HC Deb 16 March 1993 vol 221 c160
11. Mr. Rathbone

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what assessment she has made of the need for retraining of those in jobs to meet present and future job requirements.

Mr. McLoughlin

Our assessment is that more effective investment in the skills of people in work is needed. The Government's policies are operating to encourage such investment. In particular, training and enterprise councils are promoting the use of the new "Investors in People" standard.

Mr. Rathbone

Does my hon. Friend accept that, with fast-developing technology, there is a continuing requirement for the retraining of people in jobs and the retraining of management and that TECs, such as Sussex TEC, have a special role to play?

Mr. McLoughlin

I agree with my hon. Friend. The TEC movement has an important role and it is interesting to note that each TEC develops policies most suited to its own area.

Mr. Enright

Since the Government have squandered substantial oil revenues and have frittered away immoral earnings from gas, electricity and water, what confidence can ordinary working people have in their investment in retraining?

Mr. McLoughlin

They can have the confidence that they have shown in the last four elections by re-electing us.

Mrs. Browning

Is my hon. Friend aware that one group of people who are particularly anxious to be retrained are those aged over 45? Will he guarantee that he will do all that he can to encourage the TECs and other training organisations not to discriminate against people on grounds of age? Over-45s have much to offer and they are as entitled to a restart as anyone else.

Mr. McLoughlin

I agree entirely with my hon. Friend. If I hear of any TECs that are discriminating against older people, I will take up the matter with them.

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