HC Deb 05 December 1989 vol 163 cc195-6W
26. Mr. Key

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will make a statement on the youth training scheme.

67. Mrs. Currie

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what plans he has to promote improved training for young people; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Fowler

Since the introduction of the youth training scheme in 1983 well over 2 million young people have benefited from the programme. Over 85 per cent. of young people who complete their training programme now go into jobs, further education or training, and 64 per cent. gain a vocational qualification.

YTS has been a great success, but we now need to build on that success to meet the higher level skills that the economy will need in the 1990s and to enable training and enterprise councils to make the maximum impact in developing arrangments for youth training which will lift the skills and qualifications of young people in their areas.

I have therefore decided to introduce new arrangements to promote training for young people to be known as youth training.

The central aims of the new arrangements will be to move to a situation where all young people are either in full time education or a job with training and have the opportunity to develop their potential, qualifications, and skill to the full.

All young people on YT will be offered training and vocational education leading to qualifications equivalent to, at a minimum, level 2 in the framework established by the National Council for Vocational Qualifications. Targets will be set annually for major and progressive increases in the skills to be reached, both generally and at craft and technician levels.

The Government's guarantee will continue. All young people up to the age of 18 who are in the labour market but without a job will be offered a training place on youth training.

There will continue to be a strong emphasis on health and safety and on equal opportunities for young people. There will be appropriate arrangements for identifying and providing for young people who are disabled or who have special training needs.