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Volume 978: debated on Wednesday 13 February 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Employment what was the total number of places available at skill-centres for courses commencing during 1979; what proportion of such total was actually taken up; and what reasons had been identified as contributing significantly to the shortfall.

I am advised by the Manpower Services Commission that the information is not available in the form requested. However, on 10 December 1979 there were approximately 18,000 possible places of which 16,541 were operational places. 13,008 (78 per cent.) of the operational places were occupied. The main reasons for the shortfall are:

  • (1) lack of recruits;
  • (2) difficulty in filling vacant places at short notice;
  • (3) failure of applicants to report for training;
  • (4) premises and equipment difficulties;
  • (5) the progressive build-up of new classes.
  • The difference of approximately 1,500 places between possible and operational places is the result of shortage of instructors.