§ 25. Mr. Jacques Arnold
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what assessment he has made of the effects of the abolition of the dock labour scheme.
§ Mr. Howard
The industrial relations in the former scheme ports have been transformed; labour productivity 197W has increased; and new business opportunities in and around the ports are booming as a direct result of the abolition of the dock labour scheme in July 1989.
§ 51. Mr. Barry Field
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what assessment has been made so far by his Department of the effect on business at British seaports of the abolition in 1989 of the dock labour scheme.
§ Mr. Howard
The July edition of theEmployment Gazette contained an article, based on assessments carried out in 15 former national dock labour scheme ports, which reviewed developments which had occurred in the first year after the abolition of the scheme. It found that there had been substantial changes in the composition of the labour force; industrial relations in the docks had been transformed; labour was now being utilised much more flexibly, labour productivity had increased markedly; investment in the docks was beginning to increase and new business opportunities in and around the ports were developing; training was being approached more systematically and health and safety standards were being maintained.