HC Deb 06 December 1982 vol 33 c343W
Mr. Alton

asked the Secretary of State for Industry why the manufacturing advisory service is not available to companies with fewer than 60 employees.

Mr. MacGregor

The manufacturing advisory service is limited to firms with sixty or more employees on grounds of cost effectiveness. Much of the assistance given by the service deals with organisational matters, such as production control, which affects the operation of the whole company. The benefit of such assistance is of restricted value to very small companies.

However companies with fewer than sixty employees are eligible for the small firms technical inquiry service. This provides up to five man days of free consultancy or answers to a maximum of four short technical enquiries, sometimes covering the same ground as the manufacturing advisory service but in a way more appropriate for the smaller firms. There has been an encouraging demand for the service since its launch in June of this year.

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