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Apprentices (Day Release)

Volume 648: debated on Wednesday 8 November 1961

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asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he is aware of the decision of Glasgow Corporation to ask contractors tendering for building work valued at £10,000 or over to supply details of their apprentices attending day-release classes so that it can be determined whether they are properly fulfilling their obligations for apprentice training;and if he will ask other local authorities and public bodies to do the same so as to encourage increased use of day-release facilities.

This is a suggestion which has been made to a Committee of the Scottish Technical Education Consultative Council, and I would prefer not to anticipate its report.

Is not this a perfectly simple question? Is not this also a very effective if simple way of encouraging day release? Why should we have to wait for a report which, I understand, deals with other matters as well? Why cannot we have action on this matter now?

There are arguments on both sides in this matter. For example, there is some doubt whether a practice of this kind would, normally speaking, be consistent with the general rule that contracts should be awarded after open competition. It is not so simple as it appears at first sight.

The right hon. Gentleman has, I think, agreed that day release is a good thing. Should he not, therefore, take every step to help it?

The hon. Gentleman knows that I do think that day release is a good thing but, as I have tried to point out, this matter is not quite as sample as it would appear at first sight. I thought it was simple until I studied it very carefully.