asked the Minister of Labour how many of the formerly un-established Admiralty employees have secured alternative employment on the Isle of Sheppey, since Her Majesty's Dockyard, Sheerness, was sold; and what is the number at present unemployed.
I regret that the information asked for in the first part of the Question is not available. Nine such persons are registered as unemployed at Sheerness Employment Exchange, out of about 1,000 made redundant by the closure.
Is the Minister aware that the unemployment figures for the whole of registered workers on the Isle of Sheppey is over 8 per cent.? Will he urge his right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade to implement the promise made that if the Associated Motor-Cycle factory did not come to the Isle of Sheppey he would re-schedule the Isle of Sheppey under the Local Employment Act?
I appreciate the concern over the level of unemployment in Sheppey. A number of industrial firms have taken buildings in the former dockyard and are now in occupation, and I understand that there are well over a thousand jobs in prospect from these firms and from the expansion of existing firms. The majority of jobs will be for males.
Is the Minister aware that we have been told that for the past two years and that the jobs have not materialised? Will he please do something about it?
I do not think that the hon. Member heard what I said. I said that I understand that a number of firms are now in occupation. Presumably they will be building up their labour force from now on.