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Job Creation (Training)

Volume 113: debated on Tuesday 31 March 1987

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10.

asked the Paymaster General what proposals he has to monitor the quality of the training element in the Government's present job creation measures.

The Manpower Services Commission has detailed monitoring arrangements for all its employment programmes to ensure they are meeting their objectives.

Does the Minister accept that it is in everyone's interest to make the quality of training available to under 18-year-olds as high as possible? As the recent MSC report has suggested that up to 25 per cent. of new entrants to JTS are illiterate, instead of introducing consultants only to look at the cost-effectiveness of these schemes, is it not time to introduce consultants to look at the effectiveness of the training?

We are continually looking at the quality of our schemes. The whole emphasis is to improve the quality of our training and to reskill Britain.

Is my hon. Friend aware of the appalling fact that Bolton council has said that it will have nothing to do with the job training schemes, for some absurd political reason? Does he agree that it is denying Bolton a valuable source of Government funds, denying education and training to the unemployed and proving once again that Labour puts politics before people?

I find the approach of Bolton and other local authorities which oppose JTS depressing and sad. It hurts young people, who desperately need to increase the quality of their training.

Will the Minister accept that, instead of monitoring his schemes, his time would be better spent radically improving both the quality and quantity of skill training up to the level of our competitors, who spend up to 10 times as much, often financed by forms of levy, on training their people, as promised in Labour's "Plan for Training"?

The whole idea of a statutory levy for training purposes is totally unsatisfactory, and the additional cost to employers would result in further job losses.