§ Mr. Winnick
asked the Secretary of State for Employment what steps the Government now intend to take to reduce the registered unemployment level of over 15 per cent. in the Walsall travel-to-work area; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Peter Morrison
[pursuant to his reply, 9 July 1981]: A reduction in unemployment in Walsall, as in the country as a whole, will depend primarily on the ability of firms in the area to produce the goods which people in this country and abroad want to buy at prices that they are prepared to pay. The Government's policies aim to produce the conditions which will help such firms to become competitive and so enable them to create the jobs we all want to see.
Meanwhile the Government's programme of special employment and training measures, which has been expanded for 1981–82, will continue to provide assistance to many workers. For example, almost 9,000 jobs are currently being protected through the temporary short-time working compensation scheme in the Walsall travel-to-work area.