§ Mr. Skinner
asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will now reimburse all those participating in youth opportunities schemes for travelling expenses to [...] from work; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Peter Morrison
All young people participating on the youth opportunities programme may be reimbursed for travelling expenses in excess of £4 per week. I shall be making an announcement shortly about allowances payable under the programme.
§ Mr. Skinner
asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will now introduce full trade union rights and rates of pay into the youth opportunities scheme; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Michael Alison
No. The youth opportunities programme is a training programme, and trainees receive an allowance which is fixed by Government and not determined by collective negotiations. Subject to that, if trainees wish to be represented by a union that is a matter for them to agree with their sponsors. I am currently considering the level of the allowance and will make a statement shortly.
§ Mr. Field
asked the Secretary of State for Employment (1) what is the total cost of the youth opportunities programme scheme for 16 to 19-year-olds; if he will break down this total according to the cost of (a) payments for allowances to trainees and (b) to teaching and supervisory staff; and if he will detail any other major costs;
(2) how many 16 to 19-year-olds are currently in youth opportunities programme schemes; and what is the average length of such courses.