HC Deb 22 November 1982 vol 32 cc573-4
15. Mr. Grist

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what steps are being taken by his Department to establish pilot schemes in connection with the new technical education initiative.

Mr. Michael Roberts

As has already been announced, one of the pilot projects will be located in Wales. Initial discussions have taken place between the Welsh Office, the Manpower Services Commission, the Department of Education and Science and the Welsh Joint Education Committee. Other interests in Wales will be brought in as the planning of the scheme develops.

Mr. Grist

How many young people will be involved in the scheme and how will they be selected?

Mr. Roberts

About 1,000 young people across the age range 14 to 18 will be involved in the Welsh project at any one time, once the scheme has built up over the first four years. Participation of suitable young people will be voluntary. The method of selection will be decided for each project and may vary between the localities.

Dr. Roger Thomas

When the Minister sets up the pilot scheme, will he remember that there are areas in addition to the south-east that are crying out for such a scheme?

Mr. Roberts

I am quite sure that the scheme will prove so popular that there will be bids from local authorities all over the Principality.

Mr. D. E. Thomas

Will the Minister examine the impact of locating MSC schemes in the further education sector on that sector's work? Is he aware that that sector is already hard-pressed? Will he bear in mind that, because the schemes are often temporary, local authorities are unable to make long-term provision for staffing and resources?

Mr. Roberts

I shall examine that matter.