HC Deb 14 April 1983 vol 40 cc924-5
4. Mr. J. Enoch Powell

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will guarantee a training place for any young person excluded by the change in commencement date of the skill training scheme.

The Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office (Mr. Adam Butler)

It is not possible to guarantee an apprentice training place in a Government training centre for a young person excluded by the change in the commencement date of a course.

The Department of Economic Development will, however, offer alternative training under the youth training programme to young persons excluded from apprentice training courses.

Mr. Powell

Is the Minister aware that in the cases that I have brought to his attention he has made alternative arrangements for those who were disappointed by the change in the initial date? Would it not be fair if all those who had to be disappointed in that way—of whom there must be, presumably, some list or nominal roll in his Department—were notified of the alternatives available to them? Should not those alternatives be brought to their attention?

Mr. Butler

As far as I am aware, that is the case. Each individual has been spoken to about his problem. If I find that that is not the case, I shall ensure that it becomes so.

Mr. Madel

Does not the question asked by the right hon. Member for Down, South (Mr. Powell) show that because of the exceptional difficulties in the Province there must be a high level of Government spending on both education and training?

Mr. Butler

My hon. Friend has put his finger on what is happening. There is indeed a high level of spending. It is with some pride that we have introduced a scheme to provide a full year's training for school leavers, and done so one year ahead of Great Britain.

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