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Employment

Volume 485: debated on Thursday 22 March 1951

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Film Technician

1.

asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that the man about whom the hon. And gallant Member for Chelsea wrote to him on 5th March is still unemployed; and what steps he is taking to help this man find employment in his trade of film technician.

When Mr. Lowe was interviewed at London Appointments Office on 21st February he wished to be considered for any suitable employment, not necessarily in the film industry, and he is registered for a trainee executive post. No suitable vacancy has been notified in the short period that has since elapsed.

Does the Minister realise that this man is up against a brick wall because there is, first, a closed shop in the film industry, and, second, he is refused admission to the Association of Cinematograph and Allied Technicians, and, therefore, cannot compete for this employment?

My Ministry does not intervene in agreements between employers and trade unions. Intervention would not, I think, be strictly in accordance with the neutrality which we try to observe in these fields. From the lack of complaints of this type that have come to my knowledge, I should not have thought that it was merely a question of the closed shop. It is quite possible that there are differences between Mr. Lowe and the union. I do not know the background, but I should not have thought, from the general lack of complaints I have had from this industry, that it was a question of a closed shop.

Disabled Persons

2.

asked the Minister of Labour how many disabled men and women were awaiting training at the last available date.

On 19th February, 372 disabled men and women were awaiting allocation to training courses.

Will the Minister arrange that the unions give tickets to these people when they are trained to enable them to practise their trade?

I understand that the unions are willing to do everything in their power to help in this matter.

3.

asked the Minister of Labour by what methods disablement rehabilitation officers are informed of the possibilities and vacancies for the training of disabled men and women at St. Loyes College, Exeter, and Queen Elizabeth's College, Leatherhead.

Disablement rehabilitation officers have been fully informed of the facilities available at these two very important establishments for training the severely disabled, and they are kept informed of current training vacancies by means of regular monthly and other circulars and memoranda.

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that a number of the unemployed disabled men and women he mentions are unaware of the facilities and possibilities of training at these colleges, even though the training would be of great benefit to them? Would he make quite certain that in these cases the D.R.O.'s inform the unemployed disabled of the possibilities there?

I will certainly see that that is done. My impression, from the very high numbers who occupy places available at these two colleges, is that, generally speaking, there is adequate knowledge of the facilities in them; but I will certainly have a look at the point which the hon. Member has raised.

4.

asked the Minister of Labour how many men and women, at present in sheltered employment, have undergone courses of training at St. Loyes College, Exeter, and Queen Elizabeth's College, Leatherhead.

Complete information is not available, but of those sponsored by my Department who have undergone training at St. Loyes College, Exeter, and Queen Elizabeth's College, Leatherhead, including the needlecraft section in London, there are eight (five men and three women) and 11 (10 men and one woman) respectively who are now in sheltered employment in these undertakings.

Would the hon. Gentleman not consider that it might be of great assistance to the Disabled Persons Employment Corporation if some of their employees could have the benefit of the excellent training afforded by the two colleges before they go to Remploy?

There may be people who find their way into such employment without necessarily coming from the Ministry of Labour, but, again, I will look into the point the hon. Gentleman has put to me.