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Government Training Centres (Places)

Volume 774: debated on Monday 25 November 1968

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asked the Secretary of State for Employment and Productivity what increase has taken place in the number of Government training centre places in development areas between October, 1964, and October, 1968.

The number rose from 1,340 in October, 1964, to 3,574 in October, 1968.

This is a very welcome increase. Is my hon. Friend satisfied that it is sufficient to cope with areas, for instance like my constituency, where there is a total run-down of the mining industry?

This would not be sufficient, were it all that the Government have in mind. I hope that my hon. Friend is reassured by the knowledge that over the next three years Government training places in the development areas will increase to 5,700. This is only part of the training programme, much of which in development areas, as in other parts of the country, must be run by the industrial training boards.

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that a number of new industrialists in the Northern Region are dissatisfied with the type of training course available? Will he take note of my request to his right hon. Friend recently to instigate an inquiry among these industrialists to determine the kind of training courses they require?

We are in close touch with the industrialists in the development areas, particularly in relation to their demands upon Government training centres. We have issued a general invitation for local employers to talk to our G.T.C. managers about the sort of training they would like to see. There has been a good response to that invitation and I hope it will continue.