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Volume 202: debated on Thursday 23 January 1992

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To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Thursday 23 January.

This morning I presided at a meeting of the Cabinet and had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others. In addition to my duties in the House, I shall be having further meetings later today.

The Prime Minister has cut 110,000 training places in the past year. Furthermore, training schemes do not produce the skills or the qualifications for the jobs that are needed in Britain at this time. Is that because, as the Prime Minister said in another interview with Sue Lawley, from his point of view qualifications "are wholly useless"?

Despite the unfavourable economic climate, both youth training and employment training continue to help young and unemployed people on a very substantial scale to go into further training and further education. Very large numbers of young people are being helped. We are investing enormous sums in training, in enterprise and in vocational education—two and a half times as much, after taking account of inflation, as was invested by the Labour party when it was last in government.