Temporary Employment Schemes (Further Education)

Oral Answers to Questions — Education and Science – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 12th May 1981.

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Photo of Mr Dale Campbell-Savours Mr Dale Campbell-Savours , Workington 12:00 am, 12th May 1981

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what proportion of young people in the various temporary employment schemes of the Manpower Services Commission is receiving further education.

Photo of Mr Neil Macfarlane Mr Neil Macfarlane , Sutton and Cheam

In 1979–80 38 per cent. of young people who participated in the work experience elements of the youth opportunities programme received some form of off-the-job training. The MSC hopes shortly to have more recent information.

Photo of Mr Dale Campbell-Savours Mr Dale Campbell-Savours , Workington

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?

Photo of Mr Neil Macfarlane Mr Neil Macfarlane , Sutton and Cheam

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.

Photo of Mr David Madel Mr David Madel , Bedfordshire South

As the education content in the MSC's programmes is improving in quality, is there not a special responsibility upon careers officers this summer to ensure that there is a 100 per cent. take-up of the courses available to male and female school leavers?

Photo of Mr Neil Macfarlane Mr Neil Macfarlane , Sutton and Cheam

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.

Photo of Mr Phillip Whitehead Mr Phillip Whitehead , Derby North

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?

Photo of Mr Neil Macfarlane Mr Neil Macfarlane , Sutton and Cheam

Not everybody in the scheme require an educational element. I accept the importance of the current consultations between the Department and the MSC. The new training initiative which will be announced in the next few weeks is an important element.

Photo of Mr Kenneth Lewis Mr Kenneth Lewis , Rutland and Stamford

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?

Photo of Mr Neil Macfarlane Mr Neil Macfarlane , Sutton and Cheam

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.