HC Deb 29 October 1985 vol 84 c808
13. Mr. Park

asked the Paymaster General if he is satisfied with Manpower Services Commission procedures for monitoring youth training scheme managing agencies.

Mr. Trippier

Yes, Sir. By the end of July this year nearly every current programme under the youth training scheme had been monitored.

Mr. Park

Does the hon. Gentleman agree that, in spite of that information, we continue to receive reports that many of the schemes are still used as a source of cheap labour and that the quality of the training is not up to the standards that we should expect to enable young people to move from a training scheme to a job?

Mr. Trippier

Seventy five per cent. of the schemes to which I referred in my substantive answer meet all the required standards of YTS. Those that do not—which fall down on relatively minor points—can be put right within the life of the programme. On several occasions the Opposition, not least the right hon. Member for Chesterfield (Mr. Benn) who talks about slave labour markets, have said that this is a cheap form of labour. The right hon. Gentleman wants in this country the sort of society that would breed that kind of slave labour. The money that is made available is an allowance. It is not meant to be a wage.

Mr. Bellingham

As my hon. Friend is anxious to encourage unemployed people to set up businesses on their own account, will he inform the House of the success of the enterprise allowance scheme? Why do the Opposition rubbish a good scheme and fail to recognise one when they see it?

Mr. Trippier

Whenever they can, the Opposition try to rubbish the enterprise allowance scheme. This scheme has been an enormous success. During the past two years 100,000 businesses have been set up under the scheme. Three out of four of those businesses have succeeded. The cost per job is £2,600, which compares favourably with similar schemes.