§ Mr. Bence
Although these figures appear to be satisfactory in view of the labour force at present in the shipbuilding industry, will the right hon. Gentleman make inquiries as to the general level of training in different establishments? There is a grave danger 949 —not only in shipbuilding but in engineering also—that there are standards of training which are far too low in the age in which we live? The standard of training of apprenticeships in the shipbuilding and engineering industries must be considerably increased if we are to hold our own in the world in which we live.
§ 31. Mr. Hannan
asked the Minister of Labour what was the ratio of wholly unemployed boys of 18 years and under to the number of notified unfilled vacancies for boys in Glasgow and Birmingham, respectively, at the latest convenient date.
§ Mr. Hannan
Does the Minister really appreciate the significance of these figures? Can we possibly hope that they will jolt the Government out of their complacency? Does not the Minister recognise that in the Midlands there are ten jobs for every boy, whereas in Glasgow apparently there is only about parity? Can he not go further than the insipid statements which are issued from the conferences which he is holding locally and stop the migration of our young people from the North to jobs in the South? Can he not take some jobs up North and give greater job opportunity in the unemployment areas?
§ Mr. Hare
I think the hon. Gentleman knows that I certainly do not have any complacency in this. The Answer I have given shows the great disparity there is. That is why the Government are endeavouring to encourage more and more industry to go to Scotland. It is fair to say that the Government have had considerable success in their efforts.
§ Mr. P. Thomas
The Scottish Engineering Employers' Association 950 informs me that in its member firms there were 11,411 apprentices and 35,642 skilled tradesmen in 1957 and 10,951 and 34,873, respectively, in 1959. These numbers represented 12 per cent. and 39 per cent., respectively, in 1957 and 12 per cent. and 40 per cent., respectively, in 1959 of the manual workers employed by these firms.
§ Mr. Thomas
The prospects for industry in Scotland are now more favourable than they were in 1959. As my right hon. Friend stressed on his recent visit to Scotland, for the industrial expansion already under way Scottish industry needs a substantial increase in the intake of apprentices. I am happy to say that there was an increase in 1960, and we hope that it will continue and even improve.
§ Mr. P. Thomas
The Ministry of Works' census of the industry shows that there were 17,080 apprentices and 53,778 skilled tradesmen in 1957 and 16,368 and 53,279 in 1959. These numbers represented 16 per cent. and 49 per cent., respectively, in 1957 and 16 per cent. and 51 per cent., respectively, in 1959 of the manual workers employed in the industry.
§ 35. Mr. Manuel
asked the Minister of Labour what were the numbers of skilled tradesmen and apprentices, respectively, in the Scottish electrical industry in 1957 and 1959; and what percentages of the total labour force in the industry those numbers represented.
§ Mr. Manuel
Why is the information not available? The Government have been giving similar figures for other industries. Is not the hon. Gentleman 951 aware that it is hoped that the electrical industry will do something in Scotland in the future? It is certainly one of the industries which should be foremost in replacing the old industries which are rapidly passing out in many areas.
§ Mr. Thomas
The figures are not available, for this reason. When we in the Ministry of Labour have figures for the intake of apprentices, we make no distinction between engineering and the manufacture of electrical goods. In the same way, the Scottish Engineering Employers' Association does not make any distinction in its statistics of the total number of apprentices employed between engineering and the manufacture of electrical goods.
§ 36. Mr. Lawson
asked the Minister of Labour what proportion of the total for Great Britain of young men of 20 years of age and under, unemployed for more than six months, was in Scotland and the Midlands, respectively, at the latest convenient date.
§ Mr. Lawson
Does not that reply show how shocking is the contrast between the two areas? Does he not know that the Midlands and Scotland have practically the same size of insured population? Does not this show how great is the job opportunity in the Midlands and how bad it is in Scotland? Will he not do very much more about this than he and his right hon. Friends have done up to the present?
§ Mr. Hare
As the hon. Gentleman knows, we are doing a lot. I repeat, there is absolutely no ground for complacency; it would be absolutely wrong to be complacent. Although this Answer shows that the proportion of unemployed in this category has increased in Scotland, it is also important to remember that the total numbers of this category have fallen from 762 in December, 1959, to 426 in December of last year.
§ Mr. Lawson
But will the right hon. Gentleman compare this position with that in 1957, or back to 1954? He will find the position of these boys has not been improving and that the number of jobs in Scotland has not gone up but has tended to contract?