HC Deb 11 November 1971 vol 825 c1203
4. Mr. Hicks

asked the Secretary of State for Employment why it is necessary for companies whose annual turn-over is such that they are exempted from payment of the levy to the Publishing and Printing Industry Training Board still to be obliged to complete this training board's requests for statistical and other in formation.

The Minister of State, Department of Employment (Mr. Paul Bryan)

As I informed my hon. Friend by letter last September, the Printing and Publishing Board has statutory responsibilities under Section 2 of the Industrial Training Act to the whole of the industry. It informs me that it could not discharge those responsibilities effectively if the information it collected came exclusively from firms due to pay levy.

Mr. Hicks

Does my hon. Friend agree that many companies within the industry are not happy with the present structure and organisation, and that to impose this form of bureaucracy upon those small companies is hardly consistent with the Government's attitude towards easing the position of the smaller companies?

Mr. Bryan

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State is well aware of the dissatisfaction felt in many quarters about the industrial training boards. That is one of the reasons why we are having a deep review of the situation, the results of which will be published before the end of the year. As to the second part of my hon. Friend's Question, the Board levies only one-third of the firms in the industry, so if it obtains statistics from only one-third it would not have the true picture of the industry which is required.