asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many schemes and individual places have been approved by the Manpower Services Commission's programme dealing with youth unemploy- ment (STEP and YOP) in the Walsall area since 1st April; how many of these have been sponsored by: (a) the local authority, (b) firms and (c) voluntary bodies; and if he is satisfied with the response so far.
I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission that the information requested is as follows. Since 1st April 1978, 269 schemes comprising 676 places have been approved under the youth opportunities programme and the special temporary employment programme in the Walsall area up to mid-October. Of these schemes, five have been sponsored by local authorities giving eight places. Private firms have sponsored 228 schemes with 370 places and voluntary bodies have sponsored 11 schemes with 130 places. The area board which is responsible for the management of the special programmes in the Walsall area has assured me that the response is sufficient to meet the needs of unemployed people in the Walsall area.