asked the Secretary of State for Employment if any study has been made of the reasons why vacancies for jobs in the nationalised industries for such as postmen and railway workers cannot be filled, bearing in mind that 1½ million people are without jobs; whether the unemployed (a) lack the skill to do this work or (b) do not consider the pay adequate; and if he will make a statement.
No special study has been made of the reasons why vacancies for jobs of this kind are hard to fill. I am, however, informed by the Manpower Services Commission that it is initiating a study of hard-to-fill vacancies, with a particular focus on vacancies for jobs without high skill content. From vacancies notified to the Commission's employment service, there does not appear to be strong evidence that lack of skill or inadequate pay are significant deterrents to recruitment to jobs of this kind in nationalised industries.The hon. Member may care to note that the total number of people registered as unemployed in Great Britain was 1,364,907 on 12th October.