asked the Secretary of State for Employment why he is not prepared to finance the operating costs of industrial training boards which he proposes to abolish beyond March 1982 whereas he has declared his intention to finance other boards' operating costs for a further year after March 1982.
As my right hon. Friend said in his statement on 16 November, Exchequer support for surviving boards will cease at the end of March 1982. We consider it right that firms covered by these boards should meet their operating costs, in the same way as other industries will need to meet the costs of their voluntary arrangements.The Government will continue as necessary in 1982–83 to meet the operating costs of boards which are to be abolished, together with any net cost of winding them up. We have asked industries which are moving to voluntary training arrangements to be ready to bring these into operation as early as possible in 1982–83. They will have to bear the costs of these arrangements from the outset.