asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will provide details of the Manpower Services Commission's proposal to employ and train young people as clerical assistants.
The proposal was to introduce a planned programme of work based on training off the job for the Manpower Services Commission's normal recruitment of 16 and 17-year-old young people for employment, in clerical posts. It has been the subject of discussion since last year with the appropriate Civil Service unions, but agreement has not been reached.Since the discussions began, the Government have announced their commitment to a two-year youth training scheme nationally. The commission will shortly be considering detailed proposals for submission to the Government at the end of this month, with a view to introducing the new scheme in April 1986.The commission's management has, therefore, decided that its earlier proposal has been overtaken by events and it has been withdrawn. It will now be discussing with the appropriate Civil Service trade unions a more limited training programme for clerical recruitment pending the introduction of a two-year youth training scheme generally.Thereafter, I hope that the Civil Service trade unions will drop their objection to the youth training scheme in the Civil Service generally and that we will see a full scale two-year youth training scheme operating for 16 and 17-year-old recruits to the commission and to the Civil Service at large.