School Leavers

Oral Answers to Questions — Wales – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 31st October 1983.

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Photo of Mr Dafydd Wigley Mr Dafydd Wigley Leader and Party President, Plaid Cymru 12:00 am, 31st October 1983

asked the Secretary of State for Wales how many persons left school at the end of the summer term; and, of these, how many are now in (a) full-time permanent employment, (b) full-time education, (c) various youth training or temporary employment schemes and (d) are unemployed.

Photo of Mr John Stradling Thomas Mr John Stradling Thomas , Monmouth

Detailed information covering all school leavers is not available, but I am encouraged by the fact that over 70 per cent. of 16-yearolds eligible to leave school this year have continued in full-time education or in some form of training.

Photo of Mr Dafydd Wigley Mr Dafydd Wigley Leader and Party President, Plaid Cymru

Is it not highly unsatisfactory that the figures are not available, given the significance of the question at this time? If the Welsh Office were doing a proper job in monitoring progress, it should have these figures so as to see the day-by-day, week-by-week picture as it develops. Taking the Minister's point that 70 per cent. have stayed on in full-time education or in special schemes, is there not a need, given the figures, for greater resources to go into full-time education to help the 16 to 18-year-olds, particularly to give them help with apprenticeships and formal training, rather than into the piecemeal training that they get as part of the jobs package that they are receiving at present?

Photo of Mr John Stradling Thomas Mr John Stradling Thomas , Monmouth

Standards in education generally are being maintained and money is being put into the youth training scheme, which has not only work experience built into it but a training element so that those concerned will stand a better chance when they come on to the labour market. Thus, generally and in broad principle, what the hon. Gentleman suggests is being done and achieved.