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National Institute Of Houseworkers

Volume 463: debated on Tuesday 29 March 1949

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11.

asked the Minister of Labour what number of students during 1948 attended training centres established by the National Institute of Houseworkers; what was the average cost per student per month; and what was the total cost of the institute to public funds.

Two hundred and eighty-nine. The average cost per student per month was £27 for an adult and £23 for a younger girl. These figures include rental or equivalent capital charges, the cost of maintenance allowances, and in the great majority of cases board and lodging. The total cost of the Institute to public funds during 1948 was approximately £105,000, including approximately £41,000 on capital assets, mainly premises, and £31,000 running costs of the Institute's Headquarters.

As this institute was started in June, 1946, is not it time it showed better value for money?

We cannot get the finished products at the beginning of the course. We have to wait until they have finished training. I would emphasise that this institute is having the effect of raising the status of those employed in this kind of work. Instead of being what was commonly termed in the old days a "skivvy," they are coming out as people ready for employment which should be recognised as worthy of the highest possible regard.

Is the Minister aware that a cheaper and more efficient way of training these students would be to attach them to the household of a selected efficient housewife, when they would learn the practical household duties.

It is quite the contrary. It is because that kind of training was found to be insufficient that this institute was started.

Is my right hon. Friend aware that it is as important to train properly for housework, as for any other profession for which training is given by the Government?