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Ex-Service Men

Volume 477: debated on Thursday 6 July 1950

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asked the Minister of Labour what progress has been made in finding employment in Government Departments and private industry for ex-Service men over 40 years of age.

I assume that the hon. Member refers to ex-Regular members of His Majesty's Forces. Discussions are at present taking place over a wide range of industry and commerce with a view to ensuring to ex-Regulars opportunities of employment appropriate to their age, ability and experience. This includes, of course, special emphasis on the older long-service man. These discussions, in which we have the benefit of the advice of the recently appointed Advisory Council, will continue until the whole range of employment has been covered. Although the employment problem of the long-service man is not generally serious at the present time, I would take this opportunity of asking how Members to exert all possible influence to ensure that all employers give special consideration to the older ex-Regulars and particularly to ex-officers. There are not a great many of them and if all employers will play their part the problem can readily be solved.In the Government service a high degree of preference is given to the ex-Regular in the minor grades and there is no discrimination against the man over 40. In most of those classes for which there are competitions there is an age concession for service in the Regular Forces. In the special competitions for ex-Regulars for the executive and clerical classes the upper age limit is 50. The provision of opportunities in Government service for ex-Regulars, especially the older men, is under constant review.