HC Deb 22 October 1991 vol 196 c785
7. Mr. Pawsey

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many people are now employed in those travel-to-work areas situated in or adjacent to Warwickshire; and what was the comparable figure for 1983.

Mr. Jackson

It is difficult to make the precise comparisons sought by my hon. Friend, but using the information which is available there was an increase of employees in employment in the Warwickshire area from 1,064,200 in September 1984 to 1,118,300 in September 1989.

Mr. Pawsey

I thank my hon. Friend for his extremely helpful and interesting reply. Does my hon. Friend agree that it is pleasing that at a time of some unemployment we see the number of jobs growing in and around Warwickshire? Will he join me in congratulating local authorities, such as the Warwickshire county council, the Rugby borough council and the Warwick district council on pursuing an enlightened policy that has attracted business and industry to the county of Warwick, so reducing unemployment and increasing the number of jobs?

Mr. Jackson

I am happy to join my hon. Friend in congratulating those local authorities. I take this opportunity also to pay tribute to the excellent work, together with the local authority, of the Coventry and Warwickshire training and enterprise council under the leadership of Geoffrey Whalen. This year they are spending £.31.28 million of taxpayers money on training and enterprise and are doing a very good job.

Mr. Nellist

Does the Minister accept that unemployed workers in the west midlands, adjacent to Warwickshire, face almost twice the unemployment to vacancy ratio, at 37.6 per cent., as in the remainder of the country? Is not it therefore twice as hard to escape from the dole queue? Was not that position made immeasurably more difficult last week when 1,300 mining jobs in Coventry and Warwickshire were axed by British Coal?

Will the Minister accept a short, sharp message from the miners, their families and others who face redundancy in Coventry and Warwickshire: that the best way to save jobs is to sack the Tory Government?

Mr. Jackson

Of course, we are concerned when there are any large-scale redundancies and the Employment Service stands ready to assist. I shall inquire about what is being done by the Employment Service in the case that the hon. Gentleman mentioned. I know that it is very active in any cases of large-scale redundancies.