HC Deb 21 February 1966 vol 725 cc3-4
4. Mr. Shinwell

asked the Minister of Labour what proposals he has for the provision of an industrial training centre in the new town of Peterlee to enable mineworkers who have become redundant to acquire the necessary skill for employment in other industry.

Mr. Thornton

I consider that the existing Government training centres in Northern Region, at Felling, Billingham and Tursdale, together with the new centre to be established at Killingworth, should be able to meet demands for skilled work from redundant miners. My right hon. Friend does not therefore propose to set up a centre at Peterlee.

Mr. Shinwell

Does his right hon. Friend mind if I disagree with him? Will his right hon. Friend take note that the trade union movement in the area, which knows something about this matter, continues to press for an industrial training centre in the area, and that to talk about Felling, which is nearly 40 miles away, and other places 30 and 20 miles away, is no use at all?

Mr. Thornton

Unfortunately, all our evidence and experience shows that only a very few of the redundant miners are interested in, and suitable for, training in the Government training centres. I should be grateful if my right hon. Friend would bring his very great influence to bear upon the miners, and persuade them to take advantage of the facilities available.

Dame Irene Ward

In view of what the hon. Gentleman has said, may I ask him whether the policy of the training centres is linked to the wishes of the Coal Board on the North-East Coast? Does he not agree that it is important there should be such a link and that proper use should be made of the centres, in the way that the Coal Board desires?

Mr. Thornton

That is very largely the position.

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