HC Deb 09 July 1981 vol 8 cc175-6W
Sir Brandon Rhys Williams

asked the Prime Minister whether any arrangements exist for monitoring changes in local authority policies concerning educational maintenance allowances, free school transport for sixth-formers, the payment of discretionary grants for further education and the effects of any changes on (a) youth unemployment and (b) the future supply of skilled manpower; and, if so, which Departments are responsible.

The Prime Minister

Local authorities provide annual returns of their total recurrent expenditure under a number of headings including maintenance allowances, discretionary grants for further education and transport, but information on the last of these does not distinguish between young people above and below compulsory school age. The information is taken into account for rate support grant calculations. However, information is not collected centrally on amounts paid to individuals, so it is not possible to monitor local authorities' policies in this respect. The factors influencing youth unemployment and the supply of skilled manpower, which are matters primarily for the Department of Employment, are very complex and it is not possible to identify the effects of any particular factor.