Redundant Service Personnel

Oral Answers to Questions — Employment – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 28th June 1994.

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Photo of Mr Simon Coombs Mr Simon Coombs , Swindon 12:00 am, 28th June 1994

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what plans he has to visit the Wiltshire training and enterprise council to discuss the reemployment of redundant service personnel.

Photo of Ann Widdecombe Ann Widdecombe , Maidstone

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has no immediate plans to visit Wiltshire training and enterprise council. However, my noble Friend the Under-Secretary of State will meet TEC representatives when he visits the Royal British Legion training centre at Tidworth next month.

Photo of Mr Simon Coombs Mr Simon Coombs , Swindon

I am sure that if my hon. Friend or, indeed, if my right hon. Friend were able to visit the Wiltshire training and enterprise council, they would be made well aware of the excellent job prospects which we now in have in northern Wiltshire. They would also be told of the concern over the future of the business start-up scheme. May I draw, again, to the attention of the House the work of my hon. Friend the Member for Somerton and Frome (Mr. Robinson)? There is considerable concern about future funding prospects under that scheme, especially for the ex-service men, who will be looking for work in the Wiltshire area in the near future. Is there anything more that my hon. Friend can say to give comfort to the TEC and to those potential beneficiaries of the start-up scheme?

Photo of Ann Widdecombe Ann Widdecombe , Maidstone

At the kind invitation of my hon. Friend, I shall be delighted to visit Wiltshire TEC as soon as it is possible to do so. Meanwhile, may I tell him that, within three months of being made redundant, 80 per cent of ex-service personnel are employed or otherwise settled according to their own requirements. Indeed, that is given a high priority. My hon. Friend will also be aware of the help given to redundant service personnel by my Department. I can assure him that that will continue. In response to the question about the business start-up scheme, I can only reassure my hon. Friend that funds have been made available in the single regeneration budget and that all bids will be considered on their merit.

Photo of Mr Greville Janner Mr Greville Janner , Leicester West

When the Minister is considering the re-employment of service personnel, whether at the Wiltshire TEC or anywhere else, does she put that into the overall structure? Has she or the Secretary of State discussed the sacking and redundancies among service personnel with the Secretary of State for Defence? If so, how many service personnel has the Secretary of State for Defence said are likely to be made redundant in the next six months?

Photo of Ann Widdecombe Ann Widdecombe , Maidstone

There is constant contact between my right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for Employment and for Defence. These matters are regularly discussed.