HC Deb 30 October 1945 vol 415 cc225-6
30. Lieut.-Colonel Hare

asked the Secretary of Statefor War whether in view of the complaints which have been received by Members of Parliament from men serving with the B.A.O.R. that vocational courses and other educational training are totally inadequate, he will make a statement on the facilities provided.

Mr. Lawson

As the answer is rather long, I will, with permission, circulate it in the Official Report.

Following is the answer:

The Army Education Scheme is not a vocational training scheme. Vocational courses are arranged by the Ministry of Labour and National Service after release. Instruction under the Army scheme is mainly general and pre-vocational, though in certain cases a limited amount of vocational training may be provided.

The Commander-in-Chief, B.A.O.R., decided that as many units as possible should start implementing the Scheme with effect from 1st August, 1945, and the latest information is that 53 per cent. of units, including 70 per cent. of the total personnel of B.A.O.R., are operating the Scheme either partially or fully. Taking into account the fact that the occupational duties in this theatre are very considerable I consider that satisfactory progress has been made. The position with regard to units which are not yet able to implement the Scheme is reviewed monthly.

In addition to education in units, two Corps schools, seven Divisional schools, and 27 Brigade or equivalent schools have been established to provide such general and pre-vocational training as it is not possible to arrange in units. Also, the Rhine Army Formation College will open in November and will provide residential courses of a month's duration in a variety of subjects.

Recent reports from the theatre indicate that the position as regards instructors is satisfactory. Difficulties with regard to the distributionof books and materials in the theatre have largely been overcome and the present situation, taking into account the world shortage of books and certain other materials, is now definitely good.