Industrial Training

Oral Answers to Questions — Northern Ireland – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 14th December 1972.

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Photo of Sir Sydney Chapman Sir Sydney Chapman , Birmingham Handsworth 12:00 am, 14th December 1972

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many persons have been trained in Northern Ireland in Government training centres or by employers with the aid of grants from Government over the most recent 12 months for which information is available.

Photo of Mr Peter Mills Mr Peter Mills , Torrington

Approximately 13,500 during the 12 months ended 30th September 1972.

Photo of Sir Sydney Chapman Sir Sydney Chapman , Birmingham Handsworth

Can my hon. Friend say how that compares with the rest of the United Kingdom? If, as I suspect, it is a higher average than in the rest of the United Kingdom, is not that a cause for congratulation and encouragement to all those responsible for administering training centres, in view of the trying circumstances that some of them have to face?

Photo of Mr Peter Mills Mr Peter Mills , Torrington

This is a success story. Obviously the Government take this matter very seriously, and progress has been made. The number of training centres set up per head of the population is nine times that for Great Britain.

Photo of Mr Kevin McNamara Mr Kevin McNamara , Kingston upon Hull North

The hon. Gentleman talks about a success story there, and in that respect I congratulate everyone concerned. But what about the increasing redundancy which is occurring in Northern Ireland as a result of mergers? I have in mind especially the proposed merger between Belfast Corporation Transport and Ulsterbus, which will result in 450 redundancies. What will be done to train those people, and what will be the attitude towards members of my union in terms of help in the future.

Photo of Mr Peter Mills Mr Peter Mills , Torrington

This is why the Government are taking so seriously the business of attracting new industry to Northern Ireland. To do that it is necessary to have a comprehensive scheme. We have it. One of the interesting things that I have discovered is the integrated work force units which some redundant workers can take advantage of, which will help industrialists coming to Northern Ireland.

Photo of Mr Stan Orme Mr Stan Orme , Salford West

Can the hon. Gentleman say how many young people are being taken on at these centres and held for a period of 12 months or more initial training? I have in mind especially young people who cannot get jobs. Is there a special drive in this direction?

Photo of Mr Peter Mills Mr Peter Mills , Torrington

There is. We have just set up a new training centre specifically to deal with these people. It is very important to see that young people in Northern Ireland are trained and have some hope of a job in the future.