HC Deb 05 February 1981 vol 998 cc172-3W
Mr. Alton

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will make a statement on unemployment trends on Merseyside and in Liverpool, with particular reference to unemployed young people.

Mr. Peter Morrison

As in many parts of the country, there has been an upward trend in unemployment in Merseyside and Liverpool which has affected both adults and young people.

A reversal of this trend depends largely upon a recovery from the present world recession and on an increase in world trade. It also depends upon our ability to control inflation and improve our international competitive position and this is what the Government's policies aim to do.

In the short term the Government's special employment and training measures are providing assistance to many thousands of workers who might otherwise be unemployed. On 21 November 1980 my right hon. Friend announced a major expansion in our programme of special measures for 1981–82. This will include provision for 440,000 places in the youth opportunities programme—an increase of some 70 per cent. over original plans for the current year. Nearly a fifth of these places will be in the North-West. Merseyside will therefore benefit in a major way from the increase.