§ Mr. Andrew F. Bennett
asked the Prime Minister, pursuant to her answer of 19 October, how many women are being trained on the Manpower Services Commission programme for women only ; in which skills they are being trained; what percentage of them have found permanent jobs at the end of their training; and what is the total cost to public funds of these schemes.
§ The Prime Minister:
In 1981–82, 600 women completed training under the Manpower Services Commission's programme for women only as part of the 399W training opportunities scheme. The programme comprises firstly courses designed for women returning to the labour market after a long absence. These include:
- (a) Basic wider opportunities for women courses where particular skill training is not normally provided as they are designed to offer information on local job opportunities, some job sampling, and to help to build confidence and improve self presentation.
- (b) Experimental wider opportunities courses for women returning to employment in occupations involving or affected by new technology which offer some relevant basic skill training.
- (c) Courses for women returning to work at managerial or professional level, which were offered in two centres in 1981–82.
After the courses at(a), (b) and (c) some 24 per cent. of trainees found work within three months, and another 18 per cent. went into further training.
Courses for women returning to work cost about $247,000 in 1981–82.
Secondly, the programme comprises courses for other women:
- (d) In 1981–82 one course under the programme offered management training to unemployed women; of the 15 trainees, 3 found permanent employment. This cost about £8,000.
- (e) Two courses in 1981–82 offered an introduction to basic skills in occupations (for example, engineering) traditionally carried out by men. These courses cost about £43,000. Of the 136 trainees on these two courses, after three months 58 had gone on to further training and 8 had found work in jobs using the skills they had acquired.
In addition to the training provision under TOPS, the MSC sponsors a programme of training initiatives which aim to encourage industry to expand women's opportunities in occupations which involve relatively high degrees of responsibility and/or skill. It is not possible to estimate the number of trainees helped directly or indirectly under these schemes, which are run through Industrial Training Boards, educational institutions, management centres and other training bodies. Total cost of this programme was £886,000 in 1981–82, of which £695,000 was spent through the engineering industry training board on schemes to increase the number of women in engineering from which 232 women benefited.