Employers of labour would benefit almost more even than the men employed, as we should always be able to supply them at a short notice with any description and number of “hands” that they might require, and they would be saved the expense, delay, and uncertainty of having to advertise.
For instance I know of millowners who complain that they cannot get labourers who will stay, and that their work suffers from the flotsam, jetsam character of those whom they employ working for a few weeks and then leaving. This we should be able to remedy.
Indeed after a short time we might reasonably expect that in recognising the great convenience thus afforded them, millowners and other great employers of labour, including very possibly the Government and the Railway Companies would refuse to employ any who had not registered themselves at our Bureau.
Again it would doubtless be a great satisfaction to employers in cases where a reduction of establishment became necessary, to feel that they could hand over to us those with whose services they were dispensing, knowing that every effort would be made to make suitable provision for them.
The labour register would contain columns in which would be entered the various kinds of employment for which the applicant was willing or suited, and the minimum pay which he was prepared to accept, so that we should be able to ascertain exactly how many out-of-works there were of each particular class. We should also enter in a separate register those who had accepted an inferior position, in the hopes of being able to better themselves subsequently.
In connection with our registers we should keep a character roll. Copies of certificates would be filed, and notes made in regard to unsatisfactory characters, so that in course of time we should be able to give some sort of a guarantee in regard to those whom we sent out. In the case of any one being reported to us as unsatisfactory, we should still, however, give him another chance by redrafting him into our Labour Yards, or by giving him some sort of inferior employment, more immediately under our own surveillance, till he had regained his character.
Among other things we might undertake to supply servants to European families. A register of such would be very useful both to masters and servants. For instance in the case of lost “chits” we could supply certified copies of the original.
There is another class to whom I should think the establishment of such an agency will be particularly welcome. Our cities swarm with educated young men unable to find employment. Although we cannot include them among our destitute classes, we believe that without turning aside from our main object, we could do a great deal to help them.