HC Deb 08 November 1976 vol 919 cc88-9W
Mr. Ralph Howell

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will extend eligibility for training allowance so that unemployed people and workers having signed a contract of employment who need vocational preparation, may receive training allowance during periods of training and retraining, even though that training is sponsored by private or public industry outside the scope of the Training Opportunities Scheme.

Mr. Golding

I am advised by the Manpower Services Commission that the Training Opportunities Scheme (TOPS) is intended to provide individuals with opportunities for training for a new or improved skill, both to help them meet their own employment needs and aspirations and at the same time to meet national manpower requirements. It is not intended to supplant or replace training provided by private or public industry, and there is no intention at present of extending the payment of allowances to people sponsored on courses by such bodies.

Mr. Ralph Howell

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will publish a table showing the categories of people who are (a) eligible and (b) ineligible for training allowance.

Mr. Golding

I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission that training allowances are normally payable to trainees who fall within the following categories and who are accepted as suitable for a course:

Training Opportunities Scheme
Age requirement Other requirements
Aged 19 or over (a) applicant has been away from full-time education for at least three years;
(b) is unemployed or willing to give up present job to start training;
(c) intends to work in the job for which training is given;
(d) has not, with certain exceptions, had a Government training course during the previous five years.

Other training arrangements

Disabled people

In the case of disabled people, the age requirement and requirements (a) and possibly (d) would not apply.

Young people

In addition the Training Services Agency provides special courses for certain unemployed young people:

Age requirement Other requirements
Aged 16–18 Have demonstrated that they are having difficulty in finding suitable employment.