HC Deb 10 July 1967 vol 750 cc80-1
29. Mr. Mawby

asked the Minister of Labour what plans he has for building further Government training centres in Devon and Cornwall.

Mr. Hattersley

None at present. The new centre at Plymouth is likely to be able to meet most of the training needs of the area for some time to come. People living in Devon and Cornwall beyond daily travelling reach of Plymouth could be found places there, or at other centres, and lodgings could be arranged for them.

Mr. Mawby

Is not the hon. Member aware that the Selective Employment Tax hits the South-West probably more than it does any other part of the country, and that if there is a desire to have people moved out of the service industries into manufacturing industries there will be a greater demand for training facilities? Will the Minister bear this point in mind continuously when there is a possibility of building another training centre?

Mr. Hattersley

I welcome the hon. Member's confirmation that S.E.T. is moving people from service trades into manufacturing. The intention of my answer was to explain that demands for places in Government training centres in the South-West are being met as reasonably realistically as possible at the present time.

Dr. John Dunwoody

Would my hon. Friend not agree that there is a possibility of a problem because there are areas of high unemployment in the South-West in which many people live too far from Plymouth to attend the training centre? If there is to be an expansion in the area, would he consider siting a new centre in the far South-West, in the West of Cornwall?

Mr. Hattersley

The problem is one of balancing the needs of men who live too far away to travel to Plymouth with those of having the centre in an area which would not justify keeping it permanently full. The way to meet the problem is by assisting men who want to find places in the centres and who are prepared to travel and to live in lodgings to find those places. That assistance is certainly forthcoming.