HC Deb 08 June 1964 vol 696 cc1-6
2. Mr. Rankin

asked the Minister of Labour whether he will have consultations with a view to acquiring the Harland and Wolff shipyard in the division of the hon. Member for Glasgow, Govan, soon to be closed, for use as a Government centre to retrain men redundant in other industries for jobs in new or expanding trades.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Labour (Mr. William Whitelaw)

There is a Government training centre at Hillington and my right hon. Friend is providing new Government training centres at Queens-lie, Port Glasgow and Dumbarton. These centres should meet the training needs of the area, but we will, of course, keep the position under continuous review.

Mr. Rankin

While recognising what is being done, may I ask the hon. Gentleman whether he realises that here is an opportunity for us to acquire premises not only at Govan Cross but also at Helen Street which are very large indeed? In view of the need for training and retraining for the new skills in industry on a large scale in circumstances, where possible, to which the unemployed men have been formerly accustomed, is the hon. Gentleman aware that this presents a new opportunity? There is size, suitability and accessibility, and in my view there is need for the Government to consider seriously acquiring these premises for the purposes which I have indicated.

Mr. Whitelaw

I have said that we will keep the position under continuous review. It is important for the hon. Member to appreciate, however, that Harland and Wolff's shipyard premises would not be readily adaptable for use as a training centre. The first thing that we must do is to ensure that the facilities now provided are fully taken up.

3. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Minister of Labour if he will state the number and location of training and retraining centres in Scotland; how many teachers and trainees there are in each: and what subjects are taught in each.

The Minister of Labour (Mr. J. B. Godber)

There are three Government training centres in Scotland, at Hillington, Motherwell, and Dunfermline; there are 22 instructors and 203 trainees (including 45 first-year apprentices), at the Hillington centre, 14 instructors and 121 trainees (including 23 first-year apprentices) at the Motherwell centre, and seven instructors and 67 trainees at the Dunfermline centre. As the answer to the last part of the Question consists of a table, I will, with permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Mr. Hughes

I thank the right hon. Gentleman for that detailed reply, but I should like to ask him two questions about it. Firstly, does this include training in the new industries and industries depending upon automation and things of that sort as well as in the old conventional industries? Does it also include training in hygiene, public and personal,

Hillington Motherwell Dunfermline
Building Building Building
Carpentry Bricklaying Bricklaying
Carpentry Carpentry
Engineering Engineering Engineering
Draughtsmanship Fitting (Jig and Tool) Centre Lathe Turning
Fitting (Jig and Tool) Centre Lathe Turning Capstan Setting Operating
Centre Lathe Turning Capstan Setting Operating
Capstan Setting Operating Milling Setting Operating
Milling Setting Operating Precision Grinding
Miscellaneous Miscellaneous Miscellaneous
Agricultural Machinery repairing Motor repairing Agricultural Machinery repairing
Hairdressing (men's) Motor repairing
Motor repairing
Radio, Television and electronic servicing
Watch and Clock repairing
First Year Apprentice Training Trades
Engineering (Fitting andTurning) Engineering (Fitting and Turning)
Radio and Electronic Servicing
Basic Electrical Work
5. Mr. Bourne-Arton

asked the Minister of Labour what success he has had in finding employers for the 24 apprentices who recently completed their first year apprentice training course at the Tursdale Government Training Centre.

Mr. Godber

I am happy to say that all the boys have been satisfactorily placed with employers with whom they will be able to complete their apprenticeships.

Mr. Bourne-Arton

Satisfactory though that Answer is, does not this success

sonal, to deal, for instance, with such matters as the epidemic which has occurred in Aberdeen?

Mr. Godber

On the first point, the hon. and learned Member will see when he studies the list in HANSARD that it covers a very wide range. There might be some variation in the definition of the new industries, but the training covers principally building, engineering and a certain number of other industries. On the second point, the hon. and learned Member will appreciate that it will not be possible for us to cover such a wide scale as he was thinking of in the second part of his supplementary question.

Following is the table:

point to the fact that, good though it is, it is not entirely adequate to deal with the whole of this part of County Durham? Will not my right hon. Friend give heed at last to my pleas to him and to his predecessor that another Government training centre should be based in Darlington? Will he also take note that employment prospects have taken a turn for the worse in Darlington over the weekend consequent on the decision of the Minister of Transport not to allow the British Transport Commission to make locomotives, and the fact that the equipment with which the men could have done so is being shipped off to a rival firm?

Mr. Godber

We have doubled the number of training places at Tursdale for first-year apprentices since January of this year, and I have looked at the question of other training centres on a number of occasions. There is one planned for Billingham, but I could not promise any more until we see how other new centres get on. My hon. Friend will appreciate that I could not comment on the other matter. All I can say is that in this area, as over the rest of the country, the employment position has been improving sharply over recent months.

Dame Irene Ward

Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that it is all very well talking about doubling this, that and the other, but if one doubles very little it does not amount to much? What we should do is not to double but to quadruple things all along the line. Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that mathematical calculations should express the desire of the people of the North-East, which has more Government training centres following the success of the placing of the apprentices who have been trained?

Mr. Godber

My hon. Friend will appreciate that we have done a considerable amount in expanding the total numbers as well as the percentages in the North-East, and I believe that we are going ahead well. As regards the desires of the people in the North-East, I want to see that the new centres which we open are fully utilised. I will be then happy to discuss further extensions with my hon. Friend.

13. Mr. Boyden

asked the Minister of Labour how many juveniles have completed courses at the Tursdale training centre whose homes are in Gainford, Barnard Castle, Middleton-in-Teesdale and other villages west of Gainford, respectively.

Mr. Whitelaw

None, Sir.

Mr. Boyden

Will the Minister note particularly what was said by the hon. Member for Darlington (Mr. Bourne-Arton) and the hon. Lady the Member for Tynemouth (Dame Irene Ward) on Question No. 5? Does this not reveal that in Barnard Castle and the area to the west there is practically no opportunity for young people to get training facilities? Will the Minister seriously consider setting up another training establishment, preferably in West Durham, at a place like Bishop Auckland, Crook or Barnard Castle, or, at the very least, in Darlington?

Mr. Bourne-Arton

Hear, hear.

Mr. Whilelaw

For my part, I invite the hon. Member to remember the reply which was given by my right hon. Friend the Minister. It cannot be said that because people from a specific area were not actually given places in the classes at Tursdale no training opportunities are available for them. That is not the fact.