HC Deb 27 November 1973 vol 865 cc203-4
20. Mr. Robert Taylor

asked the Secretary of State for Employment whether he is satisfied with the proposals of the Distributive Industry Training Board for the basis of excluding certain firms from the levy/grant system in accordance with the Employment and Training Act 1973.

Mr. Chichester-Clark

The board is consulting its industry about plans for future operations under the Employment and Training Act 1973 which will cover both the issue of exemption certificates and the exclusion of small firms from levy. Its substantive proposals have not yet been submitted for consideration.

Mr. Taylor

Does my hon. Friend agree that the initial proposals from that board are completely inflexible, and that it appears that these proposals will not achieve what we in the Committee examining the Bill endeavoured to achieve, namely, that small firms which have been unable to take advantage of the facilities of the industrial training board should be excluded from the payment of levy?

Mr. Chichester-Clark

As I told my hon. Friend, the board's planning after the passing of the 1973 Act is at an early stage. It is consulting extensively with the industry, and it will probably be some time before substantive proposals are put to the Manpower Services Commission. I know that my hon. Friend has in mind the removal of as much bureaucracy, red tape and form-filling as is commensurate with maintaining pressure for good training in this industry, as in others ; and I support him in that.