asked the Minister of Labour how many new jobs would be required for male and female workers in the Bentley area to cope with the closure of the pit, and how many of these jobs are likely to be available on 1st April.
§ Mr. Fernyhough
Although the Bentley colliery is likely to close in April, 1968, the matter is subject to review and no final decision has yet been taken. It is not yet known how many of the present188W labour force of 1,700 will have to seek work outside the coal-mining industry if the colliery does close.
Approved new projects and expansions of existing enterprises should provide additional jobs for 180 males over the next few years according to information provided by the developers. It is not possible to say how many of these will materialise by 1st April.
§ Mr. Kelley
asked the Minister of Labour what retraining facilities will be available to personnel displaced by the closure of Bentley Colliery; at what centres places will be open to applicants from this area; and in what occupations they can be trained.
§ Mr. Fernyhough
I am informed that no final decision has yet been taken to close the Bentley Colliery. If it does close next spring redundant miners who want and are suitable for the accelerated training given at Government Training Centres will be able to receive it either at the Sheffield Centre which is within daily travelling distance, or at one of the other 37 Centres in Great Britain if they are prepared to live in lodgings during the course. The Centre at Sheffield has classes in bricklaying, carpentry, contractors' plant maintenance, heating and ventilating fitting, general fitting, capstan setting/operating, milling setting/operating, motor repairing, and electrical welding. Those not suitable for training for a skill might be helped by the Industrial Rehabilitation Unit at Sheffield, which could assess the type of alternative employment for which they are best suited.