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Craft And Technician Apprentices

Volume 13: debated on Thursday 19 November 1981

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asked the Secretary of State for Defence what is the total number of craft and technician apprentices to be trained at the aeronautical quality assurance directorate at Harefield and the electrical quality assurance directorate at Bromley during each of the next five years; how this compares with the number trained at both establishments during each of the past five years; and if he is satisfied that the recruitment programme will be adequate to meet the defence needs of the United Kingdom in future.

The total number of craft and technician apprentices to be recruited annually for training for AQD Harefield and EQD Aquila during the next five years is likely to be 10 technician apprentices for AQD and 20 apprentices for EQD—10 craft and 10 technician apprentices. The figures are subject to annual review and depend on the requirement to train only sufficient apprentices to meet MOD needs within the overall manpower targets set by the Government for the Civil Service. Apprentices are included in manpower numbers.The number of apprentices recruited at AQD Harefield and EQD Aquila, Bromley, over the past five years was given in the written reply to my hon. Friend on 12 November.—[Vol. 12, c.

143.]

I am satisfied that sufficient apprentices will be recruited to meet the Department's needs, including those of the quality assurance directorate, for the future.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what effect the transfer of craft and technician apprentices from the aeronautical quality assurance directorate at Harefield to the electrical quality assurance directorate at Bromley will have on the future of training facilities provided at Uxbridge technical college and Slough college, respectively, in view of the fact that both colleges provide technician engineer courses for these apprentices.

Approximately 15 of the 120 technician engineer places at Slough college and 22 of the 100 places at Uxbridge technical college are filled by apprentices from the AQD Harefield. The MOD will seek to minimise the effect on these colleges by arranging for a phased withdrawal of apprentices from both colleges.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what effect the transfer of craft and technician apprentices from the aeronautical quality assurance directorate at Harefield to the electrical quality assurance directorate at Bromley will have on the number of apprentice training supervisors employed at Harefield; what consultations have taken place with the unions and the staff concerned on these changes; and if he will make a statement.

AQD Harefield does not train craft apprentices. As a result of the proposal to transfer the technician apprentice training scheme from AQD Harefield to EQD Aquila, Bromley, at least two training staff will need to be transferred.Three professional and technological officer grade posts will, as a consequence, be surplus. Of the present incumbents, one is shortly due to retire and the other two will be offered suitable alternative posts if these are available elsewhere in the Department. One clerical officer post will be surplus and the incumbent will be offered an alternative post in AQD.The trade unions have been kept informed of these proposed changes.