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               |Million tonnes|Days' supply                 

------------------------------------------------------------

United Kingdom |5.6           |105                          

EC             |39.4          |106                          

The International Wheat Council's estimate of world stocks of grain is an aggregate of national figures based on different definitions of marketing years and therefore does not relate to any particular month. The council's latest estimate for world stocks for the end of the 1988-89 crop year is 228 million tonnes or around 60 days' supply.

Horticulture

Mr. Cox : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what policy is followed by his Department to help small horticultural companies sell into the markets of the European Economic Community ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Ryder : The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food backs the export efforts of horticultural companies of all sizes. Small companies can benefit particularly from the help we give for the establishment of co- operatives and from half price plant health services.

My ADAS export technical adviser provides free advice to exporters. Food from Britain, whose establishment costs are met by my Department, develops and promotes export opportunities in the Community, and gives exporters advice and help. It also acts as our agent in the administration of the agricultural and horticultural co-operation scheme, under which we provide non-capital grants towards formation and initial management costs of new marketing co-operatives and capital grants on a range of buildings and equipment. My officials in the horticultural marketing inspectorate provide advice on the Community quality standards which apply to most horticultural produce and issue export certificates free of charge. My Department also provides a number of plant health services for companies selling within the Community, including provision of the necessary phytosanitary certificates ; small exporters are eligibile for a half price concession on these services. My officials also provide for exporters a summary of the plant health requirements of member states, and have set up the voluntary export nursery approval scheme which facilitates the export of high quality produce.

In addition, my Department tries to help horticulturists to respond to specific challenges. They recently held a conference on horticulture and the single European market to promote awareness of the EC Commission's 1992 initiative, and its implications for all aspects of horticultural businesses.

Nuclear Accidents and the Farmer"

Mr. Redmond : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list by location the farmers who have received his Department's leaflet, "Nuclear Accidents and the Farmer" ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Ryder : I refer the hon. Member to the reply that I gave on 20 March 1989 at column 472 to the hon. Member


Column 366

for South Shields (Dr. Clark). Our initial distribution was to holdings in England in the vicinity of nuclear power stations operated by the Central Electricity Generating Board, licensed nuclear sites of British Nuclear Fuels plc and the various nuclear facilities run by the Ministry of Defence, the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority and Amersham International plc. Large numbers of copies have also been distributed at meetings held by my officials and in response to individual requests. Distribution has been carried out principally through my Department's regional organisation and no central record has been maintained. Further copies remain available free of charge on request from any of my Department's regional offices.

EMPLOYMENT

Wages Inspectorate

Mrs. Golding : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what reasons other than at the request of the workers involved for not pursuing arrears of wages underpayment were discovered by the wages inspectorate in the midlands in 1988.

Mr. Nicholls : Specific information could be provided only at disproportionate cost. However, in the small minority of cases where the inspectorate does not pursue arrears the decision is taken only after careful consideration of all the circumstances, including the likelihood of success bearing in mind such factors as the employers' ability to pay and the adequacy of evidence.

Mrs. Golding : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what level of arrears of pay has been discovered by the wages inspectorate as not pursued at the request of workers ; what assessment he has made of the reasons which lie behind the requests of workers not to recover their arrears ; and whether he will make a statement.

Mr. Nicholls : In 1988 arrears of pay amounting to £295,746 were not pursued by the wages inspectorate at the request of workers. No comprehensive record is kept of the reasons given by workers for requesting non-pursuance. However, the decisions typically reflect the good personal relationships between employer and worker, concern about the viability of the business, contentment with the rate paid prior to the inspection, or the fact that the underpayment resulted from ignorance or inadvertance. Inspectors must, however, inform the worker of the sum involved and must satisfy themselves that the worker's decision not to pursue payment is made voluntarily. It is also made clear to the worker that a request not to pursue arrears at a particular time does not prevent them obtaining the inspectorate's help in seeking payment at a later date.

Mrs. Golding : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many establishments were found by the wages inspectorate to be underpaying in (a) north Staffordshire and (b) the Stoke-on-Trent travel-to-work area ; what percentage this was of all checked ; how many workers were covered ; and what was the total and weekly pay involved in the latest year for which figures are available.


Column 367

Mr. Nicholls : Wages inspectorate statistics are not compiled for areas smaller than the inspectorate's nine divisions, of which the midlands is one. Information on the midlands for 1988 is as follows :


                                               |Information                  

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Number of establishments found underpaying     |747                          

Percentage of all establishments checked found                               

 underpaying                                   |14.9 per cent.               

Number of workers found underpaid              |1,425                        

Total arrears of pay assessed                  |£190,698                     

No statistics are kept on weekly underpayment.

Mrs. Golding : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will list the 10 worst cases of underpayment of wages by midlands employers discovered by the wages inspectorate in 1988, setting out both the weekly and total amounts involved.

Mr. Nicholls : The information requested could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Job Clubs

Mr. Allason : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will give his reasons for reducing the number of job clubs ; and why the job club in Paignton is under threat of imminent closure.

Mr. Lee : I refer my hon. Friend to the reply given to my hon. Friend the Member for Bury, North (Mr. Burt) on 27 January 1989 at column 810, by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State. Employment service regional directors are currently considering how the job club network should be reshaped so as most effectively to achieve the objective of increasing numbers of people helped while making more efficient use of resources. There is spare capacity at present in the network in Paignton, Torquay and adjoining areas. This will be taken into account in reaching decisions about its future shape, together with the need to maintain access to the programme for longer term unemployed people in these areas.


Column 368

Working Mothers

Mr. Leighton : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what proportion of mothers with children aged under five years go to work in (a) each of the EEC countries, and (b) Sweden ; what is the average number of hours worked by mothers of children aged under five years in (a) each of the EEC countries, and (b) Sweden ; and what is the comparable information for the United Kingdom.

Mr. Cope : It is estimated from the preliminary results of the 1988 labour force survey (LFS) that in spring 1988, 36.4 per cent. of women in the United Kingdom with at least one child aged under five were in employment and their average total usual hours worked were 23.5 hours per week.

Comparable information for other countries is not available in my Department.

Labour Statistics

Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what is the number of people employed in (a) the mining industry ; (b) the steel industry and (c) on the railways for the Yorkshire and Humberside region, what was the comparable figure five years and 10 years ago ; and if he will break down the answer by sex.

Mr. Lee : The available information for the mining industry and railways for the dates specified is given in the following table. The figures are subject to considerable potential estimation error as the monthly and quarterly employment surveys carried out between censuses of employment are based on samples which are not large enough to provide reliable estimates at regional level for individual industries. Comparable regional estimates of employment in the steel industry are available only from the censuses of employment held in September 1981 and September 1984, and these are included in the table.


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                                        September 1978          September 1981<1>       September 1983          September 1984<1>       September 1988                 

                                       |Males  |Females|All    |Males  |Females|All    |Males  |Females|All    |Males  |Females|All    |Males  |Females|All            

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Coal extraction and manufacture of                                                                                                                                     

 solid fuels (class 11)<2>             |76.4   |3.3    |79.8   |76.2   |3.3    |79.5   |68.0   |3.0    |71.0   |63.3   |2.9    |66.1   |31.9   |1.5    |33.4           

Iron and steel industry                                                                                                                                                

 (activity heading 2210)<2>            |n/a    |n/a    |n/a    |37.5   |3.9    |41.5   |n/a    |n/a    |n/a    |26.1   |2.1    |28.2   |n/a    |n/a    |n/a            

Steel tubes (activity heading 2220)<2> |n/a    |n/a    |n/a    |0.5    |0.2    |0.7    |n/a    |n/a    |n/a    |0.5    |0.1    |0.6    |n/a    |n/a    |n/a            

Drawing, cold rolling and cold                                                                                                                                         

 forming of steel (group 223)<2>       |n/a    |n/a    |n/a    |5.8    |1.1    |6.9    |n/a    |n/a    |n/a    |4.4    |0.8    |5.2    |n/a    |n/a    |n/a            

Railways (activity heading 7100)<2>    |18.5   |1.5    |20.0   |16.8   |1.4    |18.2   |15.2   |1.2    |16.4   |14.6   |1.2    |15.9   |13.3   |0.8    |14.1           

<1>Census of employment data.                                                                                                                                          

<2>Sub division of the 1980 Standard Industrial Classification.                                                                                                        

n/a-Not available.                                                                                                                                                     

Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what was the annual number of (a) full-time and (b) part-time working women for each year since 1979 in the Yorkshire and Humberside region ; and what was the annual percentage change.

Mr. Lee : For the dates specified the only available information about female full and part-time employment in regions is for employees in employment. The latest date for which estimates are available is September 1988. The information is as follows :


|c|Female employees in employment in|c|                                                                                                         

|c|Yorkshire and Humberside region|c|                                                                                                           

Thousand                                                                                                                                        

                         Full-time                                       Part-time                                                              

September each year     |Number                 |Percentage change since|Number                 |Percentage change since                        

                                                |previous September                             |previous September                             

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1979                    |457                    |-1                     |356                    |4                                              

1980                    |441                    |-4                     |353                    |-1                                             

1981                    |418                    |-5                     |347                    |-2                                             

1982                    |404                    |-3                     |349                    |1                                              

1983                    |403                    |0                      |352                    |1                                              

1984                    |408                    |1                      |361                    |3                                              

                        |1985                   |411                    |1                      |373                                            

1986                    |410                    |0                      |387                    |4                                              

1987                    |427                    |4                      |391                    |1                                              

1988                    |452                    |6                      |395                    |1                                              

Mr. Andrew F. Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many people have been out of work for over (a) 12 months, (b) two years and (c) three years for the most recent date for which figures are available ; and what are the comparable figures for similar dates in 1984 and 1979.

Mr. Lee : Direct comparisons of unemployment by duration since 1979 are not possible because of changes in the coverage of the count. The following is the available information, which is also obtainable from the Library.


|c|Unemployment by duration in the United Kingdom|c|                                                                              

                          |January 1979             |January 1984             |January 1989                                       

Duration of unemployment  |Unemployed registrants<1>|Unemployed claimants     |Unemployed claimants                               

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Over 1 year               |354,204                  |1,188,040                |821,419                                            

Over 2 years              |n/a                      |616,411                  |544,507                                            

Over 3 years              |n/a                      |332,199                  |410,667                                            

<1> In October 1982 registration at jobcentres became voluntary, necessitating a change to counting claimants at unemployment     

benefit offices.                                                                                                                  

Mr. Yeo : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what has been the fall in unemployment in East Anglia during the last 12 months for which figures are available ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Lee : In February 1989 the level of unemployment, seasonally adjusted, in East Anglia was 37,100 compared with 57,200 in February 1988, a fall of 20,100 or 35.1 per cent.

Mr. Devlin : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many people were employed in Cleveland in each of the last five years.

Mr. Lee : The latest available employment estimates for the county are from the September 1984 census of employment. There were then 183,600 employees in employment in Cleveland. This compares with a figure of 207,000 in September 1981 when the previous census of employment was taken.

More up-to-date county employee estimates, from the September 1987 census of employment, will become available later this year.

Re-start Scheme

Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will make a statement on progress on the re-start scheme in the Doncaster and Mexborough areas of South Yorkshire.

Mr. Lee : From 28 March 1988 to 24 February 1989 just over 12,000 interviews have been carried out in Doncaster, of which 91 per cent. have resulted in an offer of positive help being made. Nearly 4,000 interviews have been carried out in Mexborough, of which 90 per cent. have resulted in an offer of positive help being made.


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The re-start programme now offers interviews at six-monthly intervals to everyone who has been unemployed for six months or more. In addition, certain clients are now offered follow-up interviews in order to provide further guidance and support.

Since September 1988 the programme has delivered the Government's guarantee to people aged between 18 and 24 who have been unemployed for between six and 12 months, of the offer of a place on employment training, in a job club or on the enterprise allowance scheme.

Single Parents

Mr. Clelland : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what were the numbers of single parents on employment training schemes on (a) 28 February and (b) 31 January in (i) the south Tyne area, (ii) the north Tyne area, (iii) the Gateshead local authority area and (iv) the Newcastle local authority area.

Mr. Nicholls : The information requested is not available.

Pneumoconiosis (Compensation)

Mr. Wigley : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many applications he has received for compensation during 1988 under the provisions of the 1979 Pneumoconiosis etc. (Workers' Compensation) Act ; how many of these were approved and what is the total money paid out for these cases ; how many applications were rejected ; and how many are still waiting to be determined.

Mr. Nicholls : During 1988, 108 applications were received for compensation under the Pneumoconiosis etc (Workers' Compensation) Act 1979. Of these, 50 were approved, totalling £443,257 in compensation payments, 53 were not accepted and one was withdrawn ; four of the 1988 applications are still awaiting determination.

Low Pay Unit (West Yorkshire)

Mrs. Mahon : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he has any plans to visit the West Yorkshire low pay unit.

Mr. Nicholls : My right hon. Friend has no such plans.

Labour Statistics (East Midlands)

Mr. Leigh : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what has been the average monthly fall in the number of unemployed in the east midlands during the last quarter for which figures are available ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Lee : The information is available from the Library. In the quarter ending February 1989, the average monthly fall in unemployment, seasonally adjusted, in the east midlands was 3,600. Unemployment in the east midlands has fallen by 35,300 or 22.8 per cent. over the last 12 months.

Self-employed

Mr. Andrew MacKay : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what is the increase in the number of self-employed since June 1987 ; and if he will make a statement.


Column 371

Mr. Lee : Between June 1987 and September 1988, the latest date for which estimates are available, there was a net increase of 156, 000 in the estimated number of self-employed people in Great Britain. It is estimated that nearly 3 million people are now self-employed and the number is still rising. The numbers of self-employed people have risen by over 60 per cent. since 1979 and they now represent almost one in nine of the work force in employment.

Birds Eye

Mr. Sumberg : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he has any plans to meet the General Secretary of the Transport and General Workers Union to discuss the closure of the Birds Eye factory at Kirkby ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Nicholls : I have no such plans. The decision to close the factory was made by the company on commercial grounds and I cannot see that such a meeting would serve any useful purpose.

Closed Shop

Mr. Riddick : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he has any plans to meet the General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress to discuss his Green Paper on the closed shop ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Nicholls : My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has no current plans for such a meeting.

Labour Statistics (South-East)

Mr. Bowis : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will make a statement on the rise in the number of people in employment in the south-east since June 1987.

Mr. Lee : Between June 1987 and September 1988, the latest date for which figures are available, there was an increase of 363,000 in the civilian work force in employment in the south-east region. The civilian work force in employment is the sum of employees in employment, the self- employed and participants in work-related Government training programmes. Comparisons of data for June 1987 and September 1988 are affected by seasonal variations. Seasonally adjusted employment estimates are not available for regions.

Labour Statistics (West Midlands)

Mr. Mills : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what has been the fall in unemployment in the west midlands during the last 12 months for which figures are available ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Lee : In February 1989 the level of unemployment, seasonally adjusted, in the west midlands was 186,800 compared with 253,100 in February 1988, a fall of 66,300 or 26.2 per cent.

Labour Statistics (Merseyside)

Mr. Parry : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will make a statement on the latest unemployment figures for Merseyside.


Column 372

Mr. Lee : The information is available from the Library. In February 1989, the latest available date, the number of unemployed claimants in Merseyside was 98,188, a fall of 19,438 over the last 12 months.

Tourism

Mr. Amos : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment when he expects to be able to make an announcement about the outcome of the review on tourism.

Mr. Lee : The tourism review report is still under consideration. An announcement will be made in due course.

London Docklands

Mr. Leighton : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment when he expects unemployment to begin to fall faster in the three London Docklands boroughs than the average rate for London.

Mr. Lee : There is a very large number of new jobs in prospect for London Docklands which should have a beneficial effect on unemployment in the area. However, my Department does not make estimates of future levels of unemployment.

Training Agency (Staff)

Mr. Leighton : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what were the numbers of staff in post in (a) the Inner London, North, (b) the Inner London, South, (c) the East London Training Agency offices and (d) the Docklands liaison group, during each of the past two years and currently.

Mr. Nicholls : The average numbers of staff-in-post for Inner London, North, Inner London, South and East London Training Agency area offices for the last two years and currently are listed in Table 1.

When first set up in September 1987 the work of the Docklands liaison group was undertaken by Training Agency East London area office staff. It is not therefore possible to give precise numbers of staff engaged on that work. The group became self contained in April 1988 and the average number of Employment Department staff in post during that year was 10.5. The same number of staff were in post on 31 March 1989.


|c|Table 1|c|                                                                                                           

                        |1987                   |1988                   |Current (31 March 1989)                        

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Inner London North      |98                     |110                    |110                                            

Inner London South      |74.5                   |83                     |85                                             

East London             |58                     |67                     |65.5                                           

Training

Mr. Leighton : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what is the average payment of benefit, plus the additional £10, per employment training place.

Mr. Nicholls : The average weekly training allowance including the training premium is estimated to be around £50 per trainee on employment training.


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Foreign Nationals

Mr. Leighton : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what percentage of the labour force in the tourist, hotel and catering industry consists of foreign nationals.

Mr. Lee : According to preliminary results from the 1988 labour force survey, 8 per cent of all persons in employment in hotels and catering and other tourism-related industries are foreign nationals.

Part-time Work

Mr. Leighton : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what information he has on the principal differences between regulations and restrictions on part-time work in European Economic Community countries other than the United Kingdom.


Column 374

Mr. Cope : My Department does not have comprehensive and up-to-date information on this subject. It could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Construction Industry

Mr. George Howarth : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will publish a table showing the size of the occupational categories for the construction industry for each year since 1979.

Mr. Nicholls : Estimates from the labour force survey (LFS) of persons in employment in the construction industry in Great Britain by occupation, for LFS years since 1979, are as shown in the following table :


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|c|Persons in employment in construction industry<1>-occupational analysis|c|                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

|c|Great Britain, Spring each year|c|                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Thousands                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

CODOT major groups                                                                                                         1979                                                         1981                                                         1983                                                         1984                                                         1985                                                         1986                                                         1987                                                         <2>1988                                                                                                                                                                               

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I                                                            |Professional and related supporting management and                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

 administration                                              |32                                                          |29                                                          |31                                                          |43                                                          |56                                                          |49                                                          |40                                                          |44                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

II                                                           |Professional and related in education, welfare and health   |<3>-                                                        |<3>-                                                        |<3>-                                                        |<3>-                                                        |<3>-                                                        |<3>-                                                        |<3>-                                                        |<3>-                                                                                                                                                                                  

III                                                          |Literary, artistic and sports                               |<3>-                                                        |<3>-                                                        |<3>-                                                        |<3>-                                                        |<3>-                                                        |<3>-                                                        |<3>-                                                        |<3>-                                                                                                                                                                                  

IV                                                           |Professional and related in science, engineering, technology                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

                                                             | and similar fields                                         |90                                                          |71                                                          |98                                                          |106                                                         |132                                                         |119                                                         |130                                                         |113                                                                                                                                                                                   

V                                                            |Managerial                                                  |96                                                          |91                                                          |100                                                         |107                                                         |106                                                         |101                                                         |107                                                         |121                                                                                                                                                                                   

VI                                                           |Clerical and related                                        |116                                                         |101                                                         |109                                                         |129                                                         |138                                                         |132                                                         |142                                                         |149                                                                                                                                                                                   

VII                                                          |Selling                                                     |13                                                          |12                                                          |15                                                          |14                                                          |16                                                          |15                                                          |17                                                          |15                                                                                                                                                                                    

VIII                                                         |Security and protective service                             |<3>-                                                        |<3>-                                                        |<3>-                                                        |<3>-                                                        |<3>-                                                        |<3>-                                                        |<3>-                                                        |<3>-                                                                                                                                                                                  

IX                                                           |Catering, cleaning, hairdressing and other personal service |11                                                          |13                                                          |<3>-                                                        |13                                                          |13                                                          |12                                                          |15                                                          |15                                                                                                                                                                                    

X                                                            |Farming, fishing and related                                |<3>-                                                        |<3>-                                                        |<3>-                                                        |<3>-                                                        |<3>-                                                        |<3>-                                                        |<3>-                                                        |<3>-                                                                                                                                                                                  

XI                                                           |Materials processing, making and repairing                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                             | (excluding metal and electrical)                           |174                                                         |177                                                         |175                                                         |191                                                         |195                                                         |187                                                         |169                                                         |167                                                                                                                                                                                   

XII                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

                                                             | (metal and electrical)                                     |353                                                         |305                                                         |310                                                         |295                                                         |268                                                         |262                                                         |330                                                         |326                                                                                                                                                                                   

XIII                                                         |Painting, repetitive assembling, product inspecting,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

 packaging and related                                       |158                                                         |128                                                         |155                                                         |158                                                         |155                                                         |142                                                         |145                                                         |153                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

XIV                                                          |Construction, mining and related not identified elsewhere   |590                                                         |549                                                         |604                                                         |619                                                         |584                                                         |592                                                         |625                                                         |670                                                                                                                                                                                   

XV                                                           |Transport operating, materials moving and storing and                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

 related                                                     |103                                                         |85                                                          |83                                                          |82                                                          |66                                                          |70                                                          |82                                                          |72                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

XVI                                                          |Miscellaneous                                               |35                                                          |<3>-                                                        |<3>-                                                        |<3>-                                                        |10                                                          |14                                                          |11                                                          |<3>-                                                                                                                                                                                  

                                                                                                                          |---                                                         |---                                                         |---                                                         |---                                                         |---                                                         |---                                                         |---                                                         |---                                                                                                                                                                                   

All occupations                                                                                                            1,782                                                        1,575                                                        1,699                                                        1,774                                                        1,753                                                        1,705                                                        1,828                                                        1,861                                                                                                                                                                                 

<1> 1979: SIC '68, order XX    1981-88: SIC '80 division 5.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

<2> Preliminary estimates (1988 only).                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

<3> Sample size too small for a reliable estimate.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

<4> Includes inadequately described/not stated.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Source: Labour Force Surveys.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

Trade Union Ballots

Mrs. Mahon : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what information he has as to how many work forces balloted in 1988 by their trade union on whether to take industrial action voted against the proposal.

Mr. Nicholls : There is no statutory requirement for a union to notify such a ballot, or details of its result, other than to those given entitlement to vote. I understand, however, that the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service is aware of 23 union ballots in 1988 asking members whether they were willing to take part in, or continue with, industrial action which resulted in a majority against doing so.


Column 374

Marine Fish Farms

Mrs. Ray Michie : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many inspections of marine fish farms have been made in each of the last five years by the Health and Safety Executive.

Mr. Nicholls : This information is not available in the form requested.

Factory Inspectors

Mr. Livingstone : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many factory inspectors were conducting preventative inspections on the following dates : 6 June 1988, 7 September 1988 and 23 January 1989.

Mr. Nicholls : Factory inspectors in the Health and Safety Executives area office are not employed solely on


Column 375

preventive inspection but also make visits in response to accidents or other incidents, complaints, inquiries or to follow up previously identified shortcomings.

Staffing figures are recorded on the first of each month. The numbers of factory inspectors in area offices on 1 June 1988, 1 September 1988 and 1 February 1989 were 520, 522 and 533, respectively.

Children (Injuries)

Mr. Archer : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if, pursuant to his answer of 16 February, Official Report, column 373-4, he will place in the Library anonymised summaries of the circumstances of (a) fatal, (b) major and (c) over three day injuries to children in 1987-88 ; and if he will make it his policy to make such summaries available in future years.

Mr. Nicholls : No. The cost would be disproportionately high.

Unique Fresh, Swansea

Mr. Alan Williams : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment why there has been a delay in paying the protective award of four weeks' pay agreed by a tribunal in February to workers made redundant by Unique Fresh in Swansea in August 1988 ; and when his Birmingham office will ensure that payment is made.

Mr. Nicholls : Because the firm is insolvent the amount of the protective award is payable from the redundancy fund subject to the various limits specified in part VII of the Employment Protection (Consolidation) Act 1978. My Department is awaiting the insolvency practitioner's statement of the amount due. When this is available we shall pay the employees as soon as possible.

Benefit (Suspensions)

Dr. Godman : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many claims for unemployment benefit have been received since the increase in the maximum number of weeks' suspension of unemployment benefit from 13 weeks to 26 weeks at unemployment benefit offices in (a) Greenock and Port Glasgow, (b) Strathclyde and (c) Scotland as a whole ; in how many of these cases the maximum 26 weeks' suspension has been initially applied by the adjudication officers ; in how many cases where the maximum 26 weeks' suspension has been applied the length of suspension has been reduced on review of the case ; and in how many cases where the 26 weeks' suspension has been initially applied, the suspension has been reduced on appeal.

Mr. Lee [holding answer 6 April 1989] : The table shows, for the period April 1988 to February 1989, the number of claims for unemployment benefit that were received for the locations requested. Information is not available on how many of these claims were disqualified by the adjudication officer, nor on the numbers where the maximum period of disqualification was imposed or reduced on review or appeal.


Column 376


Locations                 |Number of claims taken                           

                          |for period April 1988 to                         

                          |February 1989                                    

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Greenock and Port Glasgow |6,788                                            

Strathclyde               |177,619                                          

Scotland                  |456,063                                          

Departmental Advertising, Publicity and Publications

Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what is his Departmental budget for 1989-90 for spending on general publicity, including (a) television advertising, (b) radio advertising (c) newspaper advertising, and (d) other promotional material ; and what are the equivalent figures for the Training Agency.

Mr. Nicholls [holding answer 7 April 1989] : The information on my departmental budget for 1989-90 for spending on general publicity, to include that for the Training Agency, will be found in table 7.29 on page 25 of the "Public Expenditure" White Paper, column 607, published January 1989.

Detailed decisions on expenditure by media group for 1989-90 as requested have not yet been taken.

WALES

River Quality

Mr. Gareth Wardell : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales to what extent the new regulations for classifying the quality of rivers will specify requirements as to the substances that are to be present or absent from the water, and the concentration of such substances, for the purpose of ensuring the conditions needed for the survival of certain aquatic plant and invertebrate communities.


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