§ Sir E. Graham-Little
asked the Minister of Labour how many men experienced in coal-getting at the coal-face have been absorbed since the outbreak of war in other occupations including the fighting services and factories; and what is the estimated minimal period for training new recruits in this skilled department of mining.708W
§ Mr. Bevin
I regret that the information asked for in the first part of the Question is not available. With regard to the last part of the Question I am informed by my right hon. and gallant Friend the Minister of Fuel and Power that after an initial period of general underground experience, which normally will take 16 weeks, new workers can be put on work at the coalface and should normally become useful members of the team of face workers after their first month's training at the coalface. My hon. Friend will appreciate that in mining as in other industries it inevitably takes some time before the highest degree of skill can be obtained enabling a man to work at the face by himself, but the new entrants will be performing essential work after their first month underground.