HC Deb 04 July 1978 vol 953 c223
14. Mr. Tim Smith

asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many school leavers are unemployed.

The Under-Secretary of State for Employment (Mr. John Golding)

At 8th June, 139,254 school leavers aged under 18 years were registered as unemployed in Great Britain.

Mr. Smith

Is the Minister satisfied with progress on the implementation of the youth opportunities programme? In particular, is he satisfied with the quality of projects being approved, or is the Manpower Services Commission concerned only with the quantity of projects in order to reduce the unemployment statistics?

Mr. Golding

The scheme does not come into operation until 1st September, but the Commission is most concerned that the schemes should have quality as well as quantity.

Mr. Stoddart

Does my hon. Friend realise that in towns such as Swindon, which is an extended town with a young population, the problem of unemployed school leavers is acute? What measures does he intend to take to alleviate the problem in such areas?

Mr. Golding

When I visited Swindon, my hon. Friend made clear the concern that he feels for the young unemployed. The Government have placed upon the Manpower Services Commission a commitment that any youngster having left school from Easter who is unable to obtain regular work or training will be offered a place in the youth opportunities scheme by next Easter. That will be the position in Swindon as elsewhere.

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