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Earl Russell: My Lords, I thank the Minister for his reply. He is, of course, right to say that there is a gulf between us. However, what he has not altogether taken on board is that that gulf does not relate only to our opinions; it is about facts more than it is about opinions. The noble Lord's response would have been very reassuring if only the central information in it had been true. In saying that, I do not for a moment impugn the Minister's integrity—of course I do not. I am impugning his department's methods of gathering records.

First, I want to take up the most surprising thing that the Minister said, which was that the average YT training course lasted two years. I have previously quoted the MORI figure. My noble kinsman Lord Henley said that he believed that figure to be wrong. I put down a Question for Written Answer asking him what was the mean length of a YT course. The noble Lord, Lord Henley, said that he did not know. I am extremely surprised to hear this information from the Minister today. I ask him when it became the case, because it argues a fundamental revolution in the way in which youth training is provided.

The Minister again invoked the guarantee. I asked the noble Viscount, Lord Ullswater, when he was at the Department of Employment, within what time a YT place was guaranteed. That is a vital question if you cannot eat until you get a place. The noble Viscount did

23 May 1995 : Column 949

not know within what time a place was guaranteed. That is precisely the point of the amendment. While you wait for the place you must eat.

The figure that I gave of 15,849 waiting for a place comes from the careers service which, according to my noble kinsman Lord Henley, is the basic source of the Government's information. If it is the basic source of the Government's information how can they disbelieve it? Do they have any independent source showing that the careers service is misleading them? If the Minister can allege that I shall happily give way to him.

The Minister asked how it might help anyone to be exempted from the provision for compulsory training. I answer that it will help in exactly the same way as it helps some people in particular circumstances to be exempted from the rules relating to availability, as in the case of women in refuges. The Minister spoke very powerfully to that issue, and I accept his reassurances. His arguments belong equally here.

Perhaps I may give him one more example: the case of a 17 year-old who had recently suffered a miscarriage. She had been in care from 14 to 16 after being physically and sexually abused and had spent 10 months of her life in a children's psychiatric unit. She had missed a great deal of schooling. No pre-vocational skills programme was available, and she was without the skills to conduct a YT course without appropriate training. Her case represents one of the "two stools" cases to which the noble Lord, Lord Swinfen, called our attention. However, she has to remain registered for YT, which she is not capable of undertaking, because otherwise she could not receive severe hardship benefit.

The Minister also suggested that the amendment would help people who refuse training. He may have been out of the Chamber during the consideration of the Bill when his noble friend Lord Inglewood introduced a welcome amendment, which deals with about 10 per cent. of the hardship cases I have here, which provides that you are not penalised if you leave training with good cause. With this amendment we would not help those who leave it without good cause. I believe that the amendment is within the lines of government policy. I believe that if the Government had accurate information they would accept it. In the meantime I ask the opinion of the House.

4.53 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 2) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 111; Not-Contents, 159.

Division No. 2

CONTENTS

Airedale, L.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Ashley of Stoke, L.
Avebury, L.
Birk, B.
Blackstone, B.
Brooks of Tremorfa, L.
Bruce of Donington, L.
Carmichael of Kelvingrove, L.
Carter, L.
Chorley, L.
Cledwyn of Penrhos, L.
Clinton-Davis, L.
Cocks of Hartcliffe, L.
Darcy (de Knayth), B.
David, B.
Dean of Beswick, L.
Dean of Thornton-le-Fylde, B.
Donaldson of Kingsbridge, L.
Donoughue, L.
Dormand of Easington, L.
Dubs, L.
Ewing of Kirkford, L.
Falkland, V.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Fitt, L.
Gallacher, L.
Geraint, L.
Gladwin of Clee, L.
Gould of Potternewton, B.
Graham of Edmonton, L. [Teller.]
Gregson, L.
Grey, E.
Hamwee, B.
Harris of Greenwich, L.
Haskel, L.
Henderson of Brompton, L.
Hollis of Heigham, B.
Holme of Cheltenham, L.
Houghton of Sowerby, L.
Howie of Troon, L.
Hughes, L.
Hylton, L.
Hylton-Foster, B.
Irvine of Lairg, L.
Jay, L.
Jay of Paddington, B.
Jeger, B.
Jenkins of Hillhead, L.
Jenkins of Putney, L.
Judd, L.
Kennet, L.
Kilbracken, L.
Kinloss, Ly.
Kintore, E.
Kirkhill, L.
Lawrence, L.
Lester of Herne Hill, L.
Listowel, E.
Lockwood, B.
Longford, E.
Lovell-Davis, L.
McCarthy, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L.
Mackie of Benshie, L.
Mallalieu, B.
Mar and Kellie, E.
Mason of Barnsley, L.
Mayhew, L.
Merlyn-Rees, L.
Meston, L.
Milner of Leeds, L.
Monkswell, L.
Morris of Castle Morris, L.
Nicol, B.
Ogmore, L.
Palmer, L.
Peston, L.
Prys-Davies, L.
Rea, L.
Richard, L.
Ritchie of Dundee, L.
Robson of Kiddington, B.
Rochester, L.
Rodgers of Quarry Bank, L.
Russell, E. [Teller.]
Sainsbury, L.
Saltoun of Abernethy, Ly.
Seear, B.
Sefton of Garston, L.
Serota, B.
Shannon, E.
Shepherd, L.
Simon, V.
Southwark, Bp.
Stallard, L.
Stedman, B.
Strafford, E.
Taylor of Blackburn, L.
Taylor of Gryfe, L.
Thomas of Walliswood, B.
Thomson of Monifieth, L.
Turner of Camden, B.
Varley, L.
Wedderburn of Charlton, L.
Whaddon, L.
Wharton, B.
White, B.
Wigoder, L.
Williams of Mostyn, L.
Winchilsea and Nottingham, E.

NOT-CONTENTS

Aberdare, L.
Addison, V.
Ailsa, M.
Allenby of Megiddo, V.
Arran, E.
Ashbourne, L.
Astor, V.
Astor of Hever, L.
Balfour, E.
Barber of Tewkesbury, L.
Belhaven and Stenton, L.
Biddulph, L.
Blatch, B.
Blyth, L.
Boardman, L.
Borthwick, L.
Boyd-Carpenter, L.
Brabazon of Tara, L.
Braine of Wheatley, L.
Brigstocke, B.
Brougham and Vaux, L.
Burnham, L.
Cadman, L.
Caithness, E.
Campbell of Alloway, L.
Campbell of Croy, L.
Carnock, L.
Carr of Hadley, L.
Cawley, L.
Chelmsford, V.
Chesham, L.
Clanwilliam, E.
Clark of Kempston, L.
Clinton, L.
Cochrane of Cults, L.
Coleridge, L.
Colwyn, L.
Constantine of Stanmore, L.
Courtown, E.
Cranborne, V. [Lord Privy Seal.]
Crickhowell, L.
Cumberlege, B.
Davidson, V.
Dean of Harptree, L.
Derwent, L.
Digby, L.
Dixon-Smith, L.
Downshire, M.
Dundonald, E.
Eden of Winton, L.
Elibank, L.
Ellenborough, L.
Elles, B.
Elliott of Morpeth, L.
Finsberg, L.
Flather, B.
Foley, L.
Fraser of Carmyllie, L.
Fraser of Kilmorack, L.
Gainford, L.
Gardner of Parkes, B.
Gibson-Watt, L.
Goschen, V.
Gray of Contin, L.
Gridley, L.
Grimston of Westbury, L.
Harding of Petherton, L.
Hardinge of Penshurst, L.
Harmar-Nicholls, L.
Harmsworth, L.
Harrowby, E.
Henley, L.
Hives, L.
Hogg, B.
Holderness, L.
HolmPatrick, L.
Hood, V.
Howe, E.
Inglewood, L.
Johnston of Rockport, L.
Kenilworth, L.
Killearn, L.
Kimball, L.
Knollys, V.
Knutsford, V.
Lane of Horsell, L.
Lauderdale, E.
Leigh, L.
Lindsay, E.
Lindsey and Abingdon, E.
Liverpool, E.
Long, V. [Teller.]
Lucas, L.
Lyell, L.
Mackay of Ardbrecknish, L.
Mackay of Clashfern, L. [Lord Chancellor.]
Macleod of Borve, B.
Macpherson of Drumochter, L.
Malmesbury, E.
Marlesford, L.
Massereene and Ferrard, V.
Merrivale, L.
Mersey, V.
Middleton, L.
Miller of Hendon, B.
Milverton, L.
Monk Bretton, L.
Montagu of Beaulieu, L.
Monteagle of Brandon, L.
Mowbray and Stourton, L.
Munster, E.
Nelson, E.
Newall, L.
Noel-Buxton, L.
Norrie, L.
Northesk, E.
O'Cathain, B.
Oppenheim-Barnes, B.
Orkney, E.
Orr-Ewing, L.
Oxfuird, V.
Peel, E.
Pender, L.
Plummer of St. Marylebone, L.
Prior, L.
Quinton, L.
Radnor, E.
Rawlings, B.
Renwick, L.
Romney, E.
Roxburghe, D.
St. Davids, V.
Seccombe, B.
Selborne, E.
Sharples, B.
Shaw of Northstead, L.
Simon of Glaisdale, L.
Skelmersdale, L.
Soulsby of Swaffham Prior, L.
Stevens of Ludgate, L.
Stodart of Leaston, L.
Strange, B.
Strathcarron, L.
Strathclyde, L. [Teller.]
Sudeley, L.
Swinton, E.
Tebbit, L.
Teviot, L.
Thomas of Gwydir, L.
Trumpington, B.
Ullswater, V.
Vinson, L.
Vivian, L.
Wade of Chorlton, L.
Waterford, M.
Westbury, L.
Wolfson, L.
Wynford, L.
Young, B.

Resolved in the negative, and amendment disagreed to accordingly.

23 May 1995 : Column 951

5.2 p.m.

[Amendments Nos. 3 and 4 not moved.]

Clause 4 [Amount payable by way of a jobseeker's allowance]:

[Amendments Nos. 5 and 6 not moved.]


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