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Job Placements

Oral Answers to Questions — Northern Ireland – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 27th February 1986.

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Photo of Mr Robert Jones Mr Robert Jones , Hertfordshire West 12:00 am, 27th February 1986

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many placements have been achieved by Northern Ireland job markets so far in 1985–86 compared with the same period in 1984–85.

Photo of Dr Rhodes Boyson Dr Rhodes Boyson , Brent North

By 7 February 1986, job markets in Northern Ireland had placed 27,063 people in employment in the current financial year. This compares with 22,520 during the same period in 1984–85.

Photo of Mr Robert Jones Mr Robert Jones , Hertfordshire West

I take great encouragement from what my hon. Friend has said about the advances over the past 12 months. Is he able to tell the House whether large numbers have moved into self-employment or direct employment, or what trends might be expected?

Photo of Dr Rhodes Boyson Dr Rhodes Boyson , Brent North

I welcome the comments of my hon. Friend. There has been a 20 per cent. increase in placements this year. At the same time, there has been a 13 per cent. increase in vacancies notified. There has been an increase of about 7 per cent. in self-employment over the past three years, raising the total of self-employed from 80,000 to 85,000 in the Province.

Photo of Henry Bellingham Henry Bellingham , North West Norfolk

Does my hon. Friend agree that the best way forward for the job market in Northern Ireland is for all firms to continue working as normal? Does he agree that it would be a tragedy and a disgrace if jobs and orders were put at risk by political strikes?

Photo of Dr Rhodes Boyson Dr Rhodes Boyson , Brent North

I agree entirely with my hon. Friend. If we have a series of political strikes, or any successful political strikes, that could put at risk the delivery of goods to foreign markets, all that we shall be doing is creating unemployment, not only for the present generation, but for those who are now children in school.