HC Deb 26 January 1982 vol 16 cc328-30W
Mr. Arthur Lewis

asked the Secretary of State for Employment (1) how many foreign film actors, actresses and entertainers have been allowed to enter the United Kingdom and take up employment for the latest convenient period;

(2) how many foreign hotel and catering workers have been allowed to enter the United Kingdom to take up employment for the most recent convenient period.

Mr. Waddington

The information as requested is not available. However, provisional figures showing the number of overseas nationals—including both Commonwealth citizens and foreign nationals—whose employment was approved under the work permit scheme during 1980 are as follows:

Number of workers
Hotel and Catering industry
Long-term issues, Great Britain 147
Short-term issues, Great Britain 9
Issues, Nothern Ireland 4
Approvals of student vacational and spare-time employment, Great Britain 706
Performing, audio and visual arts occupations*
Long-term issues, Great Britain 89
Short-term issues, Great Britain 7, 464
*The vast majority of approvals were for work as professional entertainers.

These figures include both permits issued to those who are overseas—some of which do not result in the entry of an overseas worker—and permissions given to those already here in another capacity. Long-term issues are those for an initial period of 11 or 12 months.

The figures do not include overseas trainees for whom permission was given for limited periods of supernumerary employment or employment essential to a course of study. More detailed analyses of approvals under the work permit scheme are not available other than at disproportionate cost.

In addition, 1, 282 residence permits were issued for European Community nationals working in the hotel and catering industry and 84 for those working in the entertainment industry; these figures exclude citizens of the Irish Republic, who do not require residence permits.

A major requirement of the work permit scheme is that in general approval can be given only when there is no suitable member of the resident labour force available for the job in question.

Mr. Robert C. Brown

asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many foreign nationals were granted work permits in the United Kingdom in 1981 by country of origin; and if he will give similar figures for the previous two years.

Mr. Waddington

The figures for 1981 are not yet available. Provisional figures for 1980 of the number of approvals under the work permit scheme—6, 500 long-term and 8, 250 short-term—show a fall overall of almost one-fifth since 1979, and the trend is expected to have continued during 1981. These figures do not include approvals given under the training and work experience scheme.

1970 April 1975 April 1979 April 1981 April
a) Number of people unemployed in Great Britain including school leavers (figures not seasonally adjusted) 593, 495 808, 199 1, 279, 808 2, 426, 271
(b) Number of people covered by special employment and training measures* 1, 514† 248, 020 1, 230, 900
(c) Number of people covered by the Job Release Scheme 22, 200 59, 000

It would not be possible to provide a full analysis by country other than at disproportionate cost. The latest analysis of the main countries covered was published in the July 1980 edition of the Employment Gazette, Volume 88, No. 7, in respect of approvals granted in 1979.