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Interrupted Apprenticeship Scheme

Volume 486: debated on Tuesday 10 April 1951

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asked the Minister of Labour why Mr. F. P. Medway, employed by Messrs. Sherren & Son, Limited, Weymouth, has had his application for reinstatement under the Interrupted Apprenticeship Scheme rejected.

This is not a question of reinstatement rights, as Mr. Medway is, in fact, in the employment of his pre-Service employer. The point is whether an application for the payment to that employer of a State allowance under the Interrupted Apprenticeship Scheme should be accepted 10 months after Mr. Medway's release from His Majesty's Forces. Since the inception of the scheme in 1945, this limit has always been six months, except for a delay due to causes outside the control of the applicant. As that does not apply in this case, I see no reason to alter the decision, of which the hon. Member has already been informed.

Is the Minister aware that nine months—not 10 months—have elapsed and that it is by no means too long for a young apprentice whose life and plans were dislocated by the war to concentrate upon a return to the profession of his original choice? Why has this administrative decision of six months been made, of which there is no notification whatever in the scheme to employers and men concerned? Would it not be much better to treat individual cases on their merits?

I am assured that 10 months have elapsed? We believe that the six months period is fair. In fact, if we were to give way upon instances of this type, it would mean that many thousands of cases which have been passed on the six-month period would have to be reopened.