§ Mr. Thurnham
asked the Paymaster General what representations he has received seeking to extend to two years the youth training scheme for all 18-year-old school leavers; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Trippier
I have not received any such representations. Our main concern has been with the training and prospects of 16 and 17-year-old school leavers, and that concern will be met by the expansion of YTS from April this year. It will offer two years' high quality training to 16-year-old school leavers and one year for 17-year-old leavers, and the opportunity to gain a recognised qualification. This represents a major step forward for the age group.
There will be 18-year-olds on YTS, even though 18-year-old school leavers are not catered for; 18-year-olds have access to a range of Government schemes; and all our adult training programmes are open to people aged 18 and over.