HC Deb 26 June 1979 vol 969 cc141-2W
Mr. Bob Dunn

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what steps he intends to take to deal with the increasing amount of leisure time made available by the increased use of technology; what are the implications for industrial relations; and if he will make known his conclusions.

Mr. Jim Lester

There has been a great deal of speculation about the possibility of large scale unemployment and an increase in leisure time arising out of the application of new technology in British industry. My Department established a study group on microelectronics last July to look into the potential impact of the new technology on employment. The group is considering, amongst other things, the possibility of increased leisure time; the implications for industrial relations; the likelihood of skill shortages; and the need for training and retraining to meet new skill requirements. The group hopes to finalise its report in the next month or so and it is intended that its findings should be made public.