HC Deb 16 December 1986 vol 107 cc510-1W
18. Mr. Patrick Thompson

asked the Paymaster General if he has any plans to encourage graduates to start their own businesses.

Mr. Trippier

Many graduates possess the skills and aptitudes that are needed to run a business successfully. The Manpower Services Commission runs several programmes to encourage and help graduates and others considering going into business. My right hon. and noble Friend and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education and Science will be meeting a group of university vice-chancellors and polytechnic directors on 27 January to discuss enterprise and higher education.

We also plan to send a leaflet to all undergraduates drawing their attention to the options of self-employment or running their own business when they complete their courses and describing the range of advice and assistance available to them.

58. Mr. Hirst

asked the Paymaster General what is his latest estimate of the number of self-employed in the United Kingdom; how this compares with the number in May 1979; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Trippier

In June 1986 there were an estimated 2,745,000 self-employed in the United Kingdom. This compares with 1,925,000 in June 1979 (estimates are not available for May).

The labour force surveys indicate that the numbers in self-employment have risen continually during the period specified.