§ 25. Mr. D. G. SOMERVILLE
asked the Minister of Labour whether, in view of the very large number of young men having no trade experience, he can state the number and character of trades which have an apprenticeship system; whether, where apprenticeship systems are in vogue, there are any vacancies which might still be filled by candidates were they forthcoming; and whether there are any trades, skilled or otherwise, closed to further applications should these be forthcoming?
§ Mr. SHAW
An apprenticeship system of one kind or another is operative in a 1327 large number of trades, but the information available is insufficient to enable the particulars asked for to be given. In general, the number of youths desiring apprenticeships is believed to exceed the number of vacancies available for them, and in certain trades there are waiting lists of boys. With regard to the last part of the question, I am not aware of any trade of importance which is closed to new entrants.
§ Mr. SOMERVILLE
Would it not be possible to extend the apprenticeship system where there are waiting boys, in view of the enormous number of lads who are at present out of work?
§ Sir W. DAVISON
Can the right hon. Gentleman say who fixes the number of years during which these boys have to be apprenticed? [HON. MEMBERS: "The bosses!"] If the number of years could be shortened, naturally we could get more into the trades.
§ Mr. HARDIE
In view of the Report issued in the building trade relating to the admission of boys to trades, is there going to be any alignment in the system of apprenticeship on the basis of what is contained in the Report with regard to building houses?