Apprenticeships and Training Facilities

Oral Answers to Questions — Employment – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 23rd May 1960.

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Photo of Sir Austen Albu Sir Austen Albu , Edmonton 12:00 am, 23rd May 1960

asked the Minister of Labour what steps he is taking to ensure the provision of apprenticeships and other facilities for training for the emerging young population of the new towns.

Photo of Mr Peter Thomas Mr Peter Thomas , Conway

This matter is receiving attention from the Industrial Training Council and is constantly reviewed by the Government, together with other problems of the new towns. In the new towns, the bulge of school leavers will come later than for the country generally, and should create no serious difficulty before 1964.

Photo of Sir Austen Albu Sir Austen Albu , Edmonton

It is quite true that the bulge may come later, but it is likely to be much larger in the new towns because of their low age composition. Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the present rate of activity of the Industrial Training Council does not give much confidence that it will be able to deal with this problem? Does not he agree that the position is now made more difficult by the ending of Blue Streak and similar defence expenditure? This is a matter to which he should give particular attention.

Photo of Mr Peter Thomas Mr Peter Thomas , Conway

Not only the Industrial Training Council but the new towns corporations and my Department are fully aware of the difficulties and are giving close and particular attention to them.

Photo of Mr Alfred Robens Mr Alfred Robens , Blyth

Is the hon. Gentleman satisfied with the progress being made as a whole in training apprentices?

Photo of Mr Peter Thomas Mr Peter Thomas , Conway

One can never be wholly satisfied with progress, but one is satisfied that some extra progress is being made.

Photo of Mr Alfred Robens Mr Alfred Robens , Blyth

Is not the hon. Gentleman alarmed at the fact that we are not providing enough training for apprentices in this country at the present time?

Photo of Mr Peter Thomas Mr Peter Thomas , Conway

I would not go so far as to say "alarmed", but I would welcome extra intake into apprenticeships and exhort everyone concerned to do all they can in this matter.