§ 49. Mr. Heathcoat-Amory
asked the Paymaster General what steps he is taking to identify skill shortages and provide equivalent training places.
§ Mr. Trippier
It is the responsibility of employers to identify their skill requirements and to invest in training to meet their needs. Nevertheless, the Government fund a wide range of initiatives to help improve the supply of skills, including the YTS and the new job training scheme which my right hon. and learned Friend announced on 28 567W January, and to help to improve information both about skill supply and demand and also training needs and availability. Recent steps include the development of a computerised local labour market information to gather data on employers' training needs; the establishment of a skills unit to provide more effective analysis and information on changing skill requirements; the establishment of local employer networks; and the pilots of training access points. We frequently review all provision to see whether more effective assistance can be given in the task of re-skilling Britain.
§ 59. Mr. Andrew F. Bennett
asked the Paymaster General what are his latest estimates of the high technology skill shortages facing British industry.
§ Mr. Trippier
The most recent survey of skill shortages in manufacturing industry estimates that some 5 per cent. of firms responding expect output over the next four months to be limited by a shortage of professional engineers and 2 per cent. of firms expect output to be limited by shortages of computer and management services occupations. Most difficulties were in recruiting people with experience.