HC Deb 28 January 1947 vol 432 cc748-50
20. Mr. Willis

asked the Minister of Labour the number of bricklayers who completed their training at the training centres in Scotland during 1946; the number it is expected will complete their training during 1947; and whether he is satisfied that the present plans will be adequate to meet the needs of the building programme.

Mr. Isaacs

Up to 13th January, 1947, 565 men had been trained as bricklayers in Scotland. It is estimated that the facilities now being provided will enable 2,000 additional men to be trained as bricklayers during 1947, and I am satisfied that this will be adequate to meet the need of the building programme as now planned.

Mr. Hector Hughes

Is the Minister aware that in Scotland, there are many bricklayers engaged in other trades, and will he devise means of attracting them into the housing drive?

Mr. Isaacs

Wherever the Ministry of Labour have had knowledge of a bricklayer working in another industry, efforts have been made to get him back, but we have no power to force him.

Mr. Willis

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the number of bricklayers required in Scotland is much greater than he expects will be trained in the whole of 1947? Can anything be done to expedite the matter?

Mr. Isaacs

The figures which I have quoted were reported to us as being sufficient to meet the requirements.

21. Mr. Edward Davies

asked the Minister of Labour the average period of waiting between the acceptance of candidates for training in the building trade and their entry into training centres.

Mr. Isaacs

The period varies according to the trade and district. In most areas, applicants accepted for training as bricklayers should be allocated within a few weeks. In some other building trades, such as carpentry and plumbing, however, applicants may have to wait considerably longer.

Mr. Davies

In view of the urgency for obtaining the maximum number of building operatives, may we expect the Minister to take steps to improve the present position? Some men are losing heart and are giving up their chances of entering the trade.

Mr. Isaacs

Yes, Sir. During the last few months, we have opened several more training centres and others are in process of being completed. We are hopeful that, by the middle of this year, at any rate, the whole of the training facilities planned for will be available.

22. Mr. Edward Davies

asked the Minister of Labour how many building trade operatives have been trained up to date at the Government training centres; and the number of accepted candidates who are awaiting training.

Mr. Isaacs

At 13th January, 1947, 17,473 men had been trained for the building industry, and 16,185 men had been accepted and were awaiting allocation.

Mr. Eccles

Does not the Minister think that, in view of the prospective supply of building materials, the building trade is being over-manned?

Mr. Isaacs

No, Sir, I can assure the House that the whole scheme has been planned so that we shall not train men and then find them waiting about because materials are not available. In that connection, we are making arrangements with the Ministry of Supply.

Mr. Edward Davies

Is it not the policy of the Minister of Labour to provide building materials and also the labour to use those materials, and does not the figure of 16,000 indicate that there is a great deal of work to be done in providing training?

Mr. Isaacs

So far as the 16,000 are concerned who have been accepted and who are awaiting allocation, they are included. In addition to those who have been waiting to be trained, there are 23,026 in actual training. So far as the building material position is concerned, every attention has been given to that. The position has been successfully overcome in bricklaying, and the other branches are receiving attention.

Mr. Beswick

Can my right hon. Friend say whether the responsibility of placing upon him the training facilities for 140,000 Poles will not prevent him from training our ex-Servicemen?

Mr. Isaacs

No, Sir, it will not. Reverting again to the Poles, we are satisfied that we shall find a great number of those men who will not require training. Many are skilled in agriculture, and many are going into industries which do not require much training, but, where training is required, these men, especially those who are disabled, will have the facilities of our training centres. The others will be trained by the employers.