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Community Workshops

Volume 978: debated on Monday 4 February 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Employment what progress has been made by the Manpower Services Commission in developing its proposals for community workshops in which unemployed people, specially those who are disabled, could undertake light manufacture or repair work to provide a local service, without undue pressure to produce a financial profit; and if he will make a statement.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment, in money terms and in terms of numbers affected under each heading, what is the effect on (a) the North-West, (b) Merseyside, (c) Kirkby and (d) Ormskirk of his cuts in job promotion, job protection and training schemes, giving full information itemised for each scheme.

[pursuant to his reply, 22 January 1980, c. 118]: I announced on 12 June 1979 some changes in my Department's special employment measures and in the programmes of the Manpower Services Commission, but it is not possible to say, in detail, what the effects were in terms of expenditure or numbers of people supported in the areas mentioned by the hon. Member. One of our aims was to concentrate help on areas where it was most needed. Not all programmes were restricted, however, and some have continued to expand.I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission that for the North-West region the effect of Government expenditure cuts will be to reduce the number of training opportunities programme places planned for the current financial year from 15,638 to 13,490. The reduction will be mainly on commercial and clerical training. This represents a reduction in planned expenditure of £3·2 million.I am further informed by the MSC that there has been no reduction in the youth opportunities programme's planned level of operation in the areas mentioned. The national budget for STEP was reduced in June 1979 by concentrating the programme in the special development areas, development areas, and designated inner city areas. However, in the North-West there will be an increase in the number of entrants to programmes this year under both STEP and YOP; in the first three quarters of 1979–80 the number of YOP places had almost exceeded the number available in the whole of 1978–79–29,700 as against 29,900—and the number of STEP places was already higher than in 1978–79–4,400 as against 3,700.There was a reduction of £1 million in the planned provision for community industry in 1979–80. It is estimated that the effect on the numbers of places in units in the North-West was small, but detailed figures are not available. It is estimated that even after this reduction there will be about 250 more places in community industry in the North-West this year than in 1978–79, and most of these will be on Merseyside.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will place in the Library a copy of the limited warrants held by 323 inspectors appointed by the Health and Safety Executive under section 19 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act.

[pursuant to his reply, 31 January 1980]: I am arranging for a specimen set of the executive's limited warrants to be placed in the Library.