§ 16. Mr. Campbell-Savours
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many additional places will be required in local authority funded educational institutions to meet the needs of the Manpower Services Commission youth training proposals announced on Tuesday 3 May.
§ Mr. William Shelton
No detailed estimates were made by the youth task group of the demands of its proposed scheme on maintained educational institutions. The Government expect that they would be commensurate with those under the proposals in Cmnd. 8455.
§ Mr. Campbell-Savours
Will the current guidelines on rates per student hour payable to colleges of further education be applicable under the new training proposals? 185 What assurances can the Minister give to further education colleges that they will not be required to provide such additional education on the cheap, at their expense, when at least 70,000 people are involved in the new arrangement?
§ Mr. Shelton
I think that I can reassure the hon. Gentleman. However, the recommendations of the youth task group have not been officially approved by the Government. Consultations are in process, but there is no plan at present to change the guidelines.
§ Mr. Whitehead
Is it not a crowning absurdity that the Government are still contracting the public sector of higher and further education although these institutions could play their part in the training scheme initiative and, as I understand it, without any allocation of funds or obligation on the part of the Department of Education and Science to give a commitment in that direction?
§ Mr. Shelton
The hon. Gentleman has got it wrong. The number of those staying on in colleges of further education for full-time education is increasing. Next year, we expect a 25 per cent. increase. Indeed, we have provided the funds for that increase. We have provided about £80 million extra for the 16 to 19 year-old age group, and that is not at all bad.