HL Deb 25 October 1973 vol 345 cc801-2WA

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What action they and the building industry are taking to improve recruitment and training of all grades of building workers, and in particular of craftsmen and building teams capable of working on the improvement and modernisation of existing houses.


Under the Training Opportunities Scheme the Government have increased the number of training places available for adult entrants to construction trades from just under 3,000 at the end of 1971 to an estimated 5,000 at the end of 1973. The Scheme now provides about a quarter of the intake of all skilled men in the construction industry and between 40 per cent. and 50 per cent. of the intake of bricklayers.

However, the main responsibility for recruiting of craftsmen in the construction trades rests with the industry itself, through the apprenticeship system. In 1972 the intake of apprentices rose to 27,388, from a total of 20,362 in 1971, reflecting revived confidence in the industry and its future.

The Construction Industry Training Board set up in 1971 a Training Awards Scheme offering initial off-the-job training courses, and in the current training year some 1,450 boys will be selected for training under the Scheme. In co-operation with industry the Board is also setting up four pilot off-the-job training centres for this purpose and increasing its grants for first year courses.