§ Mr. Butler
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what measures he intends to take to ease skill shortages in the north-west.
§ Mr. Cope
Our training programmes support employer efforts to train to meet their growing skill needs. In 123W 1987–88 in the north-west region the Training Commission spent over £170 million on training for over 110,000 people. From September the £1.5 billion employment training programme will provide training for up to 600,000 unemployed adults nationally. I hope that employers in the north-west will take full advantage of this major new opportunity to meet their demand for skills. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State also announced recently our intention to extend Government support to a second year of local employer networks, bringing total spending to over £5 million, to involve employers throughout the country including the north-west in local training provision.