HC Deb 13 April 1972 vol 834 cc1424-5
22. Mr. Booth

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether she will ascertain how many local authorities are fully operating the scheme recommended by the Confederation of British Industry and the local authority associations for financially assisting vocational students between the ages of 16 and 18 years.

Mr. van Straubenzee

The local authority associations recommended local education authorities to exercise their discretion to assist part-time students up to the age of 18. The Department has no formal standing in the matter and my right hon. Friend would not feel justified in interfering. I welcome the fact that most authorities do make some provision to assist.

Mr. Booth

Is it the Government's policy in operating the Industrial Training Act, 1964, to have a uniform high standard of industrial training throughout the country? If it is, does the hon. Gentleman agree that it is wholly wrong that young workers should be dependent for financial assistance for educational and vocational training and fees on the attitude that the local authorities take towards an agreement between the C.B.I. and the local authority associations?

Mr. van Straubenzee

It is not an agreement of that nature, but I can confirm that my right hon. Friend warmly welcomes the advice given by the local authorities to assist part-time students up to the age of 18 partially for the reasons that the hon. Gentleman has given.