asked the Secretary of State for Employment what is being done for the training of long-term unemployed in Scotland; and whether he will make a statement on the effectiveness of existing programmes.
I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission that the Training Opportunities Scheme (TOPS) has expanded very rapidly in terms of the numbers, range, duration and level of courses, and these are open to unemployed workers whatever the duration of their unemployment. In 1974, of 6,200 people trained under TOPS in Scotland 65 per cent. were unemployed with varying lengths of unemployment prior to entry. The training provided is flexible enough to be adjusted to special problems which may arise for any individual who has been unemployed for some time. Early allocation is possible to many courses in Scotland and there are vacant places in most of the engineering classes in skillcentres.