HC Deb 10 January 1995 vol 252 cc13-4
14. Mr. Connarty

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how much his Department is spending on training for work in 1994–95; and what the level of planned spending is in 1995–96 in today's prices.

Mr. Paice

The figures for England were given earlier to the hon. Member for Doncaster, North (Mr. Hughes) by my right hon. Friend.

Mr. Connarty

Is the Minister willing to admit that the cut which was published in his own plans of 24.5 per cent. in training for work is only part of the overall cut, between now and the end of the published plans, of 12 per cent. or £245 million in education and training in the Department of Employment's budget? Is the Minister aware of the contradiction revealed in the latest skills survey—"Skill Needs in Britain—1994"—which shows that 11 per cent. of vacancies in Britain are difficult to fill and that that figure has risen from 5 per cent. in 1992 and 6 per cent. in 1993? The contradiction is that the Government are not serving the country's employers or the country's training needs.

Mr. Paice

This Government believe in value for money. Whatever the problem, the Opposition want to throw more money at it. The Government's policy on training is quite clear: we are looking for better, higher outputs for less money. We will be saving the taxpayer £450 million and we will be getting more people back to work. That is in the best interests of the unemployed and of the taxpayer. That is what the Government believe is right and that obviously contradicts what the Opposition think.

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