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Blame Tories for lost generations; Yousay IN YOUR OPINION...

JENNY Willott, LibDem MP for Cardiff Central, wrote about "Trying to prevent a lost generation" (You Say, November 29).

In my opinion, the start of the lost generations goes back to the times of Margaret Thatcher and John Major when the Conservative Government created massive unemployment throughout Wales - and it is still causing havoc and stress today.

The Thatcher government introduced job training schemes and projects for young people by passing them to training agencies who were paid to place them with various businesses for work experience.

Others were placed on training courses at colleges of further education. But due to the lack of job prospects at the end of the courses, they did not have sufficient skills or experience to get work.

Then there was the Small Business Self Employment Scheme where the trainees put up pounds 1,000 and attended a course to go into business on their own with government training and financial support. Some people were successful. However, many of them failed with large debts and returned to sign on as unemployed.

There were also courses for people to train as plumbers, heating and ventilation engineers, electricians, bricklayers, plasterers, carpenters, roofers, car mechanics, etc.

Unfortunately, some of the former trainees without the adequate skills for employment were encouraged to set up their own businesses and undertook work beyond their capabilities and knowledge.

From some of the research I did with Trading Standards while studying unsatisfactory business transactions and confidence tricksters for my Criminology Diploma at Cardiff University, I think this form of training in many cases contributed to the "cowboy" tradesmen fraternity and the black economy.

However, the readers should not forget that these courses kept the trainers in employment and trading standards officers and solicitors busy! I venture to ask if this new Government training scheme will have the same pitfalls? I ask Jenny Willott: "What work experience will trainees be guaranteed to make them employable? Where are the businesses to employ them?" * Malcolm H Mort Merchant Navy Association (Wales)
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Dec 12, 2011
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