HC Deb 23 March 1987 vol 113 cc9-10
10. Mr. Ron Davies

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what information he has about the progress to date of the job training scheme in the Welsh pilot area; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Wyn Roberts

Progress with the pilot in Neath and Port Talbot, which has provided places for over 300 entrants, has shown that the job training scheme offers unemployed people valuable training and work experience and the opportunity of a worthwhile vocational qualification.

Mr. Davies

I hope the Minister is not suggesting that the scheme is a success. If he is, can he explain why only 50 per cent. of the available places have been taken up and 50 per cent. of the people who have accepted a vacancy are over 25, when the scheme is intended for those under 25? Can he explain why only 18 per cent. of the vacancies have been taken up by women, when 40 per cent. of those who are unemployed and are eligible to be entrants are women?

Mr. Roberts

The hon. Gentleman has got his facts wrong. It is intended to extend the scheme nationwide as from the end of this month. There will he some 6,020 places available in Wales for this scheme by the autumn of 1987. Therefore, all the hon. Gentleman's comments on the scheme are limited to the pilot in Neath and Port Talbot. My overall impression of the pilot is that it has been successful. Because of that success, it is being extended nationwide.

Mr. Coleman

While I appreciate the value of the training carried out in the Port Talbot centre, may I ask the Minister to say where — these people having completed their training — are the jobs in Neath and Port Talbot for them to go to?

Mr. Roberts

Obviously the 18 to 25-year-olds at whom this scheme is particularly directed will be considerably better equipped for jobs. The evidence is that people are going into jobs after training.