister take note of the fact that if every small business in Scotland employing fewer than 10 people were to take on one more person, another 80,000 people would be employed? Will he consider enlarging the present scheme, which I think concludes at the end of March, not only to special development areas but to the whole of Scotland?

Mr. McElhone

This is not a matter that is within my ministerial responsibility but my right hon. Friend and colleagues are already working on it.

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