asked the Secretary of State for Employment if, in view of the fact that the rate of young employed in the Medway area is 15 per cent. as compared with the average figure for the South-East area of 8 per cent., he will ensure the Manpower Services Commission increases the provision for youth opportunities in the Medway area above the 40 per cent. he has announced.
The Government asked the Manpower Services Commission to plan the youth opportunities programme in 1980–81 in such a way as to meet the needs of young people eligible for a place in the programme. In particular the Government reaffirmed their commitment to the two undertakings to young people; that is, to provide all school leavers who cannot find a permanent job with a place in the programme by next Easter and to provide those young people who become unemployed for 12 months with a place in the programme within three months.I have asked the MSC to keep enough places available in the programme to ensure that these undertakings will be met. I am now discussing with the MSC what more can be done to help the young unemployed, and those discussions will naturally take account of the needs of those districts where youth unemployment is a particular problem.