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Engineering Apprentices (Northern Ireland)

Volume 981: debated on Tuesday 18 March 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Employment what study his Department has made of the system of recruitment and training of engineering apprentices in Northern Ireland; and if he will set up a working party to consider the possible application of this system to Great Britain.

I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission that the Engineering Industry Training Board keeps in close touch with training practices outside Great Britain. The main difference between the systems in Northern Ireland and Great Britain is that in the former a high proportion of engineering apprentices are recruited by and receive their initial training from the Department of Manpower Services of Northern Ireland. This is because the economic and social conditions are very much different in Northern Ireland. I believe that the responsibility for providing industrial training should rest with the employers in the industry and I would not seek to apply to Great Britain the system it has been found necessary to follow in Northern Ireland.