Skip to main content

Jobs (Losses And Creation)

Volume 986: debated on Monday 16 June 1980

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment (1) if he will publish the job loss figures over the last 12 months, for the various regions of England and Wales;(2) what has been the number of new jobs created over the last 12 months in the various regions of England and Wales.

[pursuant to his reply, 13 June 1980, c. 251]: Precise information about job gains and losses is not available, but an indication of the net change can be seen by comparing the level of the estimate of employees in employment at different dates.The following table gives the provisional numbers of employees in employment for the standard regions of England and for Wales at December 1978 and December 1979, the latest date for which quarterly estimates are available.

[pursuant to his reply, 13 June 1980, c. 579]: I am concerned by recent reports which suggest that industry's needs for these skills are not being met fully. Training is primarily the responsibility of industry, but the Manpower Services Commission has maintained and expanded its programmes to supplement industry's efforts to ease critical shortages of computer skills, in particular through the training opportunities scheme and the "threshold" scheme. In addition, it is aiming through the training for skills programme to stimulate companies to train adequately to meet their own needs in such skills.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many computer programmers and analysts were in employment at the latest convenient date ; and how this compares with the figures for each year since 1970.

[pursuant to his reply, 13 June 1980, c. 319]: I regret that the information is not available. My Department's employment estimates are analysed by industry but not comprehensively by occupation.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many vacancies there were for computer programmers and analysts at the latest convenient date ; and how this compares with the figures for each year since 1970.

[pursuant to his reply, 13 June 1980, c. 319]: The following table gives the numbers of notified vacancies remaining unfilled at employment offices in Great Britain for computer programmers and systems analysts at North each year from 1973. Comparable information is not available for earlier years. Vacancies notified to employment offices are estimated to be about one-third of all vacancies in the economy as a whole.

March 1973791
March 19741,103
March 1975845
March 1976541
March 1977631
March 1978406
March 1979374
March 1980390

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what training programmes his Department runs for computer programmers and analysts; how many people are currently being so trained ; and what plans there are to increase the numbers being trained and the programmes being run.

[pursuant to his reply, 13 June 1980, c. 319]: I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission that it launched a three-year joint computer occupations training programme in September 1979. This embraces the threshold scheme, which provides opportunities of training in computer operating and basic programming primarily for unemployed young people, and a scheme of grant support for employers prepared to sponsor their employees on specific courses in basic programming, real-time programming and systems analysis.For the 1979–80 training/academic year a total of 1,500 threshold awards and basic programming grants were put on offer. It is not possible to give accurate figures of the numbers currently in training under these schemes, but it is likely that the target of 1,500 operators/programmers trained in the 1979–80 training/academic year will be largely met.Two hundred grants for training in realtime programming were offered to employers in 1979–80. In response to demand a further 50 grants have been made available and it is expected that all will have been allocated by the end of the current training /academic year.There has been a slow response to the offer of 500 grants for training in systems analysis in 1979–80, but wider interest is now arising.In each of the second and third years of the programme (1980–81 and 1981–82) a total of 2,350 threshold awards and basic programming grants will be on offer, together with 250 grants for real-time programming and 200 grants for training in systems analysis.Training for adults in computer programming and systems analysis is also available under the MSC's training opportunities programme (TOPS). In the 1979–80 financial year, 2,183 people completed training under TOPS, 1,899 as programmers and 284 as analysts. The comparable figures for the 1980–81 financial year are estimated at 2,402 and 530 respectively.