§ 13. Mr. Terry Davis
asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will make a statement on the Government's programme for the retraining and employment of the long-term unemployed.
§ Mr. Peter Morrison
The opportunities for all long-term unemployed people are set out in the White Paper "Employment-The Challenge for the Nation". More than 375,000 long-term unemployed people a year will be helped by our expanded community programme and the other employment and training measures.
§ Mr. Davis
Did the Minister not hear the admission by his hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Employment earlier that more than 1,300,000 people have been unemployed for more than 12 months? Will not the community programme cater for less than a third of those people, and will not full-time training decline as a result of the closure of skillcentres such as those at Castle Bromwich and Redditch? Are not the Government unable to cope with unemployment and skill shortages on the scale that they have created?
§ Mr. Morrison
I am sure the hon. Gentleman realises that the number of adults being trained will be doubled and that the number of long-term unemployed on the community programme will be virtually doubled. That is a positive response, which I hope he welcomes.