HC Deb 22 November 1982 vol 32 cc566-7
5. Mr. Geraint Howells

asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he will take steps to alleviate the level of unemployment in Ceredigion.

Mr. Nicholas Edwards

The Development Board for Rural Wales and other agencies are already taking substantial steps in this regard.

Mr. Howells

Has the Secretary of State any encouraging news for those leaving school before Christmas in the Teifi valley? During the past 10 years, under successive Governments, unemployment has stood at over 20 per cent.

Mr. Edwards

No, but, as was the case last year, an encouraging number of school leavers have obtained employment this year or are being catered for by one of the job creation schemes. I am sure that the hon. Gentleman will welcome the new scheme of grants which the Development Board for Rural Wales has recently announced to assist job creation in the area.

Mr. Hooson

Is my right hon. Friend aware of any comparable area of unemployment in England or Wales that has received the advantage of the recent investment incentive grants announced for mid-Wales?

Mr. Edwards

My hon. Friend is right, and it might be rash to attract the attention of others to that point. Unemployment in mid-Wales is not as high as it is in some other areas, where the incentives are less attractive.

Dr. Roger Thomas

What crumbs of hope and comfort can the Secretary of State offer to people living on both sides of the Teifi valley—only part of which comes under the ingenious and inventive aegis of the DBRW—in relation to reducing unemployment, which already stands at 20 to 25 per cent.?

Mr. Edwards

The hon. Gentleman will be aware that there are other agencies and that the Welsh Development Agency covers the whole of Wales. It has a wide package of measures to attract industry throughout its area of responsibility.

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