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"Training For Employment"

Volume 128: debated on Wednesday 2 March 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what representations he has received concerning his recent White Paper "Training for Employment', and if he will make a statement.

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what responses have so far been received to the White Paper on "Training for Employment"; and if he will make a statement.

The White Paper sets out the Government's plans for securing continuing reductions in unemployment and for sustaining jobs growth. It calls upon employers, individuals and trade unions to play their part, in particular to equip longer-term unemployed people for the jobs which the economy is generating.We believe that the soundness of the approach set out in the White Paper is widely recognised. The Secretary of State has as yet received no specific representations about the Government's plans following the White Paper.

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what would be the gross and net annual costs of doubling the premiums over benefit on the proposed new training for employment programme.

The Government have accepted the recommendations of the Manpower Services Commission about the level of training allowances which will apply from the time the new programme comes into operation in September 1988. If in all cases the lead over benefit were to be double that recommended by the commission, the additional gross costs in a full year would be about £180 million.The training allowance as recommended by the Manpower Services Commission will not be subject to income tax or national insurance contributions. The net cost of increasing it would depend on the tax and national insurance arrangements.