Oral Answers to Questions — Employment – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 5th July 1988.

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Photo of Mr Peter Hardy Mr Peter Hardy , Wentworth 12:00 am, 5th July 1988

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what proportion of young people completing YTS in 1987 in the Rotherham-Mexborough travel-to-work area secured full-time employment.

Photo of Mr John Lee Mr John Lee , Pendle

The information is not available in the form requested. However, the latest results from the Training Commission's complete, 100 per cent. follow-up survey of YTS leavers show that, of those young people who completed their YTS schemes in the Sheffield, Rotherham and Doncaster local authority districts, between April 1986 and December 1987, just over half—54 per cent—were in full-time employment.

Photo of Mr Peter Hardy Mr Peter Hardy , Wentworth

That is bad enough, but it seems better than the reality on the ground. Does the Minister accept that the lack of opportunity for the young people in our travel-to-work area, particularly in the Dearne valley, is deplorable and utterly disgraceful? Does he accept that in the second half of 1988 it is outrageous that three quarters of our YTS leavers of 1987 still lack full-time employment?

Photo of Mr John Lee Mr John Lee , Pendle

I certainly accept that the employment situation in the hon. Gentleman's constituency and surrounding areas is more difficult than in other parts of the country, but, even in that area, unemployment has come down from 21·2 per cent. in May 1987 to 18·8 per cent. in May 1988. As the hon. Gentleman knows, my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister recently set out a whole range of measures to help employment in the area, including urban programme grants, derelict land grants and funding from the European Community. The regional directors of the Departments of Employment, of the Environment and of Trade and Industry are working closely together to try to improve the situation. It is improving.

Photo of Mr Irvine Patnick Mr Irvine Patnick , Sheffield, Hallam

Is my hon. Friend aware of Sheffield city council's decision not to implement the adult training scheme? What effect will that have on young people, and what can be done to ensure that those who want training obtain it, despite Sheffield city council's inaction?

Photo of Mr John Lee Mr John Lee , Pendle

The decision by the Sheffield authority is deplorable and can only harm those who need training to give them employment opportunities.

Photo of Mr Peter Hardy Mr Peter Hardy , Wentworth

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. In view of the grossly unsatisfactory answer from the Minister, I beg to give notice that I shall seek to raise the matter on the Adjournment at the earliest opportunity.