To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what progress has been made in furthering training for the Merchant Navy under the provisions of the Merchant Shipping Act; to what extent financial assistance has been made available for such training; and to what extent available finance has not been taken up.
Since the launch in November 1988, 773 new recruits have joined the Government assistance for training scheme. Up to £2·5 million was made available during the first year and £3·5 million has been earmarked for the scheme in a full year. The actual spend during the first year was £900,000 and the spend last year was £1·6 million. Expenditure levels are expected to rise as more trainees come into the scheme.