HC Deb 05 April 1951 vol 486 cc29-30W
Mr. J. Hudson

asked the Minister of Works if he will make a statement about the future of the Apprentice Master Scheme which is sponsored by his Department.

Mr. Stokes

The Apprentice Master Scheme was instituted in 1945, on the recommendation of the Building Apprenticeship and Training Council, as an emergency measure to assist recruitment to the building industry at a time when the number of boys wishing to enter the industry and needed to maintain its manpower exceeded the number of normal vacancies for apprentices. Over 6,000 boys have been trained under the scheme and absorbed into the industry, and over 2,000 houses have been built. The Ministry of Works has borne the difference between the actual cost of work under the scheme, and the cost which would have been incurred had the work been done normally by competitive tender with the usual complement of adult labour.

The scheme was inaugurated as a temporary measure to meet immediate post-war needs. In view of the extent to which it has by now served its purpose, and of the calls of the defence programme on Government expenditure, it has been decided not to put in hand further works under the scheme after 31st March, 1951, and to bring the whole scheme to a conclusion by 31st March, 1952. The building industry has been invited by the Building Apprenticeship and Training Council to consider, while the present scheme is running down, the establishment of an alternative scheme of its own.