§ Mr. David Watkins
asked the Secretary of State for Employment what measures are currently being taken to promote group training schemes in the engineering industry.156W
§ Mr. Golding
The numbers unemployed are analysed at quarterly intervals according to the duration of their spell on the register and the latest date for which this information is available is April 1978. An analysis by both age and duration is made half-yearly in January and July. The following table gives the information available:
§ Mr. Golding
I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission that the Engineering Industry Training Board gives priority to the development and support of group training schemes because they are the most important means of providing good training services in small firms. During the past year there have been some amalgamations of groups in order to promote stronger organisations and a better service to member firms. There are now 153 groups operating in the industry, covering 6,535 member firms including 967 organisations outside the Board's scope. In the year ended 31st March 1978 the Board made payments of £1,031,658 by way of financial support to groups. These moneys were made available to the Board from public funds. Whilst it is MSC policy that in the future groups will be encouraged to achieve greater financial independence, the Board is committed to maintaining long term financial support of group training schemes, and will continue to give additional support to groups operating in remote areas. It will also be offering development grants to new and expanding groups.