HC Deb 20 April 1982 vol 22 cc117-8
17. Mr. Dubs

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he is satisfied that colleges of further education and other educational institutions will have adequate resources to meet the needs of the youth training scheme.

Mr. William Shelton

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave earlier to the hon. Member for Birmingham, Ladywood (Mr. Sever).

Mr. Dubs

Is the Minister aware of the concern felt by many colleges of further education at the apparent lack of co-ordination between his Department and the Department of Employment, with the result that courses that colleges are planning as part of the new scheme are having to be cut because not enough money is available?

Mr. Shelton

I assure the hon. Gentleman that there is close co-operation between the Department of Education and Science and the Department of Employment. There are at least four different committees with interlocking memberships sitting well-nigh full time. As I have said, a new committee will look at the education content of the Manpower Services Commission's programmes.

Mr. Hooley

Is the Minister aware that another 400,000 boys and girls will be leaving school this year with no prospect of jobs, and that many of them will be looking to the further education system at least for an opportunity for training? Is he aware that we have an urgent crisis on our hands, which cannot wait for the Government's scheme in 1983?

Mr. Shelton

I can reassure the hon. Gentleman by saying that that crisis has been met by the Government, not only by the increase in provision for 16 to 19-year-olds, announced by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister, but by additional funding for the further education system announced by my right hon. Friend last December.

Mr. Sever

Is the Minister aware that many of those involved in education, particularly in the colleges to which he referred, will have found all of his answers this afternoon complacent? Will he now give a positive commitment that the job that needs to be done to protect the interests of those young people will be met squarely by the Government and that they will provide the funds necessary to carry out that job?

Mr. Shelton

As I said earlier, we are not complacent. This is a challenge that the Government are accepting. The hon. Gentleman will know that the funding not only on the educational side, but for the Manpower Services Commission, is greater than we have ever had before in the history of the country.