HC Deb 13 February 1924 vol 169 cc841-2

asked the Minister of Labour if, in view of the promotion of employment, he will inquire into the various trade union regulations governing the number of apprentices who may be trained; and whether he has any information that the existing regulations prevent the extended technical training of the young?


The cases in which the proportion of apprentices allowed is definitely laid down by trade union rules or by agreements between trade unions and employers' associations are not numerous. The matter is largely governed by unwritten practice, and an inquiry into this would be laborious and not likely to produce useful results. I have no reason to suppose that trade union rules as to the number of apprentices prevent the extended technical training of the young, and I may add that in one case, in which the small number of apprentices is at present a source of serious difficulty, namely, in the building trade, the actual number, according to my information, is below that recognised by both employers' and workers' organisations as adequate to the needs of the trade.


Can the right hon. Gentleman tell us how many skilled, trained workers have been unable to find employment in the various trades, as that might have some bearing on the question?


If the hon. Member will put that question down, I shall be glad to get the information.