HC Deb 20 May 1954 vol 527 cc2284-5
39 and 40. Mr. Awbery

asked the Minister of Education (1) if she is aware of the inadequacy of the training facilities in the south-west region for those desiring to enter the catering industry, and that the Hotels Association are running a course which is inadequate to meet the situation, as are the facilities at present provided by the South Devon Technical College; and whether she will take steps to provide a catering school which will meet the needs in this area;

(2) if, in view of the fact that the catering industry is one of our best dollar earning industries and is also one of the largest in the south-west region, she will remove the embargo on the building of a catering unit at the South Devon Technical College for the purpose of training the necessary recruits for this industry.

Miss Horsbrugh

I am well aware that the facilities for catering education at Torquay are unsatisfactory. Officers of my Department will shortly be exploring with representatives of the local education authority the possibility of meeting the more pressing needs by carrying out a relatively small amount of new building, but I cannot approve the substantial building project which has been put forward by the authority.

Mr. Awbery

Is the Minister aware that this is the largest industry in the south-west region, but that no provision for training is made? Some time ago the Minister provided money for the building of a unit at the college but then withdrew the amount. Will she now reconsider that decision, in view of the urgency of the matter?

Miss Horsbrugh

The difficulty is that, while we are doing a great deal more building of technical colleges than before, we have had to confine building to the more urgent projects for engineering, mining, textiles and building. With the suggestion of some enlargement at Torquay, I hope that at any rate we might help instruction in catering to go on in the meantime.