HC Deb 02 March 1972 vol 832 cc721-3
6. Mr. David Steel

asked the Secretary of State for Employment how the proposals contained in the booklet, "Training for the Future", are being publicised in development areas.

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

The proposals in "Training for the Future" have attracted wide-scale attention in the Press, including the Press in development areas.

Mr. Steel

It is extremely important that these proposals should be made widely available to employers and trade unions in the development areas because there has been disquiet over the years in some areas because levies are paid for training schemes which are not available in the areas in which the firms are situated. It is very important that they be brought fully into consultation on the proposals.

Mr. Bryan

This is not a document which is expected to have mass circulation. We have circulated no fewer than 150,000 copies and the reprint is now being made. It has been gratifying to see the very wide publicity given to the document, in particular in Scotland, although I understand not yet in the hon. Member's constituency. We hope that perhaps he will put that right.

Mr. Redmond

To what extent is the document a consultative document and to what extent is it to be considered a White Paper?

Mr. Bryan

The parts of the document concerning Government training centres and so on are really a continuation and development of the Government's present activities. They are not consultative to the same extent as the parts of the document which deal with industrial training boards. But I would like to underline the consultative nature of the document. The consultative nature of the Code of Industrial Practice was a great success and many people took part in the consultation which had a great effect on the final outcome. We would like the same sort of process here.

Mr. Douglas

While the proposals are futuristic there is currently a very pressing problem, particularly for the young people who are thrown out of work and who are still trying to continue their studies and further education. The document circulated to local education authorities may be appropriate in England and Wales but it is not appropriate in Scotland and the burden of paying the fees for further education is falling on the local education authority. Will the hon. Gentleman consult the Secretary of State for Scotland to see what can be done about this?

Mr. Bryan

We have already been in consultation with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland and with the education authorities, but we think that this sort of thing should come within the consultative period and consultative process.

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