King Experiences Demographic and Industrial Change
Friday 12th June 1936
The King showed once again his interest in those of his subjects who were facing a tough time because of the poor economic conditions. He made a quite unheralded visit to training centres for the unemployed run by the Ministry of Labour in Slough and Park Royal Acton. He was accompanied by Ernest Brown, the Minister of Labour, and was, as usual, enthusiastically received by hundreds of trainees.
The centres reflected broader trends in the economy. Many of the trainees came from the depressed mining and ship-building regions of Britain. As it is today there was a distinct regional divide in the economy with the new industries such as electrical equipment and motor cars concentrated in the South East, which had remained relatively prosperous. Motor industry skills were a particular focus of the training as were service industries such as hairdressing and restaurant service. Former trainees had jobs at leading West End hotels and returned to the centre to see how their successors were doing at the on-site canteen where they received their practical training.