HC Deb 21 July 1980 vol 989 cc4-5W
Mr. Richard Wainwright

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what has been the average number of wool textile workers made redundant in each month for the last year, 1979–80, and for each month since January of the current year in the area of South Kirklees; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Jim Lester

I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission that its records of redundancies which were likely to occur in the wool textile industry in the South Kirklees area show that the numbers of employees involved were:

January 51
February 65
March 69
April 7
July 18
August 34
September 54
October 105
November 261
December 287
January 168
February 183
March 32
April 170
May (provisional) 156
June (provisional) 92

These figures are not a comprehensive measure of redundancies and should be treated with caution, for the reasons explained in the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Birmingham, Handsworth (Miss Wright) on 30 June.—[Vol. 987, c. 383–4.]

The Government are naturally concerned about the problems facing the textile industry. We are doing all we can to see that the industry does not suffer from unfair competition by ensuring, for example, that the multi-fibre arrangement is implemented as effectively as possible. Assistance through the temporary short time working compensation scheme will continue to be available to textile firms as an alternative to redundancies.