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Computer Services (Skill Shortages)

Volume 130: debated on Tuesday 29 March 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science, pursuant to the reply of 1 March, Official Report, column 539, what resources have been made available under the engineering, science and technology initiative to increase relevant higher education opportunities; and what proposals he has to meet skill shortages in the computer services sector.

The Government have made available a total of £43 million between 1985 and 1988 to fund additional higher education places under the engineering and technology programme. Future expenditure plans support the additional places in the longer term beyond this period.To secure the skills they want employers in the computer services and other sectors must provide proper incentives for people to acquire those skills, develop internal recruitment, and make the vital investment needed in training and in the upgrading of skills.The Government have given the lead through their investment in the engineering and technology programme, which is one of a number of initiatives already being taken to increase output in particular areas where it is clear that demand outstrips supply.