HC Deb 23 July 1985 vol 83 c852
6. Mr. O'Brien

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what recent representations he has received about the two-year youth training scheme.

Mr. Brooke

My right hon. Friend has received no direct representations, but the proposals approved by the Government were the subject of extensive consultations with a number of interests.

Mr. O'Brien

Now that the two-year youth training scheme is a permanent feature of education and training, will the Minister take the initiative and support education and our youth by introducing an integrated system for 16 to 19-year-olds? Is the hon. Gentleman aware of the injustice and the inconsistency in providing resources for training/education while still denying certain resources and finances for full-time education? Will he take the initiative in removing this anomaly?

Mr. Brooke

The review group is much involved in considering the ability of trainees under the youth training scheme to emerge from the two-year scheme with qualifications. They will have the opportunity of 20 weeks off-the-job training over two years to seek recognised vocational qualifications.

Mr. Haselhurst

Will the establishment of the two-year youth training scheme, which I heartily welcome, bring into sharper focus the relationship between training and education and the argument that has been advanced by many head teachers that perhaps children younger than 16 years could benefit from some of the elements that are contained in a youth training scheme?

Mr. Brooke

I concur with my hon. Friend that, despite statutory differences, 16 years does not in itself represent a borderline and that there are applications at a lower age level.