HC Deb 21 February 1966 vol 725 cc11-3
20. Mr. Geoffrey Lloyd

asked the Minister of Labour how many persons aged 45 years or over were being trained in Government training centres at the latest convenient date; and if he will reserve a proportion of places in such centres for older people, including those normally employed in white collar or managerial posts.

Mr. Thornton

On 12th April, 1965, there were 179 persons over 45 years of age being trained in Government training centres. We would be glad to recruit more such people for training and our officers have recently been instructed to pay special attention to this but it would not help to reserve a proportion of places for them.

Mr. Lloyd

Is the Minister aware that this is an increasing problem in Birmingham, with firms being forced to go to other districts as a result of the Government's policy? Would he not make known more widely the facilities that there are for older men, including some of the executive grades?

Mr. Thornton

We will certainly do that. The right hon. Gentleman will be interested to know that of the small number of applications by men over 45 for places at Government training centres, the acceptance rate for them was 63 per cent., whereas for those under 45 it was 68 per cent. So the difference in the acceptance rates is very small.

40. Mr. Mawby

asked the Minister of Labour whether he is satisfied that there are no obstacles to the employment to the full extent of their capabilities of people retrained in Government training centres; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Thornton

I am satisfied that most people trained in Government training centres are being employed in jobs using the skills they learned at the centres. Follow-up surveys of trainees are however in progress and these should give our Department more precise information on the extent to which skills taught at Government training centres are used in subsequent employment.

Mr. Mawby

While I am grateful to the Minister and hope that the result of the inquiry will be positive, may I ask him to do everything he can to reduce any obstruction that there may be from any quarter, otherwise the work of the excellent training establishments will be wasted?

Mr. Thornton

We shall certainly attempt to remove any obstructions, and I think that the result of the survey will help us to pinpoint where they are.