Ex-miners (Industrial Retraining)

Oral Answers to Questions — Employment and Productivity – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 4 December 1969.

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Photo of Mr Alexander Eadie Mr Alexander Eadie , Midlothian 12:00, 4 December 1969

asked the Secretary of State for Employment and Productivity how many ex-miners received industrial retraining in the year 1968 in the County of Midlothian and to the nearest available date in1969.

Photo of Mr Edmund Dell Mr Edmund Dell , Birkenhead

This information is not available for the whole field of industrial retraining. Eight ex-miners from Midlothian completed courses at Government training centres during 1968 and 16 so far in 1969.

Photo of Mr Alexander Eadie Mr Alexander Eadie , Midlothian

Would my hon. Friend agree that these figures are most unsatisfactory, bearing in mind that the Select Committee on Nationalised Industries, in its report, indicated that contraction of the mining industry would still take place? Would he also agree that if this contraction continues at a substantial rate, not only in Midlothian but all over the country, his Department or the Secretary of State should look into the question of retraining miners?

Photo of Dr Horace King Dr Horace King , Southampton, Itchen

Order. Long questions mean fewer questions.

Photo of Mr Edmund Dell Mr Edmund Dell , Birkenhead

The small numbers are not due to the lack of facilities in Government training centres. If further ex-miners are available and suitable for training in Government training centres, their ability will be assessed. But the main possibility of retraining miners lies in industry where it can be undertaken on the specific jobs on which they are employed and in development areas and intermediate areas, with the assistance of Government grants.