§ Mr. Pawsey
asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he has reached a decision about the future of the Road Transport Industry Training Board; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Peter Morrison
The Road Transport Industry Training Board set up a working party in June 1983, with representation from the principal industrial sectors within its scope, to review its future structure and activities. The working party concluded that the board had an essential contribution to make to the training needs of the industry and recommended that it should be retained as a single organisation. It proposed the establishment of two industrial councils, one based on motor vehicle retail and repair and the other on road haulage, with responsibility for developing training policies and programmes in their sectors. These proposals were unanimously agreed by the board in December, including representatives of the Motor Agents Association and Road Haulage Association.
The Government welcome the fact that there is a consensus within the board about its future structure, as reflected in the working party's recommendations. They have accordingly concluded that the board should be retained in its present form, and I have today written to the chairman of the board to inform him of our decision. This is without prejudice to our decision on outstanding applications by the motor factor and vehicle hire sectors to be removed from the scope of the board, on which I am asking the Manpower Services Commission to report to me.
The Government are also encouraged by the board's identification of training priorities and its intention to achieve more economical operation and reduced costs. I have no doubt that with the restatement of support which it has now received on behalf of both employers and trade unions, the board will now give a firm lead on training matters in the industry.