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School Leavers

Volume 897: debated on Monday 4 August 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Employment what progress has been made by the Manpower Services Commission in its inquiry into measures to improve employment and training opportunities for school leavers.

I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission that the Training Services Agency published a discussion paper in June—Vocational Preparation for Young People—with its proposals for improving the training of young people. Later this year, the MSC will be able to consider, in the light of reactions to the paper, the proposals it wishes to put forward to the Government. I am arranging for a copy of the TSA paper to be sent to the hon. Member. The MSC also announced on 2nd July special measures to increase training places especially for young people and to safeguard redundant apprentices. Further measures to increase training opportunities for young people were announced by the MSC on 22nd July.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what measures are under consideration to assist school leavers find jobs.

I would refer my right hon. Friend to the replies I gave to his previous Questions on 21st July—[Vol. 896, c. 71–2]—and 29th July—[Vol. 896, c. 433–4]. The main responsibility for helping school leavers to find jobs rests with the careers service of local education authorities, and as announced by my right hon. Friend on 24th July—[Vol. 896, c. 782–2]—funds have been made available for the strengthening of this service.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment (1) what is his estimate of the number of summer school leavers now seeking work in Humberside; and what are their prospects for quick entry into employment;(2) what action he is taking to deal with the problem of unemployment among school leavers in Humberside.

About 12,000 young people in Humberside have left school to seek employment this summer, and of these it is estimated that 7,000 have already obtained offers of employment. The August statistics will show how many are still seeking work, but it is too early to make reliable forecasts about general prospects since the process of settling summer leavers into employment normally extends over the period July to November. The local careers service in Humberside is doing all it can to help them.School leavers in Humberside, as elsewhere, will benefit from the extensions of training facilities recently announced by the Manpower Services Commission. These include the provision of 7,000 extra training places, including first-year apprenticeships to be provided by the industrial training boards. The Engineering ITB has already allocated 50 training places to Humberside, and other boards will be announcing their allocations shortly. Other measures to help young people are receiving urgent consideration, as announced by my right hon. Friend on 24th July.—[Vol. 896, c. 782–3.]

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if the European Social Fund can provide help to alleviate the jobs situation facing school leavers; and what action he now proposes to take.

The Council of Ministers has recently approved a proposal for granting assistance from the European Social Fund to expenditure on the training and resettlement of young people under 25 who are unemployed or seeking work. Special priority will be given to schemes assisting those seeking their first jobs. Once the Council's decision has been published in the Official Journal, I propose to submit applications to the Fund for assistance towards expenditure by the Training Services Agency and the Employment Services Agency on any scheme which meets these requirements.