§ Mr. Corbett
asked the Secretary of State for Employment (1) whether he will ensure that priority is given to repair, alteration and improvement work at skillcentres to ensure that the maximum number of people can take part in retraining courses;
(2) what is the estimated cost of structural alterations and improvements to the Slough skillcentre; when it was estimated this work would be started and completed; when it is now estimated work will be started and completed; and what are the reasons for the delays;
(3) for what reason a scheduled course in silk screen printing at the Slough skillcentre was not proceeded with in October.
§ Mr. Harold Walker
, pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 18th December 1975; Vol. 902, c. 428], gave the following information:
The Government have indicated the priority they give to training and retraining by the allocation of additional funds since last April. I am assured by the Manpower Services Commission that the Training Services Agency gives high priority to the maintenance and expansion of its training facilities, with particular regard to repair, alterations and improvements essential for efficient training.
Comparatively minor structural alterations and improvements are taking place at Slough skillcentre as it is planned to replace the existing centre in 1978. These amounted to £13,500 for 1975–76: £5,500 relates to work approved in May 1975 which will be completed by the end of 1975 as scheduled; £8,000 relates to work deferred from the 1974–75 programme by the previous Government's expenditure cuts at the end of 1973.
The installation necessary for a screen process printing class at Slough was affected by this delay. The opening of the class has been further delayed until March 1976 in order to up-date the specification for the training equipment to meet the changing requirements for this occupation.