asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will state the percentage of trainees who have completed a course at Darlington skillcentres and subsequently secured employment within a short period; whether this figure is arrived at by writing to each individual who has completed a course; and, if so, what percentage of the former trainees failed to reply to his letter.
I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission that the placing and retention in employment of skillcentre trainees is monitored by means of questionnaires issued three months after completion of the courses. Until recently this was done on the basis of a sample of 1 in 6 trainees completing courses, but follow-up of all skillcentre trainees started on April 1 1979. In the six month period ending 30 September, 59 trainees completed training at Darlington skillcentre. Of these 18–30·5 per cent.—failed to return their questionnaire at the three month follow-up stage. Approximately 63 per cent. of the trainees who did respond were in employment using what they had learnt. In the most recent quarter (June-September 1979) 76 per cent. of trainees followed up responded, and of these 42 per cent. were still in employment using what they had learnt.