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Volume 931: debated on Monday 9 May 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Employment what steps he proposes to take having regard to the 1,600 redundancies announced by C. and A. Parsons and the rate of unemployment on Tyneside.

I am in close consultation with my right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for Industry and for Energy over measures to safeguard employment as far as possible in the power plant manufacturing industry. In considering these measures the Government are of course very much aware of the serious unemployment position on Tyneside.As far as the proposed reduction in the labour force at C. A. Parson's Newcastle plant is concerned I understand that the company hopes to achieve this reduction between August and the end of 1978, and that this is currently the subject of negotiations between the trade unions and the management. The Manpower Services Commission will, of course, do everything possible to help those who may be made redundant find alternative employment or train for other jobs.