HC Deb 01 April 1963 vol 675 cc19-20
30. Mr. Sydney Irving

asked the Minister of Labour how many apprenticeships were available in or near Dart-ford to boys in 1962; and what percentage this represents of school-leavers.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Labour (Mr. William Whitelaw)

Two hundred and five, or 33.8 per cent, of Dartford boys who entered employment in 1962 obtained apprenticeships in Dartford or within daily travelling distance.

Mr. Irving

Is this not still a very low percentage showing how limited are the opportunities for getting this kind of training? What early steps does the Minister propose to take to increase the number of apprenticeships in this area?

Mr. Whitelaw

It is true that this percentage is slightly below the Great Britain percentage of 36.2. The percentage of apprenticeships, as the hon. Gentleman will be the first to appreciate, depends very much on the type of industries in the area and whether they are the apprentice-employing type of industries. Nevertheless, my right hon. Friend is most anxious to urge industry everywhere to increase training opportunities of all kind including apprenticeships. That is the aim of the recently published Government White Paper.

Mr. J. Wells

Will my hon. Friend give some figures at the earliest possible opportunity about the apprenticeship schemes in the paper-making industry, which are of great importance to this part and to the whole of Kent?

Mr. Whitelaw

If my hon. Friend will table that question, I shall be very pleased to answer it.