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Mr. Fowler : Employment training is helping a large and increasing number of unemployed people to develop the skills they need to get back to work. The valuable work done by community insulation projects in draught proofing the homes of low-income households offers one means of providing suitable training and experience.
I have agreed with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Energy to reinforce the contribution employment training can make to community insulation projects this year by taking the following action :
(a) training managers will be offered an increase to £40 per week in the level of supplementary training grant under existing contracts in respect of additional filled places ;
(b) more advice will be provided to training agents and potential trainees on the range of skills offered by such project based training ; and
(c) support will be given to enhance the opportunities for trainees on insulation projects to obtain recognised qualifications. To give these measures time to take effect and to maintain the present community insulation project network through the remaining winter months a three- month extension will be offered to participants presently on community programme terms.