HC Deb 02 April 1998 vol 309 cc663-4W
23. Mr. Crausby

To ask the President of the Board of Trade what steps she is taking to address the difficulties experienced by companies suffering from skilled labour shortages in the engineering sector. [35996]

Mr. Battle

The recently completed, but not yet published, comprehensive Labour market survey by the Engineering and Marine Training Authority, covering over 22,000 companies from whom over 4,500 replies were received will report that the engineering sector is not suffering from a general shortage of engineering skills.

However, shortages are emerging in particular sectors and to particularly high skilled and multi-skilled areas of work. The Government are participating in initiatives to address the shortages, such as a manufacturing skills task force for the automotive sector in the West Midlands, the radio frequency engineers' scheme and a skills analysis in the heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and commercial refrigeration sector. The Department is also supporting research into availability of skills in the chemicals and shipbuilding sectors.

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