asked the Secretary of State for Employment what measures he is taking to ensure dissemination of information on the availability of European Social Fund moneys for industrial training purposes.
The Regulations of the European Social Fund require that, to be eligible for assistance, operations must either be conducted by a public sector body or be financially supported by such a body. My Department is in regular contact with other Departments and agencies which may provide assistance towards eligible training or retraining schemes. In addition, the Training Services Agency is on the alert for operations carried out or assisted by industrial training boards which might be eligible for Social Fund aid. Summary information about allocations to the United Kingdom from the Fund is given through DE News which is widely distributed in industry. The Government take the view that a great publicity effort would be unlikely to be cost effective and might well raise false hopes. However, my officials are ready to give advice to any company or other organisation on the scope for making a successful application.