I appreciate that no one has done more to find employment for the boys and girls concerned than the local youth employment officer, but does the hon. Member realise that there are 150 boys and girls still without a job in Jarrow and that over the last twelve months it has averaged about 200? Since the hon. Member is hopeful that the majority will obtain employment shortly, does he think he will be more successful in the next six months than he has been in the past six months?
Out of the 450 boys and girls who left school at Easter only five boys were still registered for first employment on 13th July. That shows a pretty considerable success in placing. As to the future possibilities, some of the boys in the number that he mentioned have only just left the technical college and have registered immediately. A local engineering firm will probably be taking about 50 boys. We have had about 20 boys' vacancies notified since the figures were published, and, on the whole, the position in respect of girls is reasonably good. We are therefore justified in saying that the prospects are reasonable.
How can the hon. Gentleman say that the figures are reasonably good when he compares what has obtained in my constituency over the last six months with what obtains in respect of national employment? In my constituency the rate of unemployment among boys and girls is considerably higher than the national average. We want to see our boys and girls given the same facilities as those which boys and girls in other parts of the country are enjoying.
I can only say that the position in the hon. Member's area has improved. I take note of what he says, but we must not forget the improvement. The prospects are very much better than they have been for some time.