HC Deb 29 October 1980 vol 991 cc276-7W
Mr. Gwilym Roberts

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what study he has made of the high unemployment in population growth areas like the Cannock Chase on the borders of major conurbations; what steps he is taking to reduce unemployment in these areas; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Jim Lester

[pursuant to his reply, 27 October 1980; c. 1351. The Government are very much aware of the unemployment problems of areas such as the Cannock Chase which are situated on the borders of major conurbations. A substantial improvement in the employment situation in the area, however, and indeed in other parts of the country depends to a large extent on an upturn in world trade. It is essential, however, that to take advantage of this, our industry must be at least as efficient as that of our competitors, and this is one of the principal aims of Government policy.

In the meantime, our programme of special employment and training measures will continue to help people in the Cannock Chase area.

Mr. Craigen

asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many persons registering as unemployed at the latest count available were out of work for fewer than five weeks; and if he will give the comparable figures for the same period last year.

Mr. Jim Lester

[pursuant to his reply, 28 October 1980): The precise information requested is not available, but, at 9 October 1980 the provisional number of people registered as unemployed for up to four weeks in the United Kingdom was 342,742. The corresponding figure at 11 October 1979 was 239,185.