asked the Minister of Labour to what extent there has been any change since June, 1965, in the number of persons registered as unemployed in skilled engineering and allied occupations in relation to the number of vacancies in such occupations.
In June, 1965, 9,177 men last employed in the engineering and allied group of occupations were registered as wholly unemployed and there were 37,532 notified unfilled vacancies. In December, 1965, the figures were, respectively, 9,800 and 34,404.
In view of the fact that the National Plan states that the reduction in the ratio between vacancies and men in this important skilled trade is a matter of the highest importance if we are to prevent difficulties stretching right the way through the economy, is the Minister satisfied that sufficient is being done to train men for these skills to meet the large excess in vacancies which still exists?
There has been a reduction of about one-seventh in the proportion, which is not sufficient. However, we are satisfied that we are doing all we can to speed up the expansion of Government training centres and to set up training boards. The Training Board for the Engineering Industry is fully apprised of the seriousness of this matter and it can be relied on to deal with it as a matter of urgency and seriousness.