§ 10. Mr. Barry Jones
asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement regarding the application of the youth training scheme to Wales.
§ Mr. Nicholas Edwards
I understand that the Manpower Services Commission in Wales will be seeking to provide around 25,000 YTS places in 1983–84. It is too early to be precise about the range of places likely to be available but so far the response of employers generally has been encouraging.
§ Mr. Jones
Are the Government considering, as predicted in yesterday's edition of The Sunday Times, a form of military national service training for unemployed school leavers? Does the right hon. Gentleman agree that, overall, the Government are having desperate trouble in the civilian sector in finding sufficient training places? Is it not diabolical that having created the jobs desert for school leavers the Government must now consider having national service to give our unemployed youngsters training?
§ Mr. Edwards
There is no proposal for national service. The Manpower Service Commission, which is responsible for the scheme, is seeking proposals from employers with a view to making a success of it. I am told by the MSC that it hopes to be able to fill the proposed number of vacancies in this scheme for Wales. I am sure that the hon. Gentleman will give Mr. David Schwarz, the chairman of the committee, and his team every support and encouragement in making a success of this most important scheme.
§ Mr. Wigley
Will the right hon. Gentleman confirm that there are now about 37,000 young people in Wales under the age of 20 who are out of work? Does he accept that this is a reflection of the Government's failure to provide work, from whatever scheme, for these people?
§ Mr. Edwards
I am sure that the hon. Gentleman will welcome the scheme in the light of the figure that I have announced. It is designed to deal with the problems of those who are out of work and to improve their training and, therefore, their likely success in fining employment in future.
§ Sir Anthony Meyer
Does my right hon. Friend recall the efforts that I have made at all times to support him from these Benches in the great job that he has been doing as Secretary of State for Wales? Will he give me his assurance that he will not use the authority of his office to cover the carefully orchestrated manoeuvre that is designed to remove me from these Benches—
§ Mr. Speaker
Order. The hon. Member for Flint, West (Sir A. Meyer) must resume his seat. He knows very well that this question is about youth training in Wales.