asked the Secretary of State for Industry whether the assistance towards training costs available under section 7 of the Industry Act 1972 should be extended.
Yes. From today a new scheme for regional selective assistance under section 7 of the Industry Act provides help towards certain in-plant training costs. The scheme applies to manufacturing projects providing a minimum of 25 jobs in special development areas and development areas where the training element is essential to the success of the project and where the project otherwise meets the criteria for regional selective assistance. It will finance training for 7,000 to 10,000 jobs a year at a gross cost of £10 million. Half of this will be found from the existing provisions for section 7 expenditure. Officials have had encouraging discussions with the European Commission about the scheme and there is every prospect that the European social fund will supply a matching £5 million, thus increasing our receipts from the social fund.