Mr Richard Wainwrighit
asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many jobs have been lost through closures and redundancies in the wool textile industry in each month since June in the region of West Yorkshire; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr Jim Lester
I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission that according to its records, which are not comprehensive—they do not, for instance, cover redundancies affecting fewer than 10 people—the number of workers involved in redundancies confirmed as due to occur in the wool textile industry since June 1980 in the region of West Yorkshire was as follows:
Month Total June 677 July 744 August 692 September *263 October *236 * provisional.
The Government are naturally concerned about the difficulties facing the wool textile industry. We will continue to do all we can to protect the industry from any unfair competition, and we are committed to ensuring the strict implementation of the present multi-fibre arrangement. Furthermore, we shall press for a tough successor when the present MFA expires at the end of 1981. Assistance through the temporary short time working compensation scheme, under which the maximum period of support has recently been increased from six to nine months, will continue to be available to wool textile firms as an alternative to redundancies.