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Brighton

Volume 463: debated on Tuesday 22 March 1949

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24.

asked the Minister of Labour what steps he is taking to find employment for the unemployed in Brighton and what opportunities are open to them; also in what trades in Brighton most unemployment is to be found.

The normal machinery of the employment exchange service is available in Brighton to assist unemployed workers to find suitable work. There were 850 vacancies outstanding on 16th March. In addition, I am informed that apart from the many building schemes in preparation in the district, industrial developments are projected which, it is expected, will provide employment for some 1,200 men and women. Unemployment is heaviest amongst general labourers and women hotel workers.

Does the right hon. Gentleman remember that the Postmaster-General stated that he could do nothing to improve the Post Office conditions in Brighton because of the national manpower situation? In view of the large number of unemployed, especially over 45, and the fact that many unemployed come to me and point out that the Employment Exchange are not optimistic about the future, can the right hon. Gentleman look into this matter and do something more about it?

I cannot comment upon the first part of the hon. Gentleman's supplementary question but the situation in Brighton is having active attention. There are 850 vacancies there which we cannot fill because the people are not all suitable for those jobs. The second point which I think Brighton and towns of that character must bear in mind is that if we do get other industries to go there, and those industries require 640 women, it will be difficult for those towns to get the women back into the hotel trade after they have entered other employment.