HC Deb 22 November 1979 vol 974 cc319-20W
Mr. Peter Bottomley

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will list his Department's responsibilities relating to children and the statutes from which these arise showing which branch or division within his Department and which Minister deals with each of these responsibilities; who is responsible for co-ordinating the various responsibilities relating to children within his Department; and who is responsible for co-ordinating his responsibilities for children with those of other Departments.

Mr. Prior

My Department is responsible to Parliament for the establishment and working of the careers service pro- vided by local authorities in England. This responsibility arises from the Employment and Training Act 1973, and is discharged through the manpower general division, careers service branch of my Department. The Minister responsible is my noble Friend the Lord Gowrie, or in this House my hon. Friend the Member for Beeston (Mr. Lester). Responsibility for co-ordinating my Department's responsibilities relating to the careers service, both within the Department and with other Departments lies with the head of careers service branch.

My Department is also responsible to Parliament, through the Health and Safety Commission, for legislation forbidding the employment of children in industrial undertakings. This responsibility derives from the Employment of Women, Young Persons and Children Act 1920 and is discharged by the Health and Safety Commission. My hon. and learned Friend the hon. Member for Royal Tunbridge Wells (Mr. Mayhew) has general responsibility for the Health and Safety Commission which is the body responsible for any co-ordination relating to ensuring that children are not employed in industrial undertakings.