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"Training For Employment"

Volume 130: debated on Tuesday 29 March 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will make a statement on the implications for Derbyshire of the White Paper on "Training for Employment".

In Derbyshire, as elsewhere, the employment training programme will provide a wide range of high-quality training opportunities for unemployed people, to meet their individual needs and those of the local labour market.

Will the 3,132 people in Derbyshire currently involved in the community programme and their agents be involved in the new adult training scheme? What guarantee can my hon. Friend provide about the quality of those training programmes?

There will be a minimum of 170,000 community programme-type places in the new programme. My hon. Friend is entirely right to highlight the question of quality. The task of the Manpower Services Commission was to draw up a scheme which would provide quality training. It is satisfied that it has been able to do that and my right hon. Friend has accepted its recommendations in full.

Is the Minister aware that there is a lack of credibility in the White Paper's implications for South Yorkshire? There is a genuine fear among employers and trade unions that the programme cannot possibly provide the number of jobs and the required skills to assist an economy that badly needs revitalisation. The Minister will have to convince South Yorkshire that his claim—

In so far as Derbyshire and Amber Valley share similar problems, I am sure the hon. Gentleman will agree that there is a responsibility on all of us to try to allay genuine fears. If there are people in areas that are of concern to him who have these fears, I hope he will point out that the Manpower Services Commission's recommendations were unanimous and were accepted in full. I hope he will also point out that there are people on the Manpower Services Commission who represent not only local authority interests, but trade unions commissioners as well.