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Engineering, Foundry And Engineering Construction Industries

Volume 984: debated on Thursday 8 May 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Employment what estimate he has made of skilled manpower needs of the engineering, foundry and engineering construction industries over the next five years; how this compares with the number of training places that will be available; and if he is satisfied that supply and demand of skilled manpower will be in balance.

[pursuant to his reply, 2 May 1980, c. 69192]: The prime responsibility for industrial training, including the balance between the supply and demand for skilled labour, rests with individual firms and industries, which receive advice and assistance from their industry training organisations. Neither my Department nor the Manpower Services Commission makes statistical estimates of the manpower needs of individual industries. Nevertheless, I am informed that the MSC, through the training policies of its operating divisions, such as the training for skills programme, seeks actively to ameliorate the effects of any imbalances which may arise, particularly where the skills concerned are used in a number of industries.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will list the manual occupations in the engineering and allied trades which his Department classifies as skilled.

[pursuant to his reply, 2 May 1980, c. 69192]: My Department does not attempt to define which occupations are skilled. For statistical purposes selected occupations in CODOT—and key list—groups XII to XVI and XVIII are classified as skilled. Of these the 68 occupations in CODOT group XIV cover engineering and allied trades.The Following occupations from group XV may also be included:

Foremen—product inspection
Inspectors and testers (skilled) (metal and electrical engineering)
Viewers (metal and electrical engineering).

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what is the level of financial support from his Department for the training activities of the Engineering Industry Training Board; and how this compares with each of the last five years.

[pursuant to his reply, 2 May 1980 c. 691–92]: I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission that it will make available £13·4 million to the Engineering Industry Training Board in the 1980–81 financial year for training activities. This sum excludes funds for computer training on which agreement has yet to be reached. MSC grants to the board for the preceding five years were 1979–80, £13·6 million (estimate): 1978–79 £15·1 million; 1977–78 £16·3 million; 1976–77 £12·7 million and 1975–76 £5·6 million.

In addition, the MSC will make available £91 million to meet the board's operating expenses in the 1980–81 financial year, which includes support for its training advisory services. MSC support for the board's operating expenses in the preceding five years was—1979–80 £7·9 million; 1978–79 £7·3 million; 1977–78 £6·3 million; 1976–77 £5·5 million and 1975–76 £4·4 million.

asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many women and girls are at present in apprenticeships in the engineering, foundry, and engineering construction trades.

Lester [pursuant to his reply, 2 May 1980, c. 691–92]: I am informed by the Manpower Services Commission that reliable information can be given only in respect of women and girl craft and technician apprentices recruited by firms in scope to the Engineering Industry Training Board and its foundry industry training committee and who follow approved courses of training. The latest available figures for women and girl apprentices are 823 in the engineering, nil in engineering construction trades and one in foundry trades in the 1978–79 training year.