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Volume 975: debated on Tuesday 11 December 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for Employment whether he is considering proposals to reduce the number of centres for training workers in new skills; which skillcentres would face closure if such proposals were implemented and what training capacity would be lost as a result; what skills would be affected and which of these are suffering from manpower shortages; if he will ensure that no areas of high unemployment will face any closures of skillcentres; and if he will make a statement.

:The Manpower Services Commission informs me that, as part of the exercise being conducted by Ministers with the help of Sir Derek Rayner to promote efficiency in Government administration, an examination has been made of the role of the Commission's skillcentre network in providing training facilities. A number of options are being considered by the chairman of the Commission and Sir Derek Rayner aimed at rationalising the existing and planned provision of skillcentres and improving performance. Proposals based on these options will in due course be considered by the Commission which will then make recommendations to the Secretary of State.