§ Mr. Foster
asked the Secretary of State for Employment, in view of the number of adult unemployed who have literacy problems, if Her Majesty's Government will (a) increase the education content in community enterprise programme schemes (b) increase the number of training opportunities programme preparatory courses and (c)encourage unemployed adults to increase their literacy skills without loss of benefit.
§ Mr. Peter Morrison
[pursuant to his reply, 24 June 1981]: The Manpower Services Commission administers the community enterprise programme and the preparatory courses run under its training opportunities scheme.
The community enterprise programme provides temporary employment. Sponsors of schemes may release employees for training in skills either directly relevant to the work of the scheme or which would improve the employee's prospects of subsequently finding normal employment. The Manpower Services Commission, which meets the cost of such training, has identified literacy training as an area which might benefit many community enterprise programme employees.
It is planned to provide for 3,600 preparatory course starts in 1981–82. This number is slightly higher than the 3,532 trainees who started preparatory courses in 1980–81.
Where unemployed adults request information about provision of literacy skills tuition, other than that available 161W on commission programmes, they are encouraged to contact the appropriate local education authority, with whom the overall responsibility for the provision of adult education rests. Inquirers are advised to contact their unemployment benefit office or Department of Health and Social Security office for advice on their entitlement to benefit.