HC Deb 14 April 1965 vol 710 cc1382-3
12. Mr. Dempsey

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether, in order to employ school leavers, he will consult the Scottish Ambulance Service with a view to introducing a comprehensive apprenticeship employment scheme for young workers entering the Ambulance Service.

The Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (Mrs. Judith Hart)

I have consulted the Scottish Ambulance Service. It is its policy to recruit as drivers and attendants young men who already have considerable driving experience and are sufficiently mature to deal with the emergencies which arise in the course of their work. These considerations appear to rule out any apprenticeship scheme for the younger school leaver, but I am asking the Ambulance Service to look at the possibility of employing one or two more apprentices in the Central Repair Workshop, Glasgow.

Mr. Dempsey

Would my hon. Friend bear in mind that the training of ambulance attendants covers a number of years? Would she also remember that the handling of human bodies and the maintenance and care of equipment take years of training and exercise? Are these not grounds for introducing an apprenticeship scheme which would employ a number of our school leavers who are at present unable to find jobs?

Mrs. Hart

My hon. Friend will appreciate that this is done at the moment by way of in-service training. Also, it is essential that ambulances should at all times be driven by experienced persons. He will know the kinds of emergencies which sometimes arise. For example, babies can be born in ambulances. It would not be appropriate to employ young people in this kind of way as part of their training.