HC Deb 24 March 1981 vol 1 c295W
27. Mr. Gordon Wilson

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what steps he is considering to alleviate unemployment in those areas above the United Kingdom average.

Mr. Peter Morrison

The successful achievement of the Government's objectives of reducing inflation and helping industry become more competitive provide the best hope of a permament improvement in the employment situation in all parts of the country. Current Government assistance to industry and the special employment measures which give practical help to those affected by unemployment are already concentrated on areas of above average unemployment.

38. Mr. Edward Lyons

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will take new initiatives to reverse the current upward unemployment trend.

Mr. Peter Morrison

My Department's special employment measures, which keep down unemployment and give practical help to those affected by it, will be expanded significantly this year. For example, the youth opportunities programme will now help 440,000 unemployed young people in 1981–82. New initiatives will include the community enterprise programme. But in the longer term only a reduction in inflation and a more competitive and productive industry are likely to provide any assurance of permanent improvement in the employment situation.