HC Deb 10 May 1983 vol 42 cc724-5
14. Mr. Hooley

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will strengthen the training component of the youth training scheme.

Mr. Peter Morrison

I am confident that the current criteria for designing youth training scheme programmes will provide a strong training component for all schemes.

Mr. Hooley

Is the Minister aware that the youth training scheme is a confidence trick—a pretence that 400,000 boys and girls now in the dole queue will have a future under this Government? Is it not true that while the Government pursue their economic policies there is no useful future for them?

Mr. Morrison

The hon. Gentleman will be well aware that his right hon. and hon. Friends on the Opposition Front Bench do not believe that the scheme is a confidence trick. They have fully supported it, as have trade unions and employers. Thousands of sponsors are coming forward and youngsters are interested in joining the scheme.

Mr. Greenway

Is my hon. Friend aware of the Labour party confidence trick? Has it not stated that, if elected, it will introduce a training scheme for youngsters of 16-plus, for two years, which will pay its participants £25 a week? Has not the Labour party now had to admit that after taxation and loss of family allowance that wage will be worth only £9 a week? Is that not the biggest confidence trick of all time?

Mr. Morrison

I am sure that my hon. Friend is right. As will become apparent during the next few weeks, the Opposition have not properly costed their proposals.

Mr. Barry Jones

What about the unemployed 17-year-olds?

Mr. Morrison

As the hon. Gentleman is aware, the scheme is for 16-year-olds. We hope also to provide for an estimated 50,000 unemployed 17-year-olds.