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Training Period (Benefit)

Volume 237: debated on Thursday 3 April 1930

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asked the Minister of Labour whether she is aware that under the new Unemployment Insurance Act a man training for work without any remuneration whatsoever is debarred from receiving unemployment benefit; and whether, in view of the discouragement which this affords to those genuinely anxious to find employment, she will consider an Amendment to the Act in question?

The right to draw benefit during a period of training depends on the circumstances of the particular case, and especially on whether the training is being given by a prospective employer. The law on this subject was not altered by the recent Act, and I cannot undertake to introduce fresh legislation with regard to it at present.

Do I understand from the Minister's reply that if training is given by a prospective employer—for instance, if a weaver wishes to be trained as an omnibus conductor without any remuneration—then in such a case the man is debarred from getting any benefit, as a result?

That is the position. The alternative is that of treating the Fund as a subsidy of wages.

Are we to understand then that the man who tries—the man who goes into training in order that he may earn his own living—is to be handicapped, and is to get nothing, while the man who sits at home and does no work gets paid for it?

The hon. and gallant Member appears to forget entirely that he is referring to a system which was in practice under the Administration of which he was a supporter.

On a point of Order. Are you aware, Sir, that whenever we bring forward questions of this kind, we are always referred to what happened under the last Government, instead of being given a reply; and are we to take it that the present Government are proceeding on the same lines as the last Government, and are therefore satisfied with what the last Government did?