HC Deb 08 June 1964 vol 696 cc29-30
23. Mr. Bence

asked the Minister of Labour how many youths are undertaking industrial training in Scotland.

Mr. Godber

I regret that this information is not available, but in 1963, 13,906 boys or 42.6 per cent. of all boys entering employment in Scotland took apprenticeships or other jobs with training.

Mr. Bence

As the need.; of Scotland are far greater than the needs of the remainder of the United Kingdom, are these figures not quite unsatisfactory if we expect in the next decade to attract a considerable increase in newer industries into Scotland? Will the right hon. Gentleman do something to boost the training of young people in Scotland to fit into the new era?

Mr. Godber

I indicated in reply to the previous Question that it is through the Industrial Training Act that there will be a new impetus. I believe that it will have a tremendous impact. In relation to the young people in Scotland leaving school, it is significant that of those leaving at Easter this year only a very small proportion, about 2.3 pet cent., have not yet found employment.

Sir Ian Orr-Ewing

Will my right hon. Friend ask the industrial training boards to look at the length of apprenticeships? It is a very strong discouragement for our young people to spend five years in craft apprenticeship training when other nations find it possible to do it much more quickly.

Mr. Godber

Yes, Sir. My hon. Friend raises a very important point. I am sure that as the industrial training boards get under way the whole question of apprentice training must be looked at afresh. I believe that we need to concentrate more on training as such within apprenticeships, for the form of training is what matters. I believe that the period will then fall into place.

Dr. Bray

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that, if we take all forms of training into account, the proportion entering employment which offers some kind of training in Scotland and the North-East is far lower than in the rest of the country? Is not some machinery required additional to that envisaged under the Industrial Training Act to look after the immediate local and regional problem in respect of boys now entering employment?

Mr. Godber

It was with this in view that we expanded the Government training centres, which are directed very considerably towards Scotland and the North-East. This is where the largest part of the expansion has taken place. This is the interim measure that we have taken. In the meantime, the important thing is to press ahead with the Industrial Training Act.