Has the Minister seen the report of the West Cumberland Training Association, which links work experience with further education in traineeship modules? Will he put it to the Under-Secretary of State for Employment that perhaps money could miraculously be brought forward to set up some experimental modules?
That may be the case in certain areas of the United Kingdom. The hon. Gentleman must pursue the matter with the Department of Employment. However, the MSC is examining closely with local education authorities the scope that exists for all trainees to receive some form of off-the-job training. It is important that the education service should be brought alongside the special programmes boards to ensure that such experiments can be discussed at all local area levels.
Yes. I want to place on record that the careers service generally has never been more aware of the need to adapt and adjust in local areas. I accept that the Manpower Services Commission's role in assessing the quality of vocational training is an integral part of any assessment.
Has the Minister seen the recent Youth Aid report which shows how few people who go through the MSC scheme have the opportunity of real work afterwards in the dust-bowl society produced by the Government? Is it not obligatory for the DES to meet the MSC half way and to produce a programme with a real educational content to help young people who take part in the MSC programme?
Does my hon. Friend agree that his Department and the Department of Employment should get together to see what can be done to encourage young people who are not in the youth opportunities scheme, and therefore do not receive any pay, to stay in education? Should not they receive recompense for doing so?
I want the House to understand fully that my Department is actively engaged at all levels in discussion on the matter. I hope that the education services in the regions are also fully involved.