HC Deb 10 April 1952 vol 498 cc255-6W
Mr. Isaacs

asked the Minister of Labour what further progress was made in 1951 in the service for resettlement in civil life of ex-Regular members of Her Majesty's Forces by giving them opportunities to enter industry and commerce; and what was the result of the special efforts made on behalf of retired ex-officers.

Sir W. Monckton

Under the guidance of the National Advisory Council on the Relationship between Employment in the Services and Civilian Life, considerable further progress has been made. Special arrangements have been concluded with a number of important industries and services to reserve a proportion of their vacancies for ex-Regulars, and discussions are proceeding with others. Employers and trades unions have continued to co-operate in recognising service skill for civilian employment. Special attention has been given during the year to improving the machinery for advising and assisting the Regular to return to civilian employment, and to developing closer co-operation between the work of the Resettlement Advice Service in the Forces and that of my Department.

These arrangements have given wide opportunities to ex-Regulars to enter industry and commerce in jobs appropriate to their experience and ability, and Regular service men can feel reasonably assured of finding suitable employment on their return to civilian life.

With regard to the second part of the Question, changes in Civil Service recruitment arrangements are being made which will have the effect of extending the opportunities for old ex-Regular officers to secure Civil Service employment, and promises of co-operation in considering favourably the ex-officer have been received from industry and commerce. The resettlement of the ex-officer, however, continues to be more difficult than that of other Service men and the success of the efforts which my Department continues to make must depend to a considerable degree on the officer's willingness to settle in those areas where there is suitable employment and in other respects to adjust himself to the opportunities available.

The number of ex-Regular officers placed by my Department in the year ended 31st January, 1952, was 591. Many more have found work by their own efforts or through other agencies.