asked the Minister of Labour what further developments will take place in the work of the Industrial Training Council; and what increases will be made in its staff and its budget, in view of the further increase in the number of school leavers in 1962 compared with 1961.
As a matter of the highest priority, the Industrial Training Council is urging on both employers and unions the need to expand and improve all types of industrial training. I understand that further industrial development officers will be appointed as opportunity arises. The Government grant-in-aid will continue to be available for training development work and I am informed that the British Employers Confederation will be providing additional financial aid to help the Training Advisory Service to undertake certain promotional work for group training schemes.
Will the Government considerably increase their financial contribution? Does the right hon. Gentleman agree that there will be 9 per cent. more school leavers this year than there were last year? In view of this, should not very energetic action be taken so that the good work already done can be expanded to meet this extra need?
As the hon. Gentleman probably knows, the Government money available for the Industrial Training Council is still available. It has not been fully used. If there were any question of that, I should certainly look into the matter. On the general basis, I agree with the hon. Gentleman that we must try to repeat the excellent efforts made last year when, despite many criticisms and many cynics, there was an an increase of 11 per cent. in the number of apprenticeships.