HC Deb 11 May 1964 vol 695 cc31-2
35. Mr. W. Hamilton

asked the Minister of Labour to what extent labour training and retraining facilities in Scotland are being fully utilised; and what evidence there is of a growing demand for such facilities.

Mr. Godber

Three hundred and thirty-five of the 405 training places available for adults at Government training centres in Scotland are at present occupied. Demand for training is at present steady, but I am providing a further 456 training places to meet the needs arising from expected industrial expansion and change in Scotland. I shall keep these plans under regular review.

Mr. Hamilton

Could the Minister explain the reasons for the shortfall in the demand for them relative to the supply? Is it because of a lack of publicity? What are the reasons? Can the right hon. Gentleman say to what extent the trade unions are cooperating? May I ask him specifically about the position in Fife? What is the response of redundant miners to the training facilities provided there?

Mr. Godber

We are doing all we can about publicity. I am a little disappointed that the centres are not completely full. If the hon. Gentleman can help me in this matter, I shall be grateful because we want the facilities to be used as much as possible. We are doing all we can. In relation to Fife, the number of redundant miners who have made application for training has not been very large. Only 31 have applied for training out of the very considerable number who have become redundant. Of course, a number of them are getting other jobs for which they have not required training.

Mr. Manuel

Will the Minister indicate the number of places available in Scotland? Can he also inform the House what facilities he has established in the Fort William area to cope with the large influx of workers who will be taken on by the pulp mill when it comes into operation?

Mr. Godber

The figures which I have given relate solely to Scotland. I do not have a training centre in the Fort William area, but I hope that we can provide facilities for training the local men in other areas if necessary.