§ 13. Mr. Nellist
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many 16 and 17-year-olds are currently on youth training schemes.
§ Mr. Nellist
I thank the Minister for that reply. Has he seen the October edition of his Department's Employment Gazette, which shows that YTS trainees in the retailing sector produce for their employers an average of £39 per week added value? The average for the eight industries that take 59 per cent. of YTS trainees placed with employers is £32 a week. If that amount is added to the current YTS allowance, £70 a week is coming into employers' hands. Why cannot trainees have a decent training allowance of at least £55 a week?
§ Mr. Patrick Thompson
Will my hon. Friend confirm that, nationally, more than 70 per cent. of young people on YTS go on to further education training or a job, and that in some areas, including Norwich, the figure may be higher? Is this not a major success, compared with the feeble efforts of the Labour party when it was in government some years ago?
§ Mr. Sheerman
Will the Minister admit that these figures show a disappointing level of employed youngsters on youth training? The original intention of the scheme was for it to be a good training base for young people in and out of work. Is it not about time that the Government said that no youngster should be going into work without training, and is it not about time also that we caught up with our industrial competitors and trained young people who are in and out of work?