HC Deb 20 July 1971 vol 821 cc249-50W
Mr. Selwyn Gummer

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what measures he has in mind to improve and extend facilities for industrial retraining.

Mr. Carr

I am mounting a special drive to increase the number of unemployed workers being retrained under the Government's Vocational Training Scheme. The following steps are being taken

  1. (i) The level of allowances to adult trainees will be raised substantially in September. The rate of allowance for a single man will be increased from £8.25 to £11 a week giving a maximum lead of £5 over unemployment benefit. There will be appropriate increases in the higher rates payable to men with dependants.
  2. (ii) I have now authorised the building of a further three new Government Training Centres—on the eastern side of Birmingham, in North Manchester and in the Chesterfield/Mansfield/Alfreton area—as part of the expansion programme announced last November.
  3. (iii) I am approaching employers in every region to increase the retraining of unemployed workers, at Government expense, in spare capacity in employers' establishments.
  4. (iv) My right hon. Friends and I are consulting with the educational interests concerned about the promotion of more extensive training for the unemployed, including for the first time those under 18, in colleges of further education.
  5. (v) I am taking new initiatives to publicise these improved allowances and facilities as well as the advantages of retraining in order to bring all Government Training Centres up to full capacity and to make use of other available resources.