Young Persons

Oral Answers to Questions — Employment – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 28th July 1981.

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Photo of Mr Richard Alexander Mr Richard Alexander , Newark 12:00 am, 28th July 1981

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will institute a scheme for trained young people who still cannot get employment after qualifying whereby their unemployment benefit is paid to an employer who agrees to take them on for a period.

Photo of Mr James Prior Mr James Prior , Lowestoft

I refer my hon. Friend to the announcement made by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister yesterday. We intend to introduce a subsidy scheme to benefit young people, details of which will be announced as soon as possible.

Photo of Mr Richard Alexander Mr Richard Alexander , Newark

I thank my right hon. Friend for his reply and my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister for her initiatives. Does my right hon. Friend agree that many skilled young people cannot get employment because they do not have experience and employers will not take them on? Would not my suggestion give them that experience? Would it not take them off the dole queues at the same time? Would not that be achieved at no cost to the Exchequer?

Photo of Mr James Prior Mr James Prior , Lowestoft

I think that there would be some cost to the Exchequer. It is a modified form of my hon. Friend's scheme that the Prime Minister announced yesterday. We are giving further consideration to the Layard proposals and the Reading proposals. There are certain disadvantages in the proposals that have to be overcome.

Photo of Dennis Skinner Dennis Skinner Member, Labour Party National Executive Committee

The Prime Minister announced a new Speenhamland system yesterday that turns on a maximum wage of £40 a week, of which the Government will pay £15. What guarantees are there that will prevent an unscrupulous set of employers from setting on young people in receipt of wages of less than £40 a week and at some later stage sacking some adults?

Photo of Mr James Prior Mr James Prior , Lowestoft

The hon. Gentleman had better wait for the details of the scheme.