§ Mr. Neil Hamilton
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what has been the take-up of the production and engineering design improvement scheme.
§ Mr. Butcher
The Department of Trade and Industry does not have a production and engineering design improvement scheme. It is assumed that the question refers to the DTI's design advisory service funded consultancy scheme which is managed by the Design Council.
At 31 December 1983, 1,418 firms had applied for assistance under the scheme. Applications are being received at a rate of about 100 per month.
Mr. Neil Hamilton asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on the incentive available from his Department to encourage production and engineering design methods.
§ Mr. Butcher
The design advisory service funded consultancy scheme provides manufacturers having 60 to 1,000 employees with up to 15 man-days of free consultancy on product and engineering design. A further 15 man-days are available with the firm paying half the cost.
The assistance provided covers all aspects of product and engineering design, including feasibility studies for new products, new product development, and production design of new or existing products.
Over 1,000 firms have been, or are being, assisted under the scheme, and over 90 per cent. of those assisted have expressed a high degree of satisfaction with the help given.
Assistance is also available for feasibility studies in computer aided design and manufacture—CADCAM—and for the provision of a CADCAM installation.