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Canadian Engineering Students (Training Scheme)

Volume 480: debated on Thursday 16 November 1950

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126.

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, following the recent visit to this country of a party of professors from Canadian engineering faculties, he is able to announce proposals in connection with the advanced technical training in this country of engineering graduates from Canada.

132.

asked the President of the Board of Trade what progress has been made towards the establishment of a scholarship scheme to encourage Canadian engineering graduates to come to the United Kingdom for further training.

Yes. As I said during the Debate on Anglo-Canadian Trade on 1st May last, we were examining the possibility of bringing to this country more Canadian engineering students, to build up in the long term a greater awareness on the part of the Canadian engineers and buyers, of this country's engineering products.I am now glad to be able to announce a scheme which the Government have decided to introduce, involving a number of awards to be made annually for the post-graduate training in this country of engineering graduates from Canada. With the gracious permission of Her Royal Highness Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone, awards under this scheme, which will come into operation at the beginning of the academic year 1951–52, will be known as "Athlone Fellowships." The number of awards, each of which will normally cover a two-year period, will be 38 a year, and a proportion has been provisionally allocated to each engineering faculty in Canada for new graduates, whilst some will be reserved for graduates already employed in industry.Training facilities will be provided at industrial establishments or academic centres in this country, and the awards will cover the cost of travel to and from Great Britain, maintenance and tuition fees. Part of the expense of maintaining these graduates while they are in industrial establishments will be borne by the firms concerned; the rest of the cost of the scheme will be borne on public funds, and I estimate that in the first year of its operation expenditure falling on the Exchequer will be of the order of £16,000 rising to approximately £31,000 in the third year.The planning and successful operation of the scheme are matters of interest to my right hon. Friends the Minister of Education, the Secretary of State for Scotland, the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations and the Minister of Supply, whose Departments will be represented on the Committee of Management which I am setting up to administer the scheme. The Committee will include representatives of both sides of industry and of the academic interests involved. It is intended that it should keep in the closest touch with the Committee which is responsible for a somewhat similar scheme originated by the Federation of British Industries for placing overseas graduates in industry.