HC Deb 25 January 1983 vol 35 c770
2. Mr. Madel

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will make a statement on his discussions with teacher associations and other educational interests concerning arrangements for technical and vocational education, referred to in his answer to the hon. Member for Bishop Auckland (Mr. Foster) on 7 December, Official Report, c. 707.

Sir Keith Joseph

Meetings have already been held with several of the teacher associations, and others will take place shortly. I have been encouraged by the constructive response so far.

Mr. Madel

Does my right hon. Friend agree that teacher associations and others should welcome the additional resources which the MSC will put into techincal education and in-service training as a means of overcoming the teacher shortage in certain subjects?

Sir Keith Joseph

Yes, that is right, and it is associated with the Government's initiative to provide some extra money for in-Service training, particularly in shortage subjects.

Mr. Kinnock

Following those answers, is the Secretary of State prepared to tell us that the 10,000 children who over four years will be in the technical and vocational initiative will not come from those schools that are already providing adequate standards of pre-vocational training and education?

Secondly, will the right hon. Gentleman acknowledge that the original guidelines of the MSC scheme did not include what are now the steering group's criteria'? Again, will he ensure that those criteria are included as a pre-requisite for the operation of the new scheme?

Sir Keith Joseph

The fact that the MSC formed a national steering group shows that it is anxious to make this initiative as practical and sensible as possible. The MSC's initiative has been greeted by bids from nearly two-thirds of all the local education authorities, and the decision about which to accept will be for the MSC, working on the national steering group's criteria.