§ Mr. George Grant
asked the Secretary of State for Employment what proposals he has for training in the Northern Region to meet the demand for skills expected to accrue as a result of the development of North Sea oil and gas.
§ Mr. Harold Walker
I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission of the following arrangements to meet the demands for skills arising from North Sea developments. The Engineering Industry Training Board has been given funds by the Training Services Agency 457W for special training centres to be set up. These will provide training in mechanical and electrical engineering construction skills and one of the first of these centres will be on Teesside.
The Shipbuilding Industry Training Board will receive financial support from the Training Services Agency to introduce special grant schemes as an encouragement to employers to provide more training opportunities in key skills which are common to shipbuilding and oil related activities. Shipbuilders and ship repairers in the North Eastern Region are expected to benefit substantially from these arrangements.
The Training Services Agency provides training courses under the Training Opportunities Scheme in those skills which cover welding, pipe-fitting, plating, electrical work and scaffolding at six skill-centres in the North Eastern Region.
The Training Services Agency has set up a national committee to look into the co-ordination needed to meet requirements in the engineering, shipbuilding and engineering construction industries resulting from the North Sea Oil programme. There will be a North East Regional Committee and sub-regional committees for Tyneside-Wearside and Teesside.