HC Deb 16 March 1922 vol 151 cc2386-7W

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty whether lads whose parents have provided them with a rather better education and sent them to a technical engineering school, and kept them there up to the age of 16, are disqualified from becoming applicants for apprenticeship as fitters in the Navy as being too old; and, if so, whether, seeing that this is in practice handicaps the children of those who make sacrifices in order to give them a better education than those who leave school at the age of 14, he will remove this disqualification?


The ages for entry as artificer apprentice are 15 to 16 years, and experience shows that candidates do not leave school at as early an age as 14. To raise the limit of age above 16 would result in a corresponding postponement of the time at which successful candidates could become efficient members of a ship's company, and would diminish the amount of useful service which they render during their 12 years' engagement, which runs from the age of 18. The age limits of 15 to 16 have been settled as being the most suitable from every point of view, including economy.