HC Deb 04 November 1980 vol 991 cc1093-4
13. Mr. Knox

asked the Secretary of State for Employment when next he expects to have discussions with the chairman of the Manpower Services Commission about industrial training.

Mr. Prior

I am often in contact with the chairman of the Manpower Services Commission. I expect to meet him, together with other members of the commission, later this month to discuss future industrial training arrangements.

Mr. Knox

Does my right hon. Friend agree that much better industrial training facilities should be available for the unemployed to ensure that their period of unemployment is not a complete waste of time, and to ensure also that, when the economy expands again, it will not be restricted by shortages of skilled labour? Does the Manpower Services Commission have plans to expand such industrial training?

Mr. Prior

The MSC has plans to expand training generally. It is restricted by the amount of money that is available. I am discussing with the commission, which in turn is discussing with others, how to make better use of our existing training resources so that we train people for the jobs that will be required.

Mr. Christopher Price

When will the Secretary of State make his announcement about training facilities, especially for youngsters? Is he aware of the appalling social disruption caused by young people on the dole, especially in inner London—a problem that becomes worse every day? When will he come forward with plans not only for training, but for training that leads to secure jobs?

Mr. Prior

As I have tried to say time and again this afternoon, the only way to obtain secure jobs is through an upturn in the economy which produces real jobs. We have to ensure that, in the present recession, we train both youngsters and other people for the jobs that will be required when the economy turns upwards. I announced this afternoon that I hope to be able to make a statement early in the new Session.