HC Deb 22 April 1980 vol 983 cc207-8
11. Mr. Madel

asked the Secretary of State for Employment when next he plans to meet the chairman of the Manpower Services Commission.

Mr. Jim Lester

My right hon. Friend and I will be meeting the chairman of the Manpower Services Commission on 24 April.

Mr. Madel

How many young unemployed people will be offered training by the Manpower Services Commission in order to assist in the Government's new scheme to help old people insulate their homes?

Mr. Lester

It is too early to say how many people are likely to be helped by the initiative. Officials are examining how the scheme, announced by my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Social Services, might be implemented.

Mr. Hooley

Will the Minister explain to the chairman of the MSC, now that unemployment has shot over the 1½ million mark, that we should be expanding skillcentres and training opportunities to provide skilled workers where there are shortages, rather than closing down skill-centres? Will he arrange to examine the arbitrary limits of 26 weeks or 12 weeks which do not help to give opportunities to the unemployed?

Mr. Lester

I shall examine the hon. Gentleman's final question. The chairman of the MSC assures me that as a result of the review of skillcentres, on which a decision is to be made today, more places overall will be available to provide better training in areas where that is most required.