§ 10. Mr. Prentice
asked the Minister of Labour if he will make a statement on the prospects for the provision of extra apprenticeships and other training facilities in 1961 and the succeeding years to provide adequate opportunities for the large numbers of extra school-leavers.
§ Mr. Prentice
Does the Minister agree that the number of school leavers next year will be about 22 per cent. higher than for this year, that in 1962 it will be 32 per cent. higher, and that in 1963 it will be 17 per cent. higher? Will not the unemployment situation created by this extra number of young people be aggravated by the ending of National Service during that period? Does the Minister think that the voluntary effort of private industry will measure up to the needs of the situation? Does he agree that it is up to the Government to produce plans to bridge the gap?
§ Mr. Heath
Responsibility for training in industry has been accepted as resting with industry. Industry has set up the Industrial Training Council with the object of encouraging industry to increase the numbers who are being trained. Details show that at the 351 moment the figures are about keeping pace with the increase in the school-leaving population. I agree with the hon. Gentleman that there will be a greater problem in 1961 than in 1960. Everything possible must be done to encourage industry to provide for it.
§ 11. Mr. Prentice
asked the Minister of Labour how many school leavers in 1959 became apprentices or learners; what percentage this represents; and how these figures compare with those for 1958.
§ Mr. Prentice
Is it not rather disappointing that there was not a better improvement last year than that, particularly as 1958 was a poor year compared with 1957? In 1958 the number of apprentices went down. Does not that indicate the critical situation that we shall face next year and in the following two years when there will be a drastic rise in the number of school leavers?
§ Mr. R. Carr
Has the Industrial Training Council yet been able to arrive at an estimate of the numbers which will be appropriate both to industry's needs and the number of young people leaving school?