HC Deb 23 November 1960 vol 630 cc1123-4
31. Mr. Albu

asked the Minister of Labour how many apprentice training schemes are in operation in Government Training Centres; how many firms have taken advantage of these facilities; and how many apprentices are now undergoing training in them.

Mr. Hare

There are at present ten classes; 85 firms are participating; and 120 boys are in training.

Mr. Albu

Is it fair to say that this scheme has failed and that small firms are not taking advantage of the Government's offer to provide the first-year apprenticeship in their workshops? Will not the Government have to take over apprenticeship training to a much larger extent if we are to deal with the bulge now coming out of the schools?

Mr. Hare

I do not think the hon. Member is right. The scheme was announced in the House only in May of this year. It Is true that the expansion has been slower than I personally hoped, but now that we have it under way I have reasonable confidence that recruitment will improve next year.

Mr. Prentice

Will the right hon. Gentleman confirm that, even in filling the 120 places, some of his officers in different parts of the country had great difficulty in getting firms to participate? Will he comment on this? Why should this be? Is it that employers are reluctant to accept a new idea, or are there other reasons?

Mr. Hare

As I have said, the expansion has been slower than I expected, but now that we have it under way and firms are able to see what these classes are doing, I hope that recruitment will be better next year.

Mr. Chetwynd

What is the geographical distribution of these centres? How many of these are in the North?

Mr. Hare

It is rather a long list. If I send the list to the hon. Member it will perhaps save the time of the House.

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