HC Deb 26 April 1965 vol 711 cc1-3
2. Mr. Godber

asked the Minister of Labour which industrial training boards have so far imposed a levy; and whether he will make a statement on the general progress of these boards.

The Minister of Labour (Mr. R. J. Gunter)

I have approved the levy proposals submitted by the Wool Industry Training Board and will make an Order shortly to give effect to them. The Iron and Steel, Construction, and Engineering Boards have submitted levy proposals and I am considering them. All the boards have established committees to consider various aspects of training, and they are engaged in building up the staffs they will require for the full discharge of their responsibilities.

Mr. Godber

Can the Minister tell us the sort of level at which these levies will be and whether the boards have already determined any figures? Can he give some guide as to how this is going? Can he also explain an answer which he gave on 14th April to one of his hon. Friends when he referred to the costs which he himself is reimbursing? I am not too clear of the extent of the reimbursement which he is making, particularly with regard to the period of the first five years. He refers to a figure of 25 per cent. Does that refer to all the costs or only to particular aspects of the costs?

Mr. Gunter

In reply to the latter part of that supplementary question, I should first like to look at the actual answer that I gave. As to the first part of the question relating to the rate of the levy, this information will be contained in the levy Orders as they are submitted.

16. Mr. Ioan L. Evans

asked the Minister of Labour how many additional industrial training boards he intends to set up.

Mr. Gunter

It is my intention to establish training boards for most activities of industry and commerce, but I cannot say at this stage how many additional boards there will be. The number will depend partly on the range of activities covered by each board.

Mr. Evans

I thank my right hon. Friend for that encouraging reply. Having regard to the progress which he has made in the past six months, can my right hon. Friend say when he expects that the whole of British industry will be covered by these boards, and, in particular, when a board will be set up for the retail distributive industry?

Mr. Gunter

I am unable to answer the last part of my hon. Friend's supplementary question. If he asks me to hazard a guess as to the number of industrial training boards, I would say that it will be about 25. I imagine that they should all have been established within three years from now.

Mr. Godber

Having regard to what the hon. Member for Birmingham, Yardley (Mr. Ioan L. Evans) said in his supplementary question, will the Minister confirm, with reference to his progress in the past six months, that he has only just completed one training board of which I had already announced the chairman, in addition to the four which I had already set up, and, in fact, his progress in the past six months has been extremely slow compared with the previous six months?

Mr. Gunter

I do not confirm anything of the sort. We are making very rapid progress at present. If I may say so, the right hon. Gentleman always so delights in the great sensual joy of the beginning of conception that he forgets that he has left to me the agony of the delivery.