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Volume 976: debated on Friday 21 December 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for Employment what action he has taken since 3 May to ensure that skillcentres become more responsive to the needs of local industry.

I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission that the review of the training opportunities scheme (TOPS) published last year made a number of recommendations to ensure that skillcentres are able to respond to the needs of local industry. These recommendations are being carried out in the form of trials throughout Great Britain.In addition, a comprehensive review of skillcentre classes has identified a number of classes for closure and others more closely matched to local labour market needs are being opened in their place. Skillcentre performance is continually monitored with a view to meeting local needs and apart from TOPS the MSC's direct training services to industry are being actively marketed.