HC Deb 07 July 1992 vol 211 c165
3. Mr. Alan W. Williams

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what is the Government's expenditure on training for 1992–93.

Mr. McLoughlin

The Government expect to spend £2.7 billion on training, enterprise and vocational education in 1992–93.

Mr. Williams

Will the Minister comment on the report in The Sunday Times that the Government, because of their problems with public expenditure, are considering scrapping payments of up to £35 a week to young people on the youth training scheme?

Mr. McLoughlin

The hon. Gentleman should not believe everything that he reads in The Sunday Times.

Sir Dudley Smith

Is it not a fact that, irrespective of expenditure, the quality of training has improved immeasurably in the past five years?

Mr. McLoughlin

I am grateful to my hon. Friend. He is quite right. We attach great importance to training and to the results that people who take training courses achieve at the end of them. Obviously, we must ask a number of questions. I am satisfied that youth training fulfils an important role for young people.

Mr. Steinberg

Is the Minister aware that, this year, Durham training and enterprise council has invested about £1 million and at the same time has drastically cut training for special needs? Does he agree that that is absolutely disgraceful, and will he make representations to Durham 'TEC to put that right?

Mr. McLoughlin

I know that Durham TEC will meet its youth training guarantee, and the Government are determined that that should be done. It is for a local TEC to decide its operation. If the hon. Gentleman has a specific complaint, obviously I will look at it and take it up with the relevant TEC.