§ Mr. Rooker
asked the Secretary of State for Employment what reply he has sent to the Birmingham divisional organiser of the AUEW, following the call from the AUEW for an inquiry into allegations that West Midlands firms are refusing to use the TES.
§ Mr. Golding
I have arranged for a copy of the reply to be sent to the hon. Member. It makes it clear that the Government would wish all employers thinking of declaring redundancies seriously to consider using the scheme, but that employers are free to decide, in the light of individual circumstances, whether to use it or not. The level of take-up under the scheme in the West Midlands compares very favourably with other parts of the country. As at 4th May, 61 applications covering 4,767 workers has been received from West Midlands employers; of these, 35 applications involving 3,454 workers had been approved by that date.