asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will make further arrangements to cater for the high unemployment rate amongst young people in the Langbaurgh region in view of the fact that the youth training scheme will not be available to all those eligible in the area.
There has been no shortage of places in the Langbaurgh area under the present youth training scheme; and young people there will benefit substantially from the expansion of the scheme.
I am grateful to my hon. Friend for the reassurance that, despite the rumours in the area, there will not be a shortfall. The major consideration is, however, about the national average of a 60 per cent. take-up of full-time employment after YTS is completed. In Langbaurgh the figure is about 20 per cent., or even less, despite the hard work of the staff. What encouragement will there be for young people to embark upon YTS for one year if their chance of obtaining full-time employment following that scheme is less than 20 per cent.?
The rumours to which my hon. Friend refers are always regrettable because they lead to a great deal of disillusionment and to uncertainty about whether it is worth going on to the scheme. I am glad that my hon. Friend welcomes the expansion of the scheme and the fact that the number of places provided for in Langbaurgh is larger than the number of projected applicants. Subsequent entry into employment must necessarily depend upon the level of economic activity where the scheme is situated. The scheme's extension to two years has been widely welcomed. The extension will give a higher level of skills and training to those participating in the scheme and will further enhance their employment prospects.