asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware of the long delay in dealing with applications for financial awards under the Further Education and Training Scheme, and that many intending students have been un able to start term owing to uncertainty about grants; if he will state the number of applications for awards to commence on 1st October which have not been dealt with; and what steps he proposes to take to remedy this.
These applications, which require careful consideration, are dealt with by the Ministry of Education, the Scottish Education Department, the Ministry of Agriculture and by my Department according to the type of training for which an award is claimed. I regret that there should have been delay in dealing with these applications. This has been largely due to insufficiency of staff, but steps have been taken to remedy the situation. It is not possible, without examination of each case, which would involve further delay, to give the figure asked for.