Industrial Training

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Labour – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 10th July 1967.

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Photo of Mr Richard Wainwright Mr Richard Wainwright , Colne Valley 12:00 am, 10th July 1967

asked the Minister of Labour what arrangements he has made to ensure continuous coordination between industrial training boards and Government training centres.

Photo of Mr Roy Hattersley Mr Roy Hattersley , Birmingham Sparkbrook

My officers are in close touch with the boards on all training matters, including the co-ordination of their activities and those of the Government training centres.

Photo of Mr Richard Wainwright Mr Richard Wainwright , Colne Valley

I thank the hon. Member for his reply, which suggests that the arrangements are somewhat of an ad hoc nature, but does he agree that there should be provision for permanent and comprehensive co-ordination between these two bodies?

Photo of Mr Roy Hattersley Mr Roy Hattersley , Birmingham Sparkbrook

The arrangements certainly exist. Assessors from my Ministry are in constant and formal touch with each board and are able to facilitate the passage of the information that the hon. Member rightly says is necessary.

Photo of Mr Richard Wainwright Mr Richard Wainwright , Colne Valley

asked the Minister of Labour how many industrial training boards have carried out a comprehensive examination of the nature and volume of retraining likely to be required in the foreseeable future.

Photo of Mr Roy Hattersley Mr Roy Hattersley , Birmingham Sparkbrook

The need for retraining is examined as part of a board's assessment of the future manpower and training requirements of its industry. Some of the longer-established boards are now carrying out studies and they will be assisted by the work of the Ministry's Manpower Research Unit in this field.

Photo of Mr Richard Wainwright Mr Richard Wainwright , Colne Valley

Can the hon. Gentleman give an assurance that in carrying out this constant examination and reexamination consideration will be given to the need for transferable skills as between one industry and another?

Photo of Mr Roy Hattersley Mr Roy Hattersley , Birmingham Sparkbrook

I can certainly give that assurance. The sort of advice that the Ministry's Manpower Research Unit will give to each board, as to the way in which these inquiries should be carried out, is aimed to cover this sort of point.

Photo of Mr John Rodgers Mr John Rodgers , Sevenoaks

asked the Minister of Labour if he will give details of those areas where he has been unable to secure trade union co-operation for the acceptance of retrained workers.

Photo of Mr Raymond Gunter Mr Raymond Gunter , Southwark

At national level I have the co-operation of all the unions concerned in the acceptance of men trained at Government training centres. There are long-standing difficulties over some trades in Manchester, on Tyneside and in Scotland. Temporary difficulties occasionally arise in other areas.

Photo of Mr John Rodgers Mr John Rodgers , Sevenoaks

Can the right hon. Gentleman say that he has the full co-operation of all the printing unions? If so, I shall be glad to hear it. Does not he think that the time has come to abandon persuasion and pious hopes and give publicity to areas which are not co-operating so that the country can judge whether these unions are acting in the national interest?

Photo of Mr Raymond Gunter Mr Raymond Gunter , Southwark

As the hon. Gentleman knows, I have given publicity to the worst spot in the country. It has not had much effect. I am not so sure that a lot of wider publicity will have a greater effect. The hon. Gentleman will understand that my powers are very limited in this matter. Once I have passed from the stage of exhortation and rowing and cursing them, there is not much left that I can do.

Photo of Mr James Tinn Mr James Tinn , Cleveland

Would my right hon. Friend agree that it might be more helpful to give more publicity to the much greater number of areas in which full cooperation has been obtained? Is he aware that when I have contacted the Ministry of Labour officers in my constituency I have been assured of full co-operation and full placing of these men?

Photo of Mr Raymond Gunter Mr Raymond Gunter , Southwark

I welcome my hon. Friend's comment. It is true that cooperation has been forthcoming over the vast areas of British industry. But it would be very helpful to me if the other areas would have a look at the whole situation.