§ [The question was as follows:
§ To ask His Majesty's Government, what was their target figure for the agricultural section of the Government Vocational Training Scheme for demobilized members of the Forces, how many applications have been received, and how many trainees have been placed.]
§ 7.37 p.m.
§ LORD WALKDEN
My Lords, I have been asked to reply on behalf of my noble friend, the Earl of Huntingdon. While it has been stated that the agricultural industry could absorb a maximum of 100,000 recruits over the next few years, no actual target figure has yet been set under the Agricultural Training Scheme. The aim is simply to secure for the industry as many suitable men and women from war service as possible. The number of persons who had made application for farm or institutional training to the Ministry of Labour up to May 6 of this year was 4,048. In addition, 169 members of the Women's Land Army had applied direct to the Ministry of Agriculture for institutional training. Something like twenty-five per cent of this total number of 4,217 applicants withdrew their applications in favour of employment in other occupations, while some 200 men and women were found unsuitable, and a smaller number were ineligible for participation in the training scheme.
By the end of April of this year, 2,026 men and women had been placed in training, and an estimated 800 who had been 492 accepted as eligible were awaiting interview for suitability or actual placing on farms or at institutional centres. Finally, 327 out of this total of 2,026 men and women placed had terminated their training, almost all of their own accord, before completion of the course.