HC Deb 22 July 1937 vol 326 cc2380-2
10. Mr. Day

asked the Minister of Labour how many trainees are at present undergoing training at the various training centres; and whether there are any vacancies at these centres at present unfilled?

Mr. E. Brown

The number of persons undergoing training at the various training centres on 15th July, 1937, was as follows:

Government training centres 4,367
Instructional centres (including summer camps) 4,821
Domestic training centres 777
The instructional centres are practically full, but there are a number of vacancies in the training centres which I should be glad to see filled.

Mr. Day

Is the right hon. Gentleman satisfied with the progress that is being made at these centres?

Mr. Brown

With the actual progress of the work, yes, but I should, of course, be glad to see many more applications for the training centres.

Mr. Buchanan

Does not the right hon. Gentleman think that in some way the training centres are not yet up to the standard required to induce people to go there?

Mr. Brown

I would not say that of the Government training centres. I think they are absolutely first-class for the work.

16. Brigadier-General Makins

asked the Minister of Labour how many vocational training centres are under his control; how many unemployed these centres are capable of training at a time; how many they are now training; and how many ex-soldiers are included in these numbers?

Mr. Brown

My Department has 13 training centres, with training places equipped for 6,477 men. On 15th July, 4,367 men were in training. The number of ex-soldiers included is not immediately available, but I will ascertain it and communicate with the hon. Member. At the centre at Southampton opened last month specially for ex-soldiers there are 58 ex-soldiers in training.

17. Mr. White

asked the Minister of Labour whether he can make any statement with regard to the progress made by the Unemployment Assistance Board in carrying out Section 37 of the Unemployment Act, 1934, and, in particular, the number of training courses provided and the number who have attended them?

Mr. Brown

The Board's general policy in the exercise of its functions under this Section has been to rely mainly on the training courses conducted or grant-aided by my Department with which the Board keep in close contact, both as regards the general organisation of the centres and the selection of persons to attend them. All these courses are available, not only to the applicants who were under the Board before the second appointed day, but also to those transferred on that day from the local authorities. In addition, the Board has recently made arrangements with the Central Association for Young Wayfarers' Hostels, for the training of young unemployed men who are in danger of becoming casual vagrants. Other special schemes are under consideration.

Mr. White

Are we to understand that the Board no longer intend to pursue the policy entrusted to them under this Section of the Act?

Mr. Brown

I would not say that. The hon. Member will understand that the position with regard to the opportunities of employment for men is very different now from what it was when the Act was passed, and it would, of course, be a work of supererogation to set up new training centres if the old centres are not full. The Board in this matter works in the closest co-operation with the Ministry.

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