§ Mr. Lee
asked the Secretary of State for Employment what is his estimate of the total of additional employment in the Birmingham area provided during the last 12 months by the work of assembling the International Exhibition Centre; and what is his forecast of the effects on employment in the same area for the ensuing 12 months.
§ Mr. Golding
We estimate that up to 1,000 people were directly involved in the final phase of the construction of the National Exhibition Centre.
RATE OF UNEMPLOYMENT IN THE REGION As a whole Highest rate of unemployment Lowest rate of unemployment (a) (b) (c) Area Rate Area (per cent.) Rate South-East … 4.4 Deal 10.2 Hertford 2.5 East Anglia … 5.1 Swaffham 10.3 Cambridge 3.2 South-West … 6.7 Helston 14.9 Dorchester 3.1 West Midlands … 6.5 Market Drayton 11.4 Evesham 3.7 East Midlands … 5.4 Corby 8.5 Market Harborough 2.5 Yorkshire and Humberside … 6.2 Hemsworth 11.9 Wetherby/Yeadon 3.1 North-West … 7.7 Ormskirk 13.5 Clitheroe 2.8 North … 8.7 Blyth 12.6 Kendal 2.7 Wales … 8.0 Cardigan 13.9 Carmarthen 3.3 Scotland … 7.7 Sanquhar 19.2 Peebles 2.2
Employment in the exhibition industry fluctuates according to the exhibition programme. A recent study carried out by the University of Aston gave an estimate of 2,500 full-time job equivalents on the site and we consider this the best available estimate. As the exhibition programme develops, it is expected that there will be an increase in this figure, although it is not possible to estimate what this will be over the next 12 months.
In addition, the economic impact of the centre on the surrounding area will also lead to the creation of new jobs, although it is not possible to make a precise estimate of the likely effects.