§ 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:
1979 January 51 February 65 March 69 April 7 May — June — July 18 August 34 September 54 October 105 November 261 December 287 1980 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.5W