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Volume 114: debated on Monday 6 April 1987

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asked the Paymaster General how jobcentres define an unemployed building worker: and whether separate records are kept in jobcentres of (a) labourers and (b) craftsmen available for work.

Jobcentres define unemployed building workers as those unemployed jobseekers who use jobcentre services to seek work in construction and allied occupations. Individual records of unemployed building workers are held at the discretion of the local jobcentre manager in those areas where known labour skill shortages exist or where the unemployed job seeker has indicated that he is willing to move. Very many unemployed building workers who are actively seeking jobs both through jobcentres and in other ways are not registered. It would be unlikely that jobcentres would keep a register of unemployed and unskilled labourers as these jobs are generally filled very quickly by the jobcentre self-service section.

asked the Paymaster General how many building trade craftsmen are at present registered with jobcentres; and if he will list them by geographical area and by skill or craft.

The information requested is not available centrally. It could be obtained only by asking all jobcentres to identify and count the number of registrations for building craftsmen from each jobcentre. This would involve disproportionate cost.