§ Sir John Biggs-Davison
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland in what respects the training and employment measures for Northern Ireland differ from those in Great Britain; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Adam Butler
Measures to stimulate training and employment in Northern Ireland and Great Britain have the same broad objectives and many similarities. To meet the special needs of Northern Ireland, however, the arrangements there have a number of special features, including
- 1. direct apprentice training mainly for engineering and building trades in Government training centres in Northern Ireland—under review in the light of the new youth training programme:
- 2. financial assistance, through the training on employer's premises scheme, to new and expanding firms in the manufacturing and construction sectors in Northern Ireland to help train additional workers;
- 3. greater emphasis than in Great Britain's special measures for young people on both special community-based work preparation schemes and training projects in further education colleges;
- 4. employment and training opportunities for the long-term unemployed through "Enterprise Ulster", a statutory direct labour organisation:
- 5. the Northern Ireland training executive which provides common administrative services, co-ordination and cross-board training for Northern Ireland's industrial training boards—the industrial training board system is currently under review.
The recently announced plans for a new youth training programme—YTP—to be introduced in Northern Ireland in the autumn of 1982 are similar to the Government's proposals to develop training in Great Britain, as given in the White Paper "A New Training Initiative: A Programme for Action". The Northern Ireland youth training programme—YTP—will provide vocational preparation for 16 to 17-year-olds and a guaranteed year 200W to each 16-year-old school leaver who does not find work and is itself, and its early introduction, a further indication of the Government's recognition of, and response to, Northern Ireland's special needs.