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Training Boards

Volume 23: debated on Tuesday 4 May 1982

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asked the Secretary of State for Employment what is the total number of staff of industrial training boards, of all grades, made redundant up to 30 March 1982 on account of the winding up of 16 of the boards.

Between 16 November 1981 and 30 March 1982, 424 ITB staff had been made redundant as a result of the proposed winding-up of 16 industrial training boards.

What evidence does the Minister have that the work of these people is being replaced in any way by individual employers in private industry?

The majority of employers' organisations have come forward with voluntary proposals on a satisfactory basis. When the orders are laid before the House it will have an opportunity to debate them.

Does my hon. Friend agree that the training that took place within industry was largely carried out by the companies themselves and that, in later years, the training boards had become a bureaucracy monitoring that training?

I agree that training in industry has been almost completely carried out by industry itself and that the boards concerned were monitoring that training. In some cases, at least, they had become rather over-bureaucratic.

The Minister will recall that last week, before the Select Committee, his right hon. Friend gave an undertaking to supply the Select Committee with information about the voluntary arrangements that were replacing the boards to be wound up, but refused to give an undertaking that that information would be made available to the House before we debated the winding-up of the boards? Will the Minister think again about that and recognise the importance of the House having the fullest information before it reaches this crucial decision?

I recall that my right hon. Friend made it clear last week before the Select Committee that he would provide the information to the Select Committee. He will also inform the House of the progress being made towards voluntary training arrangements.