§ 24. Mr. Kenneth Lewis
asked the Secretary of State for Employment what progress has been made in the change-over of employment exchanges to jobcentres; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Foot
In the year ended 31st March 1974, 36 jobcentres were opened. By 30th June 1974 this figure will have risen to 47. During the current financial year my Department, working with the Department of the Environment, plans to open about 100 jobcentres, subject to our ability to stay within present estimates. By the end of the decade there will be approximately 800 jobcentres.
The results from the first jobcentres indicate that they are meeting with success and approval by both job seekers and employers. Comparing the first four months of this year with the first four months of last year, and after allowing for differences in the level of economic activity, these jobcentres which had been open for more than six months placed about 50 per cent. more people than the 495W employment offices which they replaced. The greatest increases were recorded amongst women registrants.