HC Deb 08 June 1964 vol 696 cc13-4
10. Mr. Howie

asked the Minister of Labour how many of the members appointed to the Central Training Council have had practical experience as training officers; and how much experience they have had.

Mr. Godber

All the employer members of the Central Training Council have had many years practical experience of training, as of other management, problems, although none has, as far as I am aware, been a training officer as such. Of the other members, one has been education and training officer of the Electricity Council since 1948, and another was for eight years director of education and research in a large company.

Mr. Howie

I thank the Minister for that reply. I wonder whether it would not be better to have on the Central Training Council people who have been employed as training officers and who know the present-day problems.

Mr. Godber

This is a difficult question. I was reinforced in the action which I took by what the hon. Member for East Ham, North (Mr. Prentice) said during the Committee stage of the Bill. He drew attention to this very fact, namely, the need to have, on the one hand, people of sufficiently high standing in the industry and, on the other, of wanting people with technical knowledge. What we can probably do if necessary, is to have a committee under the Council on which the more technical people can be included.

Mr. Turner

Can my right hon. Friend say when the Council will hold its first meeting and how often it is likely to meet?

Mr. Godber

It will initially meet, I hope, about once a month. It held its first meeting last week. I had the pleasure of attending it and of seeing the enthusiasm with which this has been started.

Mr. Prentice

I am encouraged by what the Minister said just now to make a further suggestion. Has he noticed that recently some training officers formed an organisation which they are calling the British Institute of Training Officers? Will he have regard to this development, and, assuming that it becomes a strong organisation representing training officers throughout industry, will he bear in mind the desirability of having someone from that organisation on the Central Training Council, because, after all, these are the people with responsibility in the firms for organising training and who probably have a prior claim to anyone else to representation on the Council?

Mr. Godber

I do not know that I could give such an undertaking. What the hon. Gentleman has just said runs counter to what he said during the Committee stage of the Bill. I should like to watch the position as we go along. As I said, technical knowledge is very important, but it is also important to have leaders of both sides of industry in order to give the Council its proper standing.