HC Deb 02 March 1939 vol 344 cc1430-3
41. Mr. Day

asked the Minister of Labour particulars of any alterations that have taken place in the schedules for training the unemployed men or women during the previous 12 months; and how many openings have been found for men or women who have completed their training during that period?

Mr. E. Brown

The courses of training given at Government training centres are varied from time to time to meet the varying demands of industry. Accordingly, during the last 12 months, the numbers of training places available for training for the building trades and certain miscellaneous trades have been to a certain extent diminished, and those for training for the engineering trades have been correspondingly increased. Certain new courses have also been started at a local training centre for training men for semi-skilled work in the aircraft industry, and an experiment is being made in giving women a general training to prepare them for factory work. Women's training has hitherto been virtually confined to domestic service. During the 12 months ended December, 1938, openings were found for 13,874 men and 2,926 women. Courses at other centres have remained unchanged.

Mr. Day

Is the right hon. Gentleman contemplating augmenting the number of these training centres in the early future?

Mr. Brown

We have enlarged them regularly in the last 15 years. It will depend entirely on our judgment as to the prospects of placing when the training is done.

46. Mr. Batey

asked the Minister of Labour the nature of the proposals which the Government have under consideration as to forcing young unemployed men into training camps?

25. Mr. A. Jenkins

asked the Minister of Labour what alterations he proposes to make in the Government's policy regarding the treatment of young persons who are unemployed; and whether he proposes to make a statement to this House on the subject?

Mr. Brown

There are no proposals such as are suggested by the hon. Member for Spennymoor (Mr. Batey). While, however, I am not yet in a position to amplify the statements made by the Prime Minister, it is clear that an indefinite continuance of unconditional assistance for young men who decline to do anything to equip themselves for employment is not in their interest or in that of the nation.

Mr. Batey

Are we to understand from that reply that it is the intention of the Government to force these men into training camps?

Mr. Brown

I have already answered that.

Mr. Shinwell

Before the Minister goes further in this matter will he produce statistical evidence that young men are declining either to do useful work or to go into the training camps?

Mr. Brown

The question is entirely hypothetical. I have already said that there are no proposals such as are suggested by the hon. Member.

Mr. Shinwell

Is it true that there is no statistical evidence available?

51. Mrs. Hardie

asked the Minister of Labour how many trainees attended the training centre in Springburn during 1938; from what area were they recruited; and how many were placed in jobs in Scotland and England, respectively?

Mr. Brown

The number of men who attended the Glasgow Government training centre at Springburn during 1938 was 705, of whom 218 were in training at the beginning of the year, and 487 were admitted during the year. They were all recruited from areas within daily travelling distance of Springburn. Of the total of 425 who completed training during the year, 406 obtained employment, the very large majority in Scotland

Miss Wilkinson

How many of those were chefs and waiters?

Mr. Brown

None of them.

Mr. R. J. Taylor

How long do these men remain in the camps? Is the Minister aware that some trainees have been in the camps twice or thrice taking training and that they have then had a week's work and have afterwards been out of work again? Is this not merely wangling the unemployment figures?

Mr. Brown

The majority of those who have attended training centres and have got jobs are only too glad to recommend their friends to do likewise.

Mrs. Hardie

Why do such a small percentage of the men obtain situations in Scotland? Is it because the Scottish employers demand a higher degree of skill?

Mr. Brown

The hon. Lady must put it the other way round. There are great difficulties in this matter because we have always to have regard to the rights of the skilled craftsmen in the trades concerned.

Miss Wilkinson

Does the right hon. Gentleman mean that he can put his trainees only in areas where there are no skilled men available?

Lieut.-Colonel Heneage

On a point of Order. Is it not a fact that a great many of these questions might have been put down as written questions?

75. Mr. Pearson

asked the Minister of Labour whether he is now in a position to state if the training centre at Treforest is to be expanded in scope into a full-course training centre?

Mr. Brown

It may be possible to increase the number of places at this centre, but as at present advised I do not think it would be advantageous to convert it into a full-course training centre.