HC Deb 20 July 1965 vol 716 cc1314-5
1. Mr. Molloy

asked the Minister of Overseas Development what progress has been made in preparation for acquainting students in comprehensive, secondary modern and grammar schools with opportunities for service in Overseas Development; and whether she will make a statement.

7. Mr. Ron Lewis

asked the Minister of Overseas Development what steps she is taking to increase the information provided by secondary schools concerning service overseas.

9. Mrs. Renée Short

asked the Minister of Overseas Development what steps she will take to encourage girls in comprehensive, grammar and secondary modern schools to seek opportunities for service in overseas development.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Overseas Development (Mr. Albert E. Oram)

This Ministry and many voluntary organisations use school and youth conferences on Commonwealth and world affairs to tell boys and girls about the need and opportunities for service overseas.

My Ministry is now organising meetings with associations undertaking speaking visits to schools in order to brief them on openings in the service of overseas Governments. Technical or professional qualifications and experience are almost invariably required for such appointments.

I understand that Voluntary Service Overseas tries to interest all schools with sixth forms in the opportunities for voluntary service. Besides giving talks in schools, agricultural institutions and technical colleges, it circularises all members of the Headmasters' Association, the Headmasters' Conference in Britain and Northern Ireland, and the Headmistresses' Association in Britain.

Mr. Molloy

Whilst I am grateful to my hon. Friend for that Answer, nevertheless I am not wholly satisfied because a great deal of what is contained in it has been going on for some time. May I ask my hon. Friend if he or his right hon. Friend has under consideration a more dynamic approach for informing young people of opportunities available to them in overseas development? If a forthcoming answer cannot be given now, I can appreciate that, but, nevertheless, is my hon. Friend prepared to say that a more dynamic approach is under consideration?

Mr. Oram

I accept my hon. Friend's anxiety for dynamism in this matter, but I would urge him to consider, as I put before him during the debate which he initiated, that service overseas is really for people of the age of 21 and thereabouts and that, in my view, it is wrong to encourage school leavers too much at the age of 15 and 16 to think that there are immediate opportunities for them. Therefore, though one is anxious to sow the seeds at this early stage for service, one should be careful not to raise expectations too high.

Mr. Scott-Hopkins

How many qualified students have gone from agricultural colleges or institutes after training?

Mr. Oram

I think that there is a Question about that later on.