HC Deb 08 June 1964 vol 696 cc6-7
6. Mr. K. Lewis

asked the Minister of Labour what further progress he is making with the setting up of industrial training beards under the Industrial Training Act; and whether he will make a statement.

Mr. Godber

I hope to make Orders establishing industrial training boards for the wool and iron and steel industries in about a fortnight's time. There are one or two points outstanding in relation to the definitions of the engineering and construction industries which will entail further consultations. As soon as these are completed, I shall make Orders setting up boards for these two industries.

In the meantime, I am anxious that the members of boards should have an opportunity of meeting together, if necessary in advance of the Orders being made, and meetings are planned for all four boards towards the end of June. I shall, with permission, publish in the OFFICIAL REPORT the names of the individuals who have agreed to serve on the wool and engineering boards. I hope to publish the names of the members of the other two boards in the very near future.

Mr. Lewis

Is my right hon. Friend aware that, in contrast to the reception which he received on the last Question, I have great pleasure in congratulating him on the speed of the development of this training programme? Can he say what progress is being made in providing staff for the training boards and buildings to house them so that progress can be made with as much speed in future as it is being made now?

Mr. Godber

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for what he has said. I am sure that the whole House wants to see the implementation of this Act as quickly as possible, and that is why I have been pressing forward with it. On staff, I am loaning the services of two of my officers to both the engineering and construction boards to assist them until they have recruited staff of their own. The chairmen of the Iron and Steel Board and the Wool Board have themselves arranged the temporary loan of staff for their boards from the Iron and Steel Federation and the Wool (and Allied) Textile Employers' Council respectively. As regards premises, we are making provision temporarily at 32 St. James's Square for the engineering and construction boards. The iron and steel and the wool boards will be able to rely initially on accommodation made available by their Federation and Council.

Mr. Prentice

How soon does the Minister expect to lay the Orders in relation to the construction and engineering boards? Does he think that it will be before the House rises for the Summer Recess? Would he agree that there are still many firms waiting to see what the boards will say and that the boards will not be able effectively to carry out their duties until the House has approved the Orders? Does he agree, therefore, that it is very important to get these two boards, which are the biggest and most important of all, in operation as soon as possible?

Mr. Godber

I share the hon. Gentleman's view very strongly, and I shall be deeply disappointed if I am not able to introduce them before the House rises. I feel confident that I will do so, but there have been real difficulties of definition. This is a terribly complicated matter in these two industries, but my officials have been working wonders in trying to sort things out and I hope that, with good will on both sides, we shall succeed.

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