HC Deb 01 February 1984 vol 53 cc247-8W
28. Mr. Patrick Thompson

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what information he has as to how many firms are working overtime in the footwear industry.

Mr. Trippier

Details are not available of the number of footwear manufacturing companies which are currently working overtime. However, Department of Employment figures show that last September 9,600 industry operatives were working overtime. This represented 22 per cent. of all operatives in the industry, excluding administrative, technical and clerical staff.

29. Mr. Peter Bruinvels

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether he will make a statement on the current state of the footwear industry.

Mr. Trippier

I welcome recent indicators which suggest that the current position of our footwear manufacturing industry is somewhat healthier than for some time.

Latest official figures show a small increase in both the volume of footwear production and exports, while at the same time the level of import penetration has stabilised. Employment levels have risen slightly and a substantial number of operatives are currently working overtime.

Mr. Freeman

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what conclusions the Government have reached on the recent submission of the footwear economic development committee for a new capital investment aid programme for the industry.

Mr. Trippier

I am at present actively discussing the Footwear Economic Development Committee's proposals with my Ministerial colleagues and I expect to be able to announce a decision shortly.