§ Mr. Best
asked the Secretary of State for Employment what information he has as to the number of Vietnamese refugees who have come to the United Kingdom for permanent settlement but are unemployed, expressed both numerically and as a percentage of the whole; and what special employment measures there are for such persons.
§ Mr. Alison
1,771 Vietnamese refugees were registered for employment with the Manpower Services Commission on 4 February 1983. This figure does not necessarily include all unemployed Vietnamese refugees, since registration for employment is no longer compulsory. Further information on the employment and unemployment of Vietnamese refugees are given in a report by the Home Office (Research and Planning Paper B), a copy of which is in the Library.
There are special arrangements for the commission's jobcentres to maintain links with voluntary organisations, local authorities, and development organisations engaged in helping Vietnamese refugees to find suitable work or work experience and training. The refugees have been exempted from the normal entry requirements for courses in "English as a second language" developed for ethnic minorities generally by the commission; and a pilot work-related language course is shortly to be introduced specifically for those coming from Vietnam. These special arrangements are in addition to the help provided for Vietnamese refugees through the commission's general programme.