HC Deb 09 February 1981 vol 998 cc246-7W
Mr. Penhaligon

asked the Secretary of State for Employment which local authorities in areas of high unemployment are eligible to claim grants from the European Community social fund to encourage the hiring of young workers; which local authorities have made use of the scheme and by how much they have benefited; and whether he will estimate the maximum total of grants which might have been claimed by those eligible local authorities under the scheme since its inception.

Mr. Peter Morrison

Under current guidelines for the management of the European Social Fund, priority is given to those schemes to encourage the recruitment of young people which are carried out in regions of high youth unemployment as defined by the European Commission on the basis of a biennial Community-wide labour force survey. Because eligible applications greatly exceed the money available from the fund for this purpose, few schemes outside such areas are likely to secure allocations.

For 1980, the parts of the United Kingdom given such priority were Northern Ireland, Scotland, North and North West England. The Commission has not yet published its list of youth priority regions for 1981, but it seems likely that for the United Kingdom the list will be as before with the addition of Wales. Cleveland county council is the only local authority so far to have secured an allocation specifically for a scheme granting a premium to employers for the engagement of young people. This allocation amounted to £36,463. It is not possible to answer the hon. Member's other question.