HC Deb 06 March 1969 vol 779 cc658-9
21. Mr. Marks

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what reports he has received from local educational organisations of the extent and value of work experience schemes in factories, shops and offices for pupils in their final year at school; and if he will introduce legislation to extend these schemes to pupils below the statutory leaving age.

Miss Bacon

I have received several reports, including an encouraging one about a work experience scheme in Manchester. The amendment of the law relating to the employment of children and young persons is a matter for other Departments, and my Department is discussing with them the legal and safety problems arising from these schemes.

Mr. Marks

Is my right hon. Friend aware that these schemes can be of great value to schools, employers, and, most of all, pupils, but that the pupils who need them most are those with the least time to choose their employment—those below the statutory age? In view of the raising of the statutory age in the future, will my right hon. Friend have urgent consultations with my other right hon. Friends who are principally concerned?

Miss Bacon

I agree with my hon. Friend about the importance of these schemes, but I think that he will appreciate that there are certain practical things that have to be ironed out, particularly with regard to such matters as safety and industrial injuries.