August 14th 1920
Unemployment In Wallasey.
300 Ex-Servicemen Out Of Work.
Ex-service men to the number of approximately 300 are now unemployed in Wallasey. There is less work to do now than there was six weeks ago, when there was a rush in the Mersey shipyards.
“If the employers of the district would notify vacancies to us”, said Mr. T. Willett, of the Employment Bureau, Brighton Street, “they would render a service to the discharged men. There is work that a man with weak eyesight, one arm, or one leg could do; and if only the employers would phone us we could get them the type of men they wanted!”
One difficulty that arises is the disability if the men, but another is due, states Mr. A.M. Birch, the Pensions Secretary, to the insufficient training given them.
“Sometimes the length of training is insufficient to qualify a man for admittance to a trade union. Boot repairing for instance. Twelve months hardly qualifies a man for a boot repairers’ trade union.
Electrical unions would not like to make a man after a three years course; and what chance has a man of becoming a competent motor mechanic after six months of training? At the same time if the training in Wallasey were carried out properly it would absorb a number of young fellows at present unemployed.”
The number of men in training in the north-eastern area during July-August was 2,068; the number of placings with individual employers, 80; ditto in classes 152; and waiting, 1.753.
“Do you think the employment of women makes it more difficult to find work for the men?” Mr. Birch was asked.
“There are women employed in work that could be done by disabled men,” he admitted; “but you will find that some of those are ex-service women. A certain percentage might go back to their homes, but in the main there would be the same difficulty. Parents who could keep the girls in pre-war times are not in a position to do so now.”
As an instance of how employers can help Mr. Birch mentioned that one had first come forward offering to take six men for pretty good berths, the men to be chosen by himself, and recognised as suitable.