THOSE LAST FEW MONTHS AT SCHOOL Labour Ministry Thinks Ahead
From Our Educational Correspondent During a child's last few months al school the first faint influence of the Ministry of Labour begins to be felt.
This influence is directed through local education authorities, local offices of the Ministry advised by
committees appointed by the Minister, the London Regional Advisory Council, and various Regional and Secondary School Committees, and is directed towards placing the child in a job for which he or she shows a bent.
While it has a vocational training section the work of the Ministry of Labour is in no sense educational and, therefore, not strictly within the purview of these notes. The annual report for 1938, however, gives certain interesting figures in regard to the placing of boys and girls in employment, which are of interest—particularly as in the view of ao many people the end of education is the job.
EMPLOYMENT STATISTICS The numbers of vacancies for boys and girls notified to and filled by local offices last year were 258,742 boys and 247,340 girls—a total of 506,082. Of these, 5,629 boys and 4,760 girls were from secondary schools.
During the year the average monthly live register of unemployed juveniles was 17,762 boys and 22,804 girls between the ages of 14 and 15, and 31,414 boys and 30,786 girls between the ages of 16 and 17.
SPECIAL AREAS PLAN Of particular interest is the scheme for transferring juveniles from depressed areas to employment elsewhere.
Local education authorities co-operate in this work either in the recruitment or placing of children.
During last year 4,131 boys and 5,496 girls were so transferred, the bulk of them going to work classified as " domestic," which includes private service, hotels, restaurants, hospitals, and other institutions.
FARMING STILL UNPOPULAR
Linked up with this juvenile transfer scheme are vocational training schemes, and the report states, rather pathetically, that associations conducting training schemes in co-operation with the Ministry experienced " considerable difficulty in recruiting boys for training for employment on the land."
The record of these vocational schemes shows that they are worth while, as out of 772 boys passing through the centres 605 were placed in employment.
The Ministry has found that certain of the juveniles are not mentally or physically fit for immediate transference and accordingly Junior Transfer Centres and Summer Camps have been established, which give a reconditioning course of from six to twelve weeks, according to individual needs.
Last year 518 boys passed through the centres and 443 through the camps, a total of 961, of whom 837 were placed in employment.
CATHOLIC HOSTELS Care is taken of the children transferred and special hostels have been approved. Catholics take their due part in this work, and included in the list is the Lanadowne Road Hostel conducted by the Fisher Committee, which is assisted by the Oratory School Society. It is a matter of pride that the Ministry's Report describes this hostel as Catholic and not " Roman" Catholic, which surely indicates the spread of education in this respect.