§ Mr. Wigley
asked the Secretary of State for Employment in what circumstances his Department and the Manpower Services Commission permit school leavers to embark on youth opportunity schemes without first having to register as unemployed for a period of six weeks.
§ Mr. Jim Lester
I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission that only those young people who fall within the following categories may be admitted to the youth opportunities programme before they have been registered as unemployed for six weeks
- (a) disabled young people (whether registered or unregistered)
- (b) young people subject to a care supervision order or those discharged from a borstal or detention centre;
- (c) young people not previously registered for employment who are referred to the careers service or ESD by recognied outreach workers;
- (d) young people who in their last two years of full time education have attended schools, or classes within ordinary schools, explicitly designated for the educationally subnormal (ESN (M) or (S));
- (e) young people, for example from ethnic minorities, who have arrived in this country in the last two years and whose background and/or education is such that they need special help in finding employment.
There is no provision for local discretion in the application of these definitions which must be strictly applied.
However, any school leaver in the fol-satisfied certain numerical criteria apply-lowing areas, which in January 1978 ing to unemployment levels, can be admitted:
- Isle of Sheppey
- Ellesmere Port
In addition young people with less than six weeks' registered unemployment may be admitted to certain courses if they would otherwise not be viable because of unfilled places. This exemption applies strictly to college-linked courses of a predetermined length which, because of the availability of accommodation, have set starting dates.