HC Deb 16 February 1982 vol 18 cc96-7W
48. Mr. Arthur Lewis

asked the Secretary of State for Employment whether, pursuant to his answer of 26 January, and in view of the numbers of unemployed among hotel, catering and restaurant workers, and those in the entertainment industry, and so on, he will review the policy of allowing substantial numbers of foreign workers to come to come into the United Kingdom and take such jobs; and if he will take steps to keep records of the numbers of foreign workers in the future and to limit such entries until there is a reduction in the unemployment figures of the indigenous population.

Mr. Waddington

The arrangements for giving approval under the work permit scheme are kept under review. Any changes which prove necessary to protect job opportunities for the resident labour force would be announced to the House. As I said in my reply to the hon. Member on 26 January—[Vol. 16, c. 328–29]—a major requirement of the work permit scheme is that approval can be given only when there is no suitable member of the resident labour force available for the particular job in question. I am satisfied that the records which officials maintain are sufficient to monitor the operation of the scheme.