§ 6. Mr. Norman Hogg
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the level of youth unemployment in Scotland's new towns; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Allan Stewart
On 14 July 1983, the latest date for which an analysis by age of unemployed claimants is available, a total of 3,838 young people under the age of 20 years were claiming unemployment benefit in the five jobcentre areas which most closely relate to Scotland's new towns. Our extensive programme of special employment and training measures, most notably the youth training scheme, will continue to help those who are not employed.
§ Mr. Hogg
Does not that reply confirm that the Government's economic policies have blighted the lives of the young people of Scotland, particularly those in new towns? What policies will the Government introduce to alleviate unemployment and create real jobs, without resorting to the drivel published by the CBI?
§ Mr. Stewart
The CBI will no doubt take due account of the hon. Gentleman's views. We recognise that rising unemployment has made it increasingly difficult for young people to obtain work. That is why we introduced a comprehensive new youth training scheme in September, which will bring valuable work experience and training opportunities to school leavers in Scotland, whether or not they are in work. In Cumbernauld, about 696 places have been approved under the youth training scheme. The hon. Gentleman would be better employed paying tribute to the employers and others in Cumbernauld who are trying to provide such opportunities for the young.
§ Mr. Hirst
Does my hon. Friend agree that the recent news of a sizeable expansion in Motorola in the new town of East Kilbride confirms and enhances Scotland's position in electronics? Does my hon. Friend agree also that that is the story that we should be shouting from the rooftops, instead of the gloom and doom uttered by Opposition Members?
§ Mr. Stewart
My hon. Friend is absolutely right. The Motorola announcement is one among many, thus demonstrating the importance and expansion of the electronics industry in Scotland. I agree with my hon. Friend that it is sad that all that Opposition Members ever seem able to do is to belittle the real achievements of Scottish workers and managers.