HC Deb 17 June 1966 vol 729 cc1877-8

Question proposed, That the Clause stand part of the Bill.

Dame Joan Vickers

I am glad to see that training will be encouraged and allowed, but I would like to know the types of courses of instruction which the Minister will approve.

In addition, I am a little worried about the supplementary allowance during that period. From personal experience, I can say that many people will not go for any form of training because the allowance they get for themselves and I heir families is not adequate.

I see a reference in subsection (3) to an allowance for meeting his personal requirements or the requirements of any dependant"— which, I suppose, includes the whole family— as the Commission thinks fit. If it is a question of a long course, another reason why people will object to going on it is that they do not see their families during it. The great object is to try and keep a family together, and he man or woman on the training course should be allowed to return to the family at least once during the period.

I am interested to know what contact the Commission will have with the Ministry of Labour. One of the difficulties chat I have found in the past is that people have consented to go for training and have been trained, for example, as watch repairers, but, on returning to heir home areas, have been unable to find jobs. Can we have an assurance that too many people will not be trained in certain categories, and that there will be some liaison with the Ministry of Labour in the area concerned to ensure that when a man returns from training he will have a job? It has been said on more than one occasion to such a man, "There is no job for you in the Plymouth area, but you can get a job in Birmingham," It is quite impossible for him to move his family from one area to another.

I hope that the right hon. Lady can give us some assurance that the type of training to which a man is sent will fit him for one of the occupations available in his own neighbourhood; otherwise the training is useless, and only makes him feel more unhappy when he comes back from it and finds he cannot get a job.

I hope that the matter will be further considered, because there are occasions when it does not work satisfactorily at the moment.

Mr. Harold Davies

I am grateful to the hon. Lady for raising those points. May I assure her right away that there is nothing punitive in the Clause?

As for liaison between the Ministry of Labour and my right hon. Friend's Ministry, I can assure the hon. Lady that it is a continuous process. Between them, they have accumulated a vast experience of suitable types of training.

The hon. Lady considered the requirements of subsection (2). Under that, the Commission is empowered, once the Tribunal has given a direction under Subsection (1), to make paying the allowance conditional upon such a person being available for training. In the last analysis, the training is of a type which my right hon. Friend the Minister has to approve.

We are aware of the points that the hon. Lady has been gracious enough to bring forward. I assure her that, as was her own party when in power, the present Government are concerned with those very points.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clauses 13 to 20 ordered to stand part of the Bill.