HC Deb 19 July 1983 vol 46 c161
4. Mr. Haselhurst

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if the target for the number of youth training places has been met.

Mr. Peter Morrison

Some 95 per cent. of the 460,000 places required for this year have now been identified and I am confident that the target will be met.

Mr. Haselhurst

Does my hon. Friend agree that that reflects great credit on the majority of employers and the majority of trade unions? Does he further agree that it is important to ensure that a high standard of training is set during the first year of the scheme?

Mr. Morrison

I agree that identification of some 95 per cent. of places reflects well on the sponsors. My hon. Friend might like to know that 101 per cent. of the mode A scheme has been identified. That is the target. I also agree that the scheme will live or die by the quality of the training.

Mr. Hoyle

Will the Minister ensure that the number of unemployed is not increased by the ending of the construction industry training board special measures scheme? Under that scheme building trade apprentices are employed, but, unfortunately, the CITB and the Manpower Services Commission cannot agree on who should pay the administrative costs. I am sure that the Minister does not want that to happen.

Mr. Morrison

I assure the hon. Gentleman that I am aware of the circumstances between the CITB and the MSC. Hitherto, the MSC has, thanks to taxpayers' money, given a considerable amount of money to the scheme. I gather that negotiations are taking place.

Mr. Kenneth Carlisle

I am glad that my hon. Friend accepts that a high quality of training is essential for the scheme's success. What measures is he taking to ensure that that quality is monitored properly, and improved if it is not up to standard?

Mr. Morrison

I assure my hon. Friend that the MSC has a standard-setting body and that it has set in train the right monitoring to ensure the right quality.

Mr. Barry Jones

Has not the whole scheme been soured, if not imperilled, by the Government's refusal to increase the £25 per week allowance? Have not the CBI and the MSC reneged on the plan to increase the allowance? Why is the Department acting like a Dickensian workhouse master?

Mr. Morrison

The hon. Gentleman's reaction is almost implausible. He must understand that for every £1 given in allowance, £1 less can be spent on training. He agrees that the quality of training is important. Surely it must be right to keep the allowance at £25.