§ 42. Mr. Haselhurst
asked the Secretary of State for Employment whether he will now announce an increase in training provision.
§ Mr. Jim Lester
I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission that there162W are currently no plans to announce an increase in overall expenditure on the training opportunities scheme. The MSC hopes to expand its sponsored training and mobile instructor services which can be tailored to the needs of individual firms. Within the MSC's overall programmes, provision for training for technician and computer occupations is being expanded. In the light of evidence of declining apprentice intakes this year, I understand that the commission is currently examining industry's training provision for young people.
§ 43. Mr. Lyell
asked the Secretary of State for Employment what steps he is taking to see that suitable training facilities are available in the northern Home Counties and the South Midlands to ensure that school leavers and people seeking fresh employment have the skills and basic aptitudes required by employers in their area.
§ Mr. Jim Lester
I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission (MSC) that the youth opportunities programme will continue to provide suitable and relevant work experience and training for unemployed school leavers and other young people in the northern Home Counties and South Midlands areas, as elsewhere.
For people over 18 seeking training the MSC has training places available under its training opportunities scheme at skill-centres, on employers' premises, at colleges of further education and other establishments in the northern Home Counties and South Midlands.
Further, the MSC's training for skill programme aims in the long term to improve the quantity and quality of training, and under the programme the MSC makes financial assistance available through organisations where recruitment is likely to fall below needs. Additionally the MSC's direct training services offer to employers training in certain specific job skills, instructional technique and supervision. These services, for which fees are charged, are available either in company or MSC premises. The MSC maintains a continual dialogue about suitable training requirements and facilities with industry training boards, district manpower committees—which include employers—and other interested organisations.