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Volume 981: debated on Monday 17 March 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many apprenticeships will be funded from Government funds in 1980–81, as compared with each of the previous five years; whether he estimates that the level of normal recruitment of apprentices by employers is likely to be maintained; and whether he will make a statement.

I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission—MSC—that details of support from Exchequer funds in 1980–81 for young people to obtain apprenticeships and other longterm training have not yet been finalised for all industries. I will write to the hon. Member when the figures are available. The MSC believes that the pattern of unassisted recruitment by employers in 1980–81 is likely to vary between industries, depending on their economic circumstances and it is keeping the position under review. The Government are continuing to support the MSC's "training for skills" programme.