§ Mr. Foster
asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he is satisfied that the 13-week restriction on pre-training opportunities programme courses is not preventing a large number of people who are unable to meet the required standards within the 13 weeks from progressing to further training opportunities programme courses.389W
§ Mr. Peter Morrison
[pursuant to his reply, 3 June 1981]: The training opportunities programme preparatory courses are not intended to cater for those who need intensive or protracted periods of remedial education. The courses provide basic language, literacy and numeracy training for those who can make best use of such training to gain entry to employment or further training. Following a recent review, literacy and numeracy courses are now shorter and more work related. Trainees are accepted for 13 weeks, with a facility for extension if necessary. By providing shorter courses the Manpower Services Commission has been able to maintain the number of preparatory course trainees at about 3,500 a year.