§ 25. Mr. Tim Smith
asked the Secretary of State for Employment what proportion of 1977 and 1978 school leavers have been found places in the youth opportunities programme.
§ Mr. Golding
I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission that since the youth opportunities programme started on 1 April 1978 10,128 young people, who had left school in 1977 and had remained unemployed ever since, entered the programme. This represents 1½ per cent. of the original total of 673,000 young people who left school in the academic year 1976–77 and were available for employment. Of the 687,000 1977–78 school leavers 9 per cent. have so far found places in the programme.
§ 28. Mr. Thorne
asked the Secretary of State for Employment what forward plans he has to improve employment prospects for school leavers in Central and West Lancashire.
§ Mr. Golding
The future employment prospects of school leavers everywhere are dependent upon national and local economic factors and upon the willingness of adults to give young people a fair chance.
Central and West Lancashire at present has over 1,000 opportunities for young people in the youth opportunities programme. I expect the area to benefit 101W from the expansion of the youth opportunities programme in 1979 from 80,000 to 100,000–120,000 filled places and of the change of rules governing the youth opportunities programme.