HC Deb 08 April 1963 vol 675 cc905-6
29. Dr. Bray

asked the Minister of Labour whether he will pay the costs of training suitable unemployed boys as apprentices in areas of high unemployment, when, with the agreement of trade unions, firms have offered to train boys in excess of their ownbona fiderequirements; and if he will do so in particular on Tees-side, where such training places have been on offer for six months and none has yet been filled.

Mr. Hare

I have made financial assistance available through the Industrial Training Council for the promotion of a group training scheme by the North East Training Council based on the offer of training facilities by I.C.I. and other Tees-side firms. Certain firms have already agreed to participate in the scheme, and I hope more will do so in view of the further stimulus to trade announced by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Dr. Bray

Is the Minister aware that he now has £10 million to spend on industrial training which he will have the greatest difficulty in doing unless he adopts unconventional measures in accord with the urgency of the present situation? Does not he feel that, where there are apprentice training facilities available, he should use them immediately?

Mr. Hare

I do not think the hon. Gentleman is correct. I have up to £10 million allotted to me for the setting up of the industrial training boards, details of which I am discussing with industry at the moment.

Mr. Bourne-Arton

Is my right hon. Friend aware of the generous provision made during these bulge years by the British Transport Commission for apprentice training at Darlington? Could he use the Commission as his agent for the very excellent over-provision which it is undertaking?

Mr. Hare

I will certainly look at my hon. Friend's proposition, but I will pursue it without commitment.

Mr. Jeger

Would the Minister extend this offer to firms in other areas, particularly in south Yorkshire? While the unemployment position there is not very serious, it is, as was admitted by the Parliamentary Secretary, serious in some places and very serious in others. The extension of this scheme from Tees-side to south Yorkshire might be of great help in dealing with the juvenile unemployment there.

Mr. Hare

I am endeavouring to do all I can to encourage group apprenticeship training schemes. These still have a great part to play.

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