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Volume 644: debated on Wednesday 12 July 1961

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asked the Minister of Labour what is his estimate of the percentage of boys and girls who having been recorded as apprentices in his Department's apprentice statistics subsequently have their apprenticeships terminated.

What is the right hon. Gentleman's estimate of the error in the figures given by youth employment officers to his Department when they made up the original figure? Is is not based on the report by boys and girls who go to the youth employment officer because they think they have apprenticeships offered to them and in fact have not?

I believe that the figures are pretty accurate. I think that the hon. Member knows how difficult it is to achieve supreme accuracy in this matter. Our figures show that where wastage is due to premature terminations, this is more than offset by late entrants to apprenticeship. I think that, broadly speaking, we can rely on these figures.

Would the Minister agree that three years ago the Carr Committee recommended that he should have far more complete statistics of the number of people in apprenticeship training and so on? What is he doing to carry out that recommendation?

The main task of the Youth Employment Service is to get on with the job of advising young people in finding jobs and apprenticeships. If we put on the Service this heavy demand for extra statistics, the officers would be taken away from the crucial job of work which they have to do at the moment.