HL Deb 23 June 1982 vol 431 cc1031-2
Baroness Sharpies

My Lords, I beg leave to ask the Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.

The Question was as follows:

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the response to the Youth Adventure Scheme has been encouraging.

The Earl of Avon

Yes, my Lords. Courses have now begun at all five locations, and every place on every course is now allocated. The courses are going very well, and many of the young people have commented on how enjoyable and rewarding they have found the training.

Baroness Sharpies

My Lords, I thank my noble friend for that reply. This is an extremely new experiment. I understand that it is to end in October of this year, and can my noble friend say whether it is possible that next year there will be a continuing process? Can he also say how many of the applicants who have applied have failed on medical grounds?—because I understand that it is quite a hard exercise over the two weeks.

The Earl of Avon

My Lords, as regards next year, the scheme was set up this year because there was spare capacity in the training organisation, which may or may not occur to the same extent next year. The decision on whether to repeat the scheme will be taken in the light of such capacity as is available, and other relevant factors, including its success. So far as the medical situation is concerned, I understand that the young people are given a fairly full Army medical before they go on the course. I have no statistics on the failure rate; I do not believe that they are kept. Some of the boys on the course go back early because they are not fit enough.

Lord Kilmany

My Lords, arising from that reply, would it be true to assume that by and large the girls are proving themselves tougher than the boys?

The Earl of Avon

My Lords, I have no statistics on that, but I am sure that my right honourable friend the Prime Minister will bear in mind the noble Lord's remarks.

Baroness Macleod of Borve

My Lords, can my noble friend tell the House how many young people are actually taking part at this time?

The Earl of Avon

My Lords, I understand that the full numbers for the courses will be about 5,000

Lord Elwyn-Jones

My Lords, are Army medicals more thorough-going than they used to be in the days when, "You're warm, you're in"?

The Earl of Avon

My Lords, at the moment I think that they probably are.

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