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Special Employment Measures

Volume 979: debated on Tuesday 19 February 1980

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25.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he has yet reached a decision on the future of the special employment measures.

26.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will consider extending the compensation scheme for short-time working beyond 31 March.

30.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what new initiatives he intends to take to deal with growing unemployment.

37.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment whether he has any proposals to extend the youth opportunities programme; and if he will make a statement.

40.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he has yet completed his review of the job release scheme; and if he will make a statement.

41.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what changes he proposes to make in the job release scheme.

48.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will make a statement on the temporary short-time working compensation scheme.

Mr. Jim Lester : Yes. I refer the hon. Member and my hon. Friends to my right hon. Friend's announcement to the House on 14 February.—[Vol. 978, c. 1755–66.] 36. Mr. Haselhurst asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he is satisfied with the work of the special programmes division of the Manpower Services Commission.

Yes. As my right hon. Friend announced on 14 February, we have accepted the Manpower Services Commission's proposals to provide for an increase in the number of young people entering the youth opportunities programme to 250,000 to 260,000 in 1980–81, and for the special temporary employment programme to be continued at the level of 12,000 to 14,000 filled places in special development areas, development areas and designated inner areas.

38.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he is satisfied with the operation of the youth opportunities programme.

Yes. As my right hon. Friend announced on Thursday 14 February, we have accepted the Manpower Services Commission's proposal to provide for an increase in the number of young people entering the programe to 250,000 to 260,000 in 1980–81.—[Vol 978. c. 1755–66].

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what discussions he has had with the organisation Youth Aid about the problems of youth unemployment; and if he will make a statement.

I met representatives of several voluntary organisations including Youth Aid, last July when they came to discuss youth unemployment and the youth opportunities programme with my noble Friend the Minister of State, My noble Friend has also met representatives of Youth Aid on a number of other occasions. An announcement on the special employment measures for 1980–81 was made by my right hon. Friend, on 14 February.—[Vol. 978, c. 1755–66.]

asked the Secretary of State for Employment how successful the youth opportunities programme has been in achieving its two key objectives of ensuring that no young person who leaves school during the current academic year should remain unemployed at Easter without the offer of a suitable place in the programme, and to offer by March a suitable place in the programme to every young person who has been unemployed for over 12 months.

I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission that sound progress has been made towards meeting both this year's undertakings. On 10 January, well over 100,000 unemployed 1979 school leavers had already entered this programme, there remained some 13,000 for whom provision had still to be made.On the same date there were 3,400 young people within the long-term unemployed undertaking group. Although some of these will leave the register for employment, the aim at this stage is to offer, by Easter, a suitable place in the programme to all young people within the group.The present indications are that both undertakings will be discharged completely in most areas and largely met in the few remaining areas where the level of youth unemployment is particularly high.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many people have been unable to join the training opportunities scheme as a result of the reduction in planned expenditure.