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Apprentices, Rosyth

Volume 640: debated on Wednesday 17 May 1961

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asked the Civil Lord of the Admiralty whether he is satisfied that, in view of the large number of candidates applying for admission to apprentice training at Rosyth, the maximum possible intake is being admitted.

The number of apprentices approved for entry at Rosyth in 1961 is 146. This represents an increase of over 50 per cent. over the 1960 intake, and more than 100 per cent. increase compared with 1959.

While thanking the hon. Gentleman for that reply, might I inform him that when I last visited this apprentice centre I found that the excellent facilities that are provided are being considerably under-utilised. Will the Civil Lord bear in mind that this is an area of high juvenile unemployment and what action is he taking to maintain the right level of intake.

I look as sympathetically as I possibly can at this subject, but I have to pay attention to the vacancies which will eventually exist for them when they become craftsmen. I realise the point that the hon. Gentleman is making and hope that the publicity of this Question will help to recruit even more people for these vacancies.

Can the Civil Lord assure hon. Members that there is no danger of the payroll tax which the Government are imposing having the effect of reducing the number of apprentices?