§ Mr. Wainwright
asked the Minister of Technology what action he contemplates to increase the spread of technology on the workshop floor, especially in the smaller firms.
§ Mr. Cousins
I have decided to set up a Production Engineering Advisory Service to help the engineering and allied industries to increase their productive efficiency. This service will cover all aspects of engineering from the improvement of engineering design to new and improved management and production techniques, including automation.
The service will be available to all engineering firms and will be operated on behalf of the Ministry of Technology by the Production Engineering Research Association in conjunction with the Regional Offices of my Department. Mobile demonstration and advisory units will be stationed in each Region and teams will be available to visit engineering works and show designers, foremen and production staff how to use the most modern production engineering techniques.
The service will begin as soon as the mobile units can be prepared and staffed and I hope that it will be in operation in all the Regions within twelve months. Initially it will run for a period of four years and the net cost to the Exchequer will be about £1 million.