HC Deb 27 February 1963 vol 672 cc1227-8
1. Mr. Boyden

asked the Secretary of State for Air how many juveniles in his Department aged 15 to 18 years, in industrial grades but not apprenticed, attend day release classes; and what percentage this forms of this category of employee.

The Secretary of State for Air (Mr. Hugh Fraser)

Nineteen; this is equivalent to 9 per cent.

Mr. Boyden

These figures are very small. Does not the right hon. Gentleman think that he has an obligation to his other colleagues, notably the Minister of Education, to get this figure up to nearly 100 per cent. and ensure that Civil Service Departments, his own in particular, give every encouragement to day release?

Mr. Fraser

The hon. Gentleman has a Question down about what we are trying to do. On non-industrial grades it is as high as nearly 50 per cent.

2. Mr. Boyden

asked the Secretary of State for Air what steps his Department takes to encourage juveniles aged 16 to l8 years to attend day release classes.

Mr. H. Fraser

On joining the Department, young people are interviewed, given full information about the day release scheme, and encouraged to attend classes. If a young person is interested, then or later, we help in the choice of classes, pay any necessary fees, provide books and help with travelling expenses.

Mr. Boyden

Fifty per cent. is very much lower than the figure for other Departments. What is to stop the Air Ministry making attendance at classes compulsory as is done in one or two other Departments?

Mr. Fraser

I have looked at that question. I do not think it would work in the Air Ministry. These are, on the whole, voluntary classes. If they are overloaded with people who really do not want to attend them it holds back those who do.

Mr. Boyden

What is the difference between the Air Ministry and the Home Office, for example?

Mr. Fraser

Ours is a rather better Ministry.