§ Mr. Meacher
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what proposals he has to improve the training of staff in adult training centres throughout the United Kingdom ; and if he will establish, in the light of the Melville and Lidstone Reports, a nationally recognised qualification for this purpose.
§ Sir K. Joseph
The Government have reviewed the queston of training for work in the day care field in the light of the Melville and Lidstone Reports and, after careful consideration of the recommendations180W made in those reports and of comments received from interested parties, announced in August 1973 that it has been decided that the Central Council for Education and Training in Social Work should, as from October 1974, take over responsibility for the training of staff needed in the day care services, including adult training centres, throughout the United Kingdom as a whole.
Training for staff in adult training centres in England and Wales is at present the responsibility of the Training Council for Teachers of the Mentally Handicapped and during the period up to October 1974 the two councils will undertake joint planning designed to ensure that the output of trained staff is maintained and to prepare for the development of new forms of training for the 1974–75 academic year. Joint consideration will also be given by the two councils, together with Government Departments, representatives of employers, staff and other interested parties to a range of questions including safeguarding the position of present and future holders of the diploma of the Training Council for Teachers of the Mentally Handicapped.
I should like to pay particular tribute to the work done by the Training Council for Teachers of the Mentally Handicapped over the last 10 years and to the spirit of constructive service to the public with which it is approaching the joint discussions and merger.
As my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland stated in his answer to the hon. Member on 23rd November, he has not yet completed his consultations on the wider questions raised by the Melville Report and is not yet in a position to make a statement on those issues.—[Vol. 864, c. 548.]