I should like some explanation from the Minister in regard to section 2, subsection (1).
Committee on Finance. - Industrial Training Bill, 1965: Committee Stage.
There is an amendment. Perhaps the Minister will move amendment No. 1 and we will discuss the amendment first.
I move amendment No. 1:
In subsection (1), page 3, line 48, to delete "Industry and Commerce" and insert "Labour".
As Deputies are aware, this Bill was introduced before the establishment of the Department of Labour, by the then Minister for Industry and Commerce. Since the passing of the Second Stage through the House, the Department of Labour has been established and the Minister for Labour is now responsible for the Bill and for any ministerial functions which may require to be discharged when the Bill becomes law. That is the purpose of the amendment.
I should like to ask the Minister to define what is meant by "an activity of commerce". Would he give us an example? What are these distinct branches of industry or commerce of which the Bill makes mention? Later there is reference to an activity of agriculture, horticulture or fishing, and following on that, we have an activity of primary production. At what point does horticulture or agriculture cease to be an activity of primary production? Is the processing of fruit, for example, excluded?
No, except by the limitation of not having overlapping between the Comhairle and the Minister for Agriculture.
Where is the line of demarcation? I should like the Minister to give the House examples of what he has in mind.
An activity of commerce would be in the retail distribution trade. Primary production in agriculture would be the rearing of livestock, milk production, the production of cereals, root crops, horticultural production, but the Bill would cover the processing of agricultural products.
What about the processing of dairy products?
The Bill would cover processes under the processing of agricultural products and the training of agricultural workers for other occupations. It would not cover the training for the primary production but it would cover training for the processing of products subsequently.
Ancillary activities related to agriculture.
Yes. The primary activity would be livestock, crops, milk production.
With regard to the primary production of milk, does the Minister intend that this will apply to the processes following the primary production of milk?
The primary production of milk would not be covered. In the subsequent processing of milk to produce some other article, it may be necessary to give training courses, but in another part of this Bill the Comhairle will be precluded from overlapping in its functions with the training activities already undertaken by the Minister for Agriculture. If, however, the training for these processes is not in existence, then the Comhairle can do the training.
In the primary production of milk, one moves from the farm to the creamery. Does the Minister intend that the Comhairle will be empowered to deal with what is done afterwards? Some of these processes, such as pasteurisation, are dealt with in some university courses.
If the training is already done, it is not intended to have overlapping of functions.
Would the Minister explain what is meant by "apprenticeship by or under the State"?
This is the same provision as in section 4 of the Apprenticeship Act. It relates to employees in the Department of Defence and the Office of Public Works.
I move amendment No. 2:
In subsection (2) (i), page 5, line 28, to delete "for" where that word secondly occurs and insert "to".
This is a drafting amendment for the purpose of clarification.
I move amendment No. 3:
In paragraph (j) and in paragraph (k) of subsection (2), page 5, lines 36 and 40, to delete "a designated" and insert "an".
Since the Second Stage of the Bill, my Department asked for and received from the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and the various employer organisations their observations on these provisions. A joint committee of the two was established and that joint committee reviewed the provisions of the Bill in detail. A number of agreed recommendations for amendments were submitted to me and I have agreed to accept them. This amendment is one of those recommended, and I have agreed to accept it. The effect of it is that An Chomhairle Traenála will be empowered to pay allowances for training abroad and so forth in any activity of industry.
I should like the Minister to assist the House in regard to paragraph (2) (e). What exactly has the Minister in mind in regard to assisting persons to find facilities for being trained? It seems to me that paragraph (2) (i) is completely at variance with what the Minister for Education has been saying. Does the Minister mean that young people leaving schools to be apprenticed will be dependent for their apprenticeship on the Comhairle deciding whether they should be trained as apprentices? It seems the Comhairle will grant scholarships and that selection will be made by them. Has the Minister discussed it with the Minister for Education? Will the selection be confined to a body?
I do not quite get what the Deputy is worried about. A scholarship will be given, if earned or needed, to a student.
But it is An Chomhairle Traenála——
They can give scholarships. Up to now it was An Cheárd Chomhairle who had this power.
In regard to entitlement to further education, are they to be dependent on the Comhairle or some other body?
I do not think the Deputy need have any fear. I think what the Deputy means is that if the person concerned comes within the age group up to 15 years wherein free education would be available he should be entitled to proceed to apprenticeship.
Yes—that it should not be in the competence of any body, whichever Comhairle it might be, to decide whether he will be allowed to enter apprenticeship. If he has been entitled to free education that free education should entitle him to enter an apprenticeship.
The availability of free post-primary education is what the Minister for Education provides. Entitlement to special education is another thing.
The Minister will agree that the scheme of the Minister for Education envisages apprenticeships.
The principle of free education does not affect anyone getting this scholarship.
They would all get the scholarship?
The principle enunciated by the Minister for Education involved the availability of free post-primary education.
I am concerned that this will not cut across the matter of apprenticeship.
There is constant reference, from paragraphs (a) to (k), of other courses being offered by existing bodies. Paragraph (a) (2) relates to the provision of such courses or other facilities for the training of persons employed or intending to be employed in an activity of industry and goes on "having regard to any courses or other facilities otherwise available to such persons." Exactly which courses are we to continue to allow approval to be given to? Does the Minister consider that any such existing courses may be dropped out? Is it quite clear in the Bill which of the existing courses will be approved?
The purpose is to ensure there will be no unnecessary duplication of courses.
Who will have the power to approve such courses? Are we getting rid of certain courses?
It is An Comhairle Traenála who will have power to set up courses but not to cause duplication.
I understand they would have power to approve such courses and facilities as are provided by other bodies.
It is to ensure uniform standards.
The Comhairle would have this power?
The section excludes from training those engaged in the primary process of agriculture. Surely, with all the developments in agriculture and the introduction of new techniques, the question of training is one of importance. Secondly, does this section, or a later one, deal with the problem of workers who will become redundant in agriculture? Would it not be possible to include training for workers in agriculture in the same way as training for workers in industry? Surely it is important to improve the competence of workers in all these spheres having regard to the numbers employed in agriculture.
Is there an obligation on the Comhairle to approve facilities provided by designated industries?
Industries may provide their own courses.
In regard to paragraph (2) (e) we propose to assist persons in finding facilities for being trained for employment in an activity or industry.
This was intended as a function of the placement and employment services which would be carried out by the employment service in consultation with An Chomhairle.
In other words, the employment or placement services would have the obligation to find a place for a person in training or retraining?
If the person is suitable for training.
Would the placement service determine whether the person is suitable for this training? Are they to have a determining voice in this?
The Comhairle will be consulted by the placement service.
What right will the individual have?
He will have to show adaptability and suitability.
Who will assist him? Will he have access to the industrial psychologist?
Yes, he will have the right to this assistance.
The effect of paragraph (2) (d) seems to be that even in courses that exist the Comhairle will decide what will be the test in each case and what will be the curriculum—that this will apply in vocational schools and so on.
It is desirable that the Comhairle, if they are to recommend standards and methods of training, should arrange for the application of tests to ensure that the standards are reached.
Have any of the bodies been brought in yet or does the Minister propose to do so right away? I refer to bodies involved in training at the moment.
Existing tests for apprentices.
The functions of the Ceárd Chomhairle will be taken over by the new body.
Will aptitude tests form part of the requirements under which children will be awarded apprenticeships?
At the end of three years a child would have an assessment made of him. Such a test would be taken into account to give a fuller estimate of the child's capabilities.
The results of these tests will be available to the industrial psychologist afterwards?
Do I take it that it is proposed to include agricultural workers for retraining?
Agricultural workers who are leaving agriculture will be trained for industry but agricultural workers who are concerned with the primary activities of agriculture, like the production of milk, cereals, cattle rearing and so on, will not be trained for these purposes.
What about provender mill work?
That is getting into processing. They could be trained for processing, if necessary.
Naturally people employed in agriculture will not be trained for it but those who have been employed in agriculture, whether it is in dairying or provender milling, and who leave the job because it closes down or for some other reason—is it to be assumed that they will be included for retraining?
For other than primary agricultural work.
Agriculture covers such features as forestry, Bord na Móna, and so on? They are all included?
Anybody going into any industrial or commercial type of work can be trained. Those persons remaining with the primary agricultural activities like cattle rearing and so on——
There is a bit of a twist in that. I am sorry if I misunderstand the Minister. What about those who have been employed in these jobs and become disemployed? When they go to the labour exchange, then as far as the State is concerned, they are unemployed agricultural workers and they are graded according to what they have been doing.
They can become industrial workers.
There would be no suggestion, as there was during the war, that these people may be required in agriculture and, therefore, we are not prepared to help them?
No, if they are going into industry of their own volition. We will not teach them to milk cows or rear cattle. This is the point of the Bill. What is excluded is the type of training needed for the production of milk. If they are leaving agriculture, they could be eligible for training under the Bill.
In the past few years, the number of people leaving agriculture has been 10,000, 12,000, and 14,000 and many of them are farm workers, but many of them regard themselves as small farmers who have not been able to continue to make a living.
They could be trained for industrial or commercial activities.
I am aware that there was adequate consultation on this but agriculture is developing like everything else and there must be a great many activities concerned with the handling of equipment which is becoming increasingly complicated. Is training in the handling of such equipment excluded from the section? The same applies to forestry. They may still be involved in the primary production aspect but there is a question of the handling of modern equipment.
Take the case of a man in a rural area, whether he works on a farm, in a sand and gravel pit, with the county council, or with the Forestry Department, which are the usual forms of employment in rural areas, in addition to producing turf for Bord na Móna. His source of employment ceases. What happens to him? The Minister says he will qualify for retraining but what will actually happen? He will go to the labour exchange and sign on as being unemployed. Has he got to find the opening in industry himself? That is the real point. Has he got to find the job himself or will there be machinery to find the job for him and for which he will get this training? This will become a vital issue in the years ahead.
Yesterday, Gordon Walker said that England would be in the Common Market in three years and I suppose through our Act of Union, we will be in the same position. The total percentage of the population of England engaged in agriculture is four. Ours is around 36 per cent. Due to mechanisation, rationalisation, and so forth, England's figure is four per cent. It is, therefore, a logical assumption that as the years go on the number departing from agriculture will accelerate in Common Market conditions. It follows from that that far more workers will be coming off the land as a result of the policy which this Government are setting out upon. What will happen to the agricultural labourer or the rural worker generally who will find himself out of a job? What will happen to him as a result of this Bill? Will this enable him to go to the labour exchange, in the sure knowledge that the State will provide training and the opening for him, or must he find a job himself and then apply for training? What will be the actual machinery?
The Deputy has gone into other aspects of manpower policy. The function of a fully operational placement service would be that when such a man came along, they would make an assessment of his skills and then find an opening for him and train him for it, or see that he was trained.
That will be incumbent on the State through this Bill?
Through the manpower policy and through the Bill to provide the training, but the placement service is another function. It is not included in the Bill but that does not prevent the Deputy from speaking about it.
What good is it to be trained and to be all dressed up and have nowhere to go?
I did not say that. They will get a job for him. They will make an assessment of his skills and try to find an opening and have him trained for it.
This will be incumbent on the State as a result of this Bill?
Where it is possible and necessary.
The drill will be that when men become unemployed, they report to the labour exchange where normally they can draw benefit or assistance. Could the Minister say what process starts from there? Like Deputy Dunne, I am rather interested in finding out whether it will be as it is at present. I am not being critical of the Minister now.
I understand. There will be a new placement service which will be actively seeking openings for such people, seeking to place them in employment.
They go to the exchange and sign on and from there the exchange will contact the new service which will endeavour to find openings. When the employment exchange idea started, the idea was that men were to be put in employment from there but that has long since disappeared. Is there any danger of something like this happening under this—that they will have the name of places where this can be done but that people will merely sign on as at present?
There will be a new service which will be in a separate part of the exchange. It was suggested that there should be a separate building but on balance the arguments were in favour of going to the same building for benefit payments and to avail of the services which may be available with regard to training and placement. We will be dealing with redundancy payment legislation in the next session, I hope. There will be special offices with specially trained officers in the placement services in the exchanges and these will assess the man's capacity and have available information about available posts, and if the man needs to be trained for such a post, they will arrange to make the training available.
Will this apply to the many thousands who will be disemployed, particularly in the car industry?
It will apply to anybody who becomes redundant but I would not feel as gloomy about it as the Deputy looks. It will be available to anybody who becomes redundant, and also to people coming out of school and seeking employment.
I do not think I could look as gloomy about it as I am.
Will the effort be to place these first? This is something I discussed with the Minister previously. We talk about placing those going out of employment but there is the problem of the backlog. There are at present 50,000 unemployed and I would like to know if efforts will be made to place them first. There is little use in making arrangements to train people who will become disemployed unless something is done about this backlog of 50,000 a figure which will probably increase by 20,000 or 25,000 persons who would be prepared to sign on in the hope of getting employment.
The Deputy will appreciate that the availability of employment will depend largely on our success in building up our manufacturing industries and in attracting industries to this country. The Deputy will understand that this Bill will not set up industries.
This whole thing depends upon a big "if"—if employment can be made available.
Yes. I would say that the creation of employment and the attraction of industry will depend to a great extent on having a trained manpower force available.
You cannot train them if you do not know what you are training them for.
The availability of trained manpower will attract industry.
How can you train people to make aeroplanes?
They are doing it in other countries.
You know what I mean. I do not want to go into unpleasant matters but we have a place already, and how do you propose to train fellows to make a non-existent aeroplane?
The availability of a trained labour force is a great attraction to industrialists. Other countries have found it so.
I am sceptical of all this.
Do you not think we should try?
I do, but I do not see how we can try. What can we train these people to do if we do not know what industries are coming here?
I know that this is difficult.
I know it is.
It is very difficult, but I know from experience in other countries that the availability of training schemes of this kind has attracted industries to these places. It has been found to be a great stimulus to the creation of new jobs.
You created only 700 new jobs last year. I would like to remind the Minister of the question I asked regarding the training in skills required in agriculture and in the handling of agricultural equipment. Will the workers who handle such equipment be trained?
These workers would be trained in the maintenance and overhaul of the machinery but in regard to the agricultural function of the machinery, they would not be covered. That is an agricultural activity.
Could the Minister give us some explanation as to section 11 (1) which says:
The Minister shall from time to time appoint, on such terms and conditions as he shall determine, a person to be the chief executive officer of An Chomhairle, and such person shall be known, and is in this Act referred to, as the Chief Officer.
Is there any reason why An Chomhairle should not do this? It is set up by the Minister and the people who will be members of it will be obviously skilled in deciding how they will handle these problems. Surely, then, they should be the people who assess the suitability of the chief officer? Why was it not left to An Chomhairle to appoint their own chief officer?
I do not agree with the Deputy's argument in this matter. It is possible that the function of chief officer may be carried out by a full-time chairman, or there may be a part-time chairman acting as the chief officer. I do not think the Deputy has any convincing argument for the appointment by An Chomhairle of its own chief executive. The normal thing would be for the Minister to do this.
Do I understand the Minister to say that the chief officer may be the chairman?
A full-time chairman would be chief officer or there could be a part-time chairman with a full-time chief officer.
I did not expect to hear that from the Minister.
We discussed it on the Second Stage.
In the various bodies that have been set up, have we ever reached the stage where the chairman is the chief officer?
This has not been decided yet in the case of An Chomhairle. We have left it open so that we can do what is desirable in the circumstances. The Deputy has no argument. He would want to make the case that the appointment should not be made by the Minister.
The Minister is going to set up a body which will have responsibility for introducing a scheme to place people in industry in this country, to replace people who may become unemployed. At that stage surely in the quest for an individual best able to guide them in their work, the members of that body would be the best judge of the person they required. Instead, the Minister will say to them: "This will be your chief officer".
The chief officer may be the chairman who will be appointed by the Minister. I see the point the Deputy is making. If it is decided that the chairman is to be the full-time chief officer, he shall be appointed by the Minister. The chairmen of State bodies are always appointed by the Government.
Can the Minister point to any other body where the chief officer is also the chairman?
We have left it open to see which course is the most suitable.
Will the Minister look at it again?
The Deputy has not suggested any amendment.
I can do so on Report Stage.
Was the chief officer of the Institute of Industrial Research and Standards appointed by the Minister or by the Board?
If you have a full board, the chairman and members are usually appointed by the Minister.
Could the Minister point out the section where that is?
It is in the Schedule to the Bill and in the explanatory memorandum which I sent to Deputies. It is on page 24 of the Bill as introduced. I quote:
The chairman of An Chomhairle shall be appointed by the Minister either—
(a) in a whole-time capacity and subject to a condition that the chairman act as the Chief Officer, or
(b) in a part-time capacity,
and subject to the foregoing, to section 10 of this Act and to article 8 of this Schedule shall hold his office on such terms and conditions as the Minister determines.
The Minister in paragraph 5 of the explanatory memorandum says that the chairman may be appointed in a whole-time or a part-time capacity. If he is whole-time he will also act as chief officer. If he is part-time the Minister will appoint a full-time chief officer.
Has the Deputy any worries about the making of the appointment? If it would help I can assure him that there would be an open board interviewing the applicants.
I accept that. What I am concerned about is the explanation in the explanatory memorandum which says the chairman may be appointed in a whole-time or a part-time capacity, and that if he is whole-time he will also act as chief officer, and if he is part-time the Minister will appoint a full-time chief officer.
The Minister will make the appointment.
He will decide whether he is going to be whole-time or part-time.
The present set-up in CIE.
A part-time chairman.
Yes, and a full-time executive officer.
I move amendment No. 4:
In subsection (4), page 6, line 20, after "officer" to insert "(other than the Chief Officer)".
Subsection (4) contains provisions which detail the arrangements under which officers and servants of An Chomhairle who become members of either House of the Oireachtas may be seconded from the service of An Chomhairle. It was the intention, as is evidenced by the side note to the section, that this subsection should not be applied to the post of chief officer, and the purpose of the amendment is to give effect to that intention.
The subsection prescribes that no officer may be a member of either House of the Oireachtas. Is the Minister suggesting that there is an exception in the case of the chief officer?
No. The terms and conditions of the appointment of chief officer under section 11 (1) are determined by the Minister. It was separate and was not intended to be dealt with as the other officers are dealt with in this subsection.
The amendment "other than the chief officer" appears to suggest that the chief officer may be a member of the Houses of the Oireachtas.
No. I do not think that was intended. The intention would be that he would not be seconded. It would be more likely that such a man would have to be replaced. The purpose was not to leave him in the two jobs but to make sure there would be a chief officer full-time.
I should like to draw the Minister's attention to subsection (3) of this section because it provides that the rate of remuneration of the servants of An Chomhairle will be subject not alone to the approval of the Minister but also to the approval of the Minister for Finance. Experience has shown that the rate for the job has often not been paid until it is too late. I wonder is the Minister satisfied that the provisions in this subsection will enable him to get the best man for the job. I would ask him to look at this and contrast it with the kind of thing we have been doing in relation to other bodies set up by legislation such as An Bord Iascaigh Mhara and Bord Fáilte to whom a block approval is given. It is within their discretion to dispense their grant. This is one of the things the Minister ought to look at from the point of view of the delay it would cause. There would be two references in this case, a reference in the first instance, to the Minister and then to the Department of Finance, and I regard that as undesirable.
The disadvantage is, as the Deputy says, that there could be delay and we have arranged with the Minister for Finance that there would not be undue delay. The advantage in having consultation is to ensure that uneven levels of salaries would not be created among different bodies under the State thus causing unnecessary leapfrogging and discontent. There is something to be said for the Minister for Finance having an overall look at the comparable salaries.
This is standard practice in Government Departments and I do not know about the guarantee that there would not be undue delay. We have experience with other Government Departments where decisions which have been referred to the Department of Finance for their comments have not been replied to 18 months later. The Department say: "What are we to do? The Department of Finance have the last word. We have got to wait." The Minister says he has a guarantee. From whom has he got a guarantee? Ministers are birds of passage like ourselves. Nobody is going to live forever. I do not go all the way with Deputy Jones but I think a lot more is needed than a guarantee from somebody who holds an office.
It is not a personal guarantee. It is a guarantee from the Minister in his official capacity. There could be a problem in regard to delay but if this matter is not attended to by the Minister in his official capacity then we would have to allow the various bodies to determine their own salaries, which may be undesirable. This is an official undertaking, not a personal one.
The Minister will agree that the rate for the job is the only way of ensuring that this body will get the best people for the work to be done. If the best people are to be enticed An Chomhairle Traenála will have to be allowed operate without being held up by the Department of Finance.
The only thing we can get is, as I have said, an administrative arrangement or else allow the various bodies to fix their own rates. If there was undue delay and if there was difficulty in recruitment it would have to be looked at again.
In section 12 it is provided:
(1) An Chomhairle shall appoint such and so many persons to be officers (other than the Chief Officer) and servants of An Chomhairle as An Chomhairle from time to time thinks proper.
(2) Subject to subsection (3) of this section, an officer (other than the Chief Officer) or servant of An Chomhairle shall hold his office or employment on such terms and conditions as An Chomhairle from time to time determines.
The next subsection deals with remuneration. This is contrary to what operates in a large number of semi-State bodies. In some cases there is a full-time board; in other cases there may be a full-time chairman and part-time members of the board. But in quite a large number of them the level of salaries and wages is determined by the board. In this case the Minister is requiring that the approval of the Minister for Finance be obtained. He is departing from the practice of many semi-State bodies. To some extent this could possibly hamper the Authority in obtaining the most suitable persons for posts. The Minister is aware that in the Institute of Industrial Research and Standards, where scales have been laid down, difficulty was experienced in obtaining persons with the requisite qualifications and, in fact, the point of entry to service was raised. Such action would be denied An Chomhairle Traenála, who may find themselves in difficulty as regards attracting the most qualified personnel. So far as obtaining the approval of the Minister for Finance for individual cases is concerned, it has often proved to be a frustrating and delaying experience.
I would undertake to look at this matter again. The principle of the Minister for Finance having an overall view would be applicable to this body only if it became applicable to the others. I would not want the Comhairle to have this restriction on it, if it were not applied equally to other bodies competing for the same type of personnel. If the House will leave it to me, I will see if I can do anything about it.
In the meantime, it is important that this body will be able to recruit the competent people necessary and essential for the job.
I move amendment No. 5:
In subsection (2), page 8, line 37, after "directs" to insert "and the said accounts, when so audited, shall, together with the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General thereon, be presented to the Minister who shall cause copies thereof to be laid before each House of the Oireachtas".
Perhaps the House might discuss with this amendment, No. 6, which is consequent on it?
These are drafting amendments to bring the section into line with the provisions of new legislation as regards the requirements of the Comptroller and Auditor General in connection with the auditing of accounts. The amendments do not alter the meaning or effect of the section and they were agreed by the Joint Committee.
I move amendment No. 6.
In page 8, lines 38 to 44, to delete subsections (3) and (4).
I move amendment No. 7:
In page 8, lines 45 to 49, to delete subsection (1) and insert the following subsection:
"(1) An Chomhairle shall in each year, at such date as the Minister may direct, make a report to the Minister of both its proceedings under this Act and the proceedings of any industrial training committee set up under this Act, during the preceding twelve months ending on that date, and the Minister shall cause copies of the report to be laid before each House of the Oireachtas."
The Joint Committee recommended that specific provision should be made in this section to require An Chomhairle Traenála to include in its annual report a report of the activities of each industrial training committee set up under section 22 of the Bill. This amendment will give effect to this recommendation.
I am glad that by the amendment he has moved and under subsection (2) the Minister will be in a position from time to time to give information to the House in regard to specific matters as required by Parliamentary Question. I take it that is the intention? I welcome this as something that will be helpful to the Minister, that he will be able to answer questions as they are required.
The Joint Committee suggested that, in addition, the annual report will include a report on the activities of the various committees set up by the Comhairle. Therefore, there should be full information.
But under subsection (2) the Minister will be in a position to give replies to questions?
I shall give as much information as I am able.
As long as the Minister is in a position to require the information and to give it.
The Minister says he will give as much information as he is able. That is what we want. Other Ministers give us as much information as they want. That is what is causing all the trouble.
It depends on who is going to get the trouble.
Usually the Minister.
I move amendment No. 8:
In page 9, between lines 13 and 14, to insert the following new subsection:
"(3) Notwithstanding subsection (1) of this section, a grant out of moneys kept in an account mentioned in subsection (1) of section 19 of this Act shall only be made in case—
(a) the person to whom it is intended to make the grant is carrying on a designated industrial activity, and
(b) the grant is being made on a basis with respect to which the relevant industrial training committee (if any) has previously been consulted."
Section 19 empowers An Chomhairle to impose training levies on employers in a designated industrial activity. The moneys raised by such levies will be kept in separate accounts under section 19, subsection (1), and will be paid back to firms in the industry in proportion to the amount and quality of training given by them. The Joint Committee recommended that provision should be made in the Bill requiring An Chomhairle to consult with the appropriate industrial training committee before it determines the basis on which the money raised by means of levies will be disbursed to employers by means of training grants. This amendment gives effect to that recommendation.
Is the Minister satisfied there will be provision to ensure that the consultation with the industrial training committees will not have the effect of delaying operations under this section?
I do not think so. They can set a limit to the time for which they would await the information.
Could the Minister elaborate on how the system of training grants will work?
The Deputy envisages an administrative problem?
I would like to know how it is going to work.
It has already been done. Under the Undeveloped Areas Act, An Foras Tionscal have been administering a scheme of training grants to industries setting up in the undeveloped areas.
They are sent to Germany.
For example, specially trained technicians have had their salaries paid by grant. It is an administrative act. There is no problem.
The Shannon Free Airport Development Company is being brought in under this. Will the training grants be dealt with in the same fashion as they have been dealt with up to this?
Subsection (2) (a) of section 18 reads:
A grant under this section shall not exceed the amount which the Minister shall, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, specify for the purposes of this section from time to time and particular amounts may be so specified in relation to industrial undertakings of a particular class.
I do not like this not trusting the Minister so that he has again to go to the Minister for Finance. I do not like the phrase "from time to time". Here is something that will be urgent. People will become unemployed: there will be the problem of retraining and re-employment. Under this subsection, the Department of Finance has a staying power by virtue of the expression "from time to time". I believe the Minister for Labour is in earnest in regard to this matter but we should not legally tie ourselves up in regard to something which will be urgent when it occurs so that there may be delay.
A time of change is bound to happen and the Minister envisages it. We are told there will be changes and problems if we enter the Common Market. If An Chomhairle must await the consent of the Minister for Finance, in connection, for example, with the amount of the grants, the position will be unsatisfactory because the Minister for Labour cannot sanction, even if he knows it to be necessary. This is a weakening of the section and of the kind of activity for which the Minister is trying to prepare. I do not think that this will get us the kind of dynamic approach we require for the period of change which lies ahead. It is akin to what we have already been talking about and which the Minister says he will look at. I should like him to concentrate now on the expression "from time to time". In a period of change, when a problem arises, it becomes immediate and there is no time to wait. Ready and fast decisions must be taken and we must trust in the body set up to deal with problems which suddenly arise and which we envisage will occur.
Subsection (2) (b) reads:
A grant under this section for the training of workers in a skilled process of an industrial undertaking in an undeveloped area shall be made neither before the coming into effect of the repeal by this Act of section 7 of the Undeveloped Areas Act, 1952, nor in any case in which a grant was made in respect of the process under the said section 7.
Here, again, we might equally have the case that completely new workers may be required and this is something that should be covered as well. In this subsection, there is rather a weakening link in regard to the kind of machinery the Minister is now trying to prepare and this is so because the Minister will not be master in his own Department. In other words, the overall position of the Minister for Finance will dominate a matter of serious import and urgency. I should like the Minister to consider this seriously.
I shall have a look at the salary question again. In this instance, it is an improvement, even though it may seem to be otherwise. The existing legislation for training imposes specific limits on the amount of grants—the grant not to exceed the actual amount of wages paid to a trainee while he is being trained and travelling and subsistence expenses while he is outside the State. There would be no separate need to go each time to the Minister for Finance. There would be a general sanction up to that limit. This provision of having a decision "from time to time" by the Minister for Finance allows for an extra amount of grant to be made payable, if sanctioned by the Minister. For the ordinary run of events, there would be general sanction which would not cause any administrative delay. It would not be necessary to go to the Minister for Finance about every training grant under the subsection. It would be a general sanction but special high grants could be sought.
In subsection (2) (a) of this section 18, we read that "a grant under this section shall not exceed the amount which the Minister shall, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, specify..." That is a grant. Under section 16, which has gone through, the Minister has already had to get the concurrence of the Minister for Finance to make the money available to cover, in general, the administration, the running, money for grants, and so on. While the amount to An Chomhairle has been provided, under section 16, with the concurrence of the Minister for Finance, we now find in this section 18, that, instead of the Minister for Labour being able to deal with a matter straight away, there is apparently a second requirement on him to obtain the concurrence of the Minister for Finance. That appears to be fairly definite in respect of a grant: it does not say "grants" but "grant." It would appear that the Minister for Labour must get the consent of the Minister for Finance in respect of expenditure of money for a grant which has already been passed in globo for the expenses of An Chomhairle.
The only other sanction I could get would be for a specific amount of grant. I get the money from the taxpayer, through the Minister for Finance. I could get a specific sanction only as I have already instanced. General decisions can be given administratively. I would not have to go every time for each individual case. Those who have been administering the training grants up to now regard this as an improvement on the position as it has hitherto obtained. I am not limited to anything specified in law.
It is recognised that this is an improvement from the point of view of the level. The section refers to moneys at the disposal of An Chomhairle. These are moneys at its disposal which have already been approved by the Minister for Finance. They may appear to be other moneys but they are moneys at the Minister's disposal which have already been made available to the Minister for Labour with the concurrence of the Minister for Finance. Yet, according to the subsection, it would appear that the Minister will have to go back to the Minister for Finance and to say, in effect: "We have this money which has already been approved by the Minister for Finance but we now want a second approval to expend it in a certain way."
Do I take it that what the Minister means by this is that each specific sum will be laid down at a particular time and if the Minister agrees to adjust it or if the House agrees to adjust it, because, due to rising costs and things like that, the level of grant may not be sufficient, it can be increased?
It can be improved. Putting it this way, it allows elbow room. It allows us to be able to raise the level of grant rather than keep it to the specific limitations which are already in practice affecting, for example, the training grants given by An Foras Tionscal.
That is the point I was trying to make, that the normal procedure is that if you have not sufficient money you look to the Dáil for an excess vote. Within a Department the amount granted by the Department of Finance for any Department can be used under various subheads and as long as the Minister's Estimate does not exceed the total of the subheads he is all right. Is the Minister satisfied in regard to this provision that he can so use his subheads as to make money available to An Chomhairle Traenála should they need it in case of urgent necessity?
If the Deputy could think of any amendment to the Bill which would give me greater freedom for the use of money, I will accept it.
I am only asking if the Minister is satisfied. If he is satisfied, I am satisfied.
Yes. That is why I have it that way. I am satisfied that this gives a better opportunity of making changes from time to time than specifying in the Bill what will be given.
And the Department of Finance will not hamper him in the use of his funds?
I am satisfied on that. We would be much more hampered if we put into the Bill specific limits on the moneys to be paid in grants or specific expenses to be covered.
In local government, we have the peculiar situation where a grant is laid down of £275 in the case of a serviced house or £300 in areas where a house is unserviced and the figures are written in, unfortunately.
This provision is more flexible.
If we had written in what is in this section, we could possibly persuade the Minister for Local Government to increase the amounts. He says the amount is written in and we can do nothing about it. I agree that this seems to be the best way of doing it, as far as we know.
If you can think of any other way, I will accept it.
I move amendment No. 9:
In subsection (1), page 10, line 12, after "may" to insert", after consultation with the relevant industrial training committee (if any),".
With No. 9, perhaps we could take amendment No. 10, which is cognate.
These amendments give effect to the recommendation of the joint committee and also provide that An Chomhairle should consult with the relevant industrial training committee before it grants or revokes a levy order.
Does it mean just what it says? After consultation they do not have to give any consideration to what has happened?
Just consultation? There is nothing else?
It does not achieve very much because the Minister can consult us in regard to this Bill and then he can do what he wants to do.
This is the Comhairle, not the Minister.
I know; but the Comhairle will consult but it does not matter. They do not have to take any cognisance of the recommendations of the people concerned.
The Comhairle would be setting up these committees of its own and it would be very odd if they did not give very careful attention to the recommendations made by a committee.
I move amendment No. 10:
In subsection (3), page 10, line 35, after "may," to insert "after consultation with the relevant industrial training committee (if any) and".
I move amendment No. 11:
In subsection (5), page 10, line 46, to delete "person" and insert "employer".
This is a drafting amendment. The word "employer" is used earlier in the subsection. For the sake of clarity and consistency, it is thought preferable to have the same word used throughout.
Here we have the imposition of levies on industry and levies, no matter how imposed, are taxation of a type and I want to ask the Minister if in this case a body which is outside the Oireachtas, in fact, has power to impose levies on anybody. Is the Minister satisfied that anybody outside the Oireachtas has power to impose levies on an industry or anybody else?
The Pigs and Bacon Commission do, and Bord Bainne.
The Salmon Conservancy Board.
It has not been challenged in the case of these bodies.
The Minister is satisfied that these bodies have the right to do it and he is following the same procedure.
In what set of circumstances could the Minister see employers being exempted from the levy? What type of employers has he in mind?
A small employer.
Who would determine who was to be exempted?
Or the appeal committee.
The Comhairle or the Minister.
If somebody is assessed and decides that he is not liable to be assessed, surely he has the right to appeal?
Yes, that it right. The general run of the decisions would be An Chomhairle's.
In regard to subsection (6), has the Minister any objection to a draft order being laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas so that the Oireachtas would see what type of levies are being imposed before they are imposed? There is provision made here that the order shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas "as soon as may be after it is made". Is there any reason why this levy order should not be laid before the Oireachtas before it is confirmed?
I do not think there is need for it. The levy is to equalise the cost of the training and is to ensure that various employers will play their part in paying for the workers who are trained for them. To bring a draft order through the Dáil would be almost to introduce legislation to implement a levy order.
What I mean is that it would be before the Houses for the statutory period before it was confirmed. Will the Minister consider that?
If the House wanted me to do it. The Joint Committee are satisfied with it the way it is. If there was a big demand——
We would not agree. This House is given the power to confirm or annul. If a draft order is submitted to this House, one might be thinking in terms of amendments and, from the point of view of getting training for these young people in industry, the value of the Bill would be very seriously interferred with because the matter could be put on the long finger. There is no doubt that the employers have equal representation under the Bill and there is the right of appeal to an appeal tribunal and there is the provision that an order may be annulled. There is adequate provision there in case anybody feels that something has been done incorrectly or unjustly.
I do not think that Deputy Jones was aware that the employers were satisfied with this on the Joint Committee.
I was just as concerned in this case as I was on the Town Planning Bill that the Oireachtas would have the right before action was taken. I was not concerned with anybody's interests.
I would agree with Deputy Larkin. It would make very cumbersome machinery and could mean that we would be arguing for a very long time as to whether somebody was affected. I am with the Minister that as it is in the Bill is the proper way to deal with it. Subsection (2) of section 20 says:
If, on an appeal, the appellant satisfies a tribunal established in accordance with regulations under this section that he ought not to have been assessed to the levy or ought to have been assessed in a smaller amount, the tribunal shall rescind, or as the case may be, reduce the assessment, but in any other case shall confirm it, and any decision of the tribunal shall be final.
I thought the Minister might have taken steps to ensure that, if it were found not enough was being charged, provision could be made to have it increased. Experience may prove that the levy is less than it should be and the Minister, I think, is making a mistake in not including a provision to increase it.
That might look like penalising people. It is assumed An Chomhairle will make an adequate ruling.
I am sure the Minister is aware of people who made an appeal for an increase which was not justified at all and, on one occasion, at an Árd Fheis, a Minister gave an order to have a price reduced.
The same might apply here.
I am sure the appeal tribunal would not take up the attitude of the Court of Criminal Appeal which, on occasion, increases sentences.
They might not have the right to do that.
Would the Minister give us some examples of "designated industrial activities"? What has the Minister in mind?
In the normal course, the Comhairle would proceed to bring in an industrial activity under the scope of the Bill by means of an industrial training order, having first carried out consultations with the interested bodies. It would then set up an industrial training committee under section 22 to advise and assist An Chomhairle in dealing with the training problems of the activity concerned. In consultation with the committee, An Chomhairle will tackle the various training problems of the industrial activity as a whole. It will deal with the training of all the workers in the industry, including apprentices, operatives, foremen and supervisors, and with retraining and refresher courses and accelerated vocational training.
Under another section of the Bill, An Chomhairle could do this without any consultation or without setting up any committee. Where speed is required, they can do all that without setting up a committee. In the absence of an industrial training order, they cannot impose a training levy under section 19. They cannot regulate apprenticeship except where the industry has been designated under the Apprenticeship Act, 1959. The order may apply to an industry, or a sector of an industry, or sectors of a number of industries. It could cover the building industry as a whole or a number of trades in the industry. Alternatively, the order could be made on an occupational basis covering persons engaged in a number of different industries, such as electricians.
The Minister mentioned the building industry. Is there any danger of this cutting across arrangements already made? The Minister is aware of them. Does the Minister visualise any difficulty with the people employed in the industry in having this carried out? Perhaps that is not a fair question. Has the Minister received any protests?
The activity has not commenced yet.
Those interested should be aware that it is proposed.
I have had some difficulties pointed out to me but nothing in the nature of protests.
The Minister has taken cognisance of them?
I move amendment No. 12:
In subsection (4) (d) (i), page 12, line 30, to delete "designate" and insert "invite".
This is a purely verbal amendment. It was recommended by the Joint Committee. It does not alter the meaning of the paragraph.
I move amendment No. 13:
In subsection (4) (d) (ii), page 12, line 40, to delete "of" and insert "from".
This is a drafting amendment, designed to make it clear that the order refers to the statutory instrument and not the order in which the names are submitted.
I move amendment No. 14:
Before section 23, to insert a new section as follows:—
23 (1) An industrial training committee may, in accordance with proposals submitted to and approved by An Chomhairle—
(a) appoint committees (which need not include members of the industrial training committee);
(b) join with one or more other industrial training committees in appointing joint committees consisting of such persons (whether or not members of an industrial training committee) as may be determined by the industrial training committees;
and delegate to any such committee, to such extent, whether in whole or in part, as may be stated in the proposals, the function conferred on the industrial training committee by section 22 of this Act.
(2) The chairman of a committee appointed under this section shall be paid, out of moneys at the disposal of An Chomhairle, such fee (if any) for attendance at meetings of the committee as the Minister, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, determines, and in the absence of the chairman from a meeting of the committee, the fee (if any) that would be payable to him may, if An Chomhairle thinks fit, be paid to the person who acts as chairman of the meeting.
(3) Each member of a committee appointed under this section shall be paid, out of moneys at the disposal of An Chomhairle, such allowances (if any) for expenses incurred by him as the Minister, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, may sanction.
(4) Subject to any directions of the industrial training committee or committees which appointed it, a committee appointed under this section shall regulate, by standing orders or otherwise, the procedure and business of the committee.
This was recommended by the joint committee. It empowers the industrial training committee, with the approval of An Chomhairle, to set up a sub-committee or form joint committees and to co-opt to them members from outside the parent committees. It contains the usual provisions for the payment of fees to the chairman and allowances to the members and for the regulation of the business and procedure of the committees. Such committees could play a major part in examining specialist aspects of training problems within a particular industry or in determining the course of action which should be taken to tackle training problems common to a number of industries.
To what extent do these provisions differ from the corresponding provisions in the Apprenticeship Act, 1959? Are there changes?
There are no substantial changes. The provisions are similar in type.
This section provides that An Chomhairle may "make all or any one or more of the following" and there follows then what they may lay down. The Minister gave a perfectly truthful answer, as it stands, to Deputy Jones, but, in fact, under the subsections here, they can alter the order quite considerably.
Under sections 25 to 32 of the Apprenticeship Act, 1959, similar powers were given to An Cheard Chomhairle to make rules governing the minimum age of entry, regulating dismissal, in relation the period of apprenticeship, regulating training, prohibiting apprenticeship premiums, and so on.
It does, in fact, give the new committee authority to lay down these rules. Deputy Jones asked was this different from the 1959 Act. It is not different from the section the Minister has quoted. The Comhairle may lay down different rules and regulations from what happened under the Apprenticeship Act. That is the point I am coming at.
An Cheard Chomhairle could do that also.
They could, but having laid them down, they could have amended them. Now we have a new group who can lay down rules.
An Cheard Chomhairle functions will be taken over by the Comhairle Traenála. I do not think the Deputy should envisage any major differences.
Possibly the experience during the past few years will have changed their minds.
They will have the benefit of the experiences of the past few years. What I meant to convey to Deputy Jones is that whatever the Comhairle now can do in regard to rules, An Cheard Chomhairle could do as well.
But they did not.
They did not.
Does this section get over the situation where a number of young people are employed in certain industrial undertakings as apprentices and find after a number of years that all they have been is glorified labourers? They found they were not apprentices at all, though they qualified as such. The Minister must be aware of such instances arising. Does this mean that in future they will be employed as apprentices and as nothing else?
The purpose is to ensure that apprenticeship training controls will apply to all persons who are bona fide apprentices.
That is a good idea.
Why Iris Oifigiúil? Who sees it?
This is for the posting of approvals.
Who reads it?
I can imagine what the Deputy would say if we did not make this available.
Certainly, by way of ordinary newspaper notice, but Iris Oifigiúil has not got the wide circulation the Minister thinks.
The purpose is to bring to the notice of interested persons that rules have been made.
Does the Minister expect people who own small garages to get copies?
The purpose is to announce that the rules are there and to tell them where they can get them.
This has caused a certain amount of difficulty. While I agree on the necessity for courses, in some areas they are not easily available and there has been difficulty in getting courses for apprentices. Could there be some modification?
It is one of the functions of the Comhairle.
I move amendment No. 15:
In page 16, lines 39 and 40, to delete "Section 24 of this Act" and insert "section 24 or paragraph (d) of subsection (1) of section 46 of this Act or rules mentioned in paragraph (b) of the said subsection (1)".
Amendments Nos. 16 and 28 are related, and amendment No. 27 is consequential. Therefore, the four amendments may be discussed together.
The purpose of amendments Nos. 15 and 16 is to prohibit the obstruction of employers in implementing the following rules:—
(i) Rules made under section 24 of the Bill regulating aspects of apprenticeship, for example, age of entry and educational rules, in designated industrial activities.
(ii) Apprentice workshop training rules which may be made by An Chomhairle under Section 46 (1) (d) for certain trades controlled under the Apprenticeship Act, 1959, for which such rules have not been made before An Chomhairle Traenála is set up. (It is proposed in amendment No. 28 to empower An Chomhairle to make such rules).
(iii) Apprenticeship rules made for trades controlled under the Apprenticeship Act, 1959 which will be continued in force by Section 46 (1) (b) of the Bill.
A similar provision is made in section 51 of the Apprenticeship Act which prohibits interference for the purpose of preventing or obstructing an employer from complying with rules made under that Act.
The purpose of paragraph (c) in amendment No. 28 is to facilitate the taking of legal proceedings by or against An Chomhairle under Section 46 (8) of the Bill. In effect it continues in force section 16 (3) of the Apprenticeship Act, 1959 despite the repeal of that Act.
The inclusion of paragraph (d) in amendment No. 28, has been requested by An Cheard Chomhairle who have represented that it is likely that workshop training rules will not be made for a number of trades controlled under the Apprenticeship Act, 1959 before An Chomhairle Traenála has been established. The position about apprenticeship rules made or confirmed by An Cheard Chomhairle is that under section 46 (1) (b) of the Bill these rules will be continued in force and will be administered by An Chomhairle Traenála. These rules may also be amended or revoked by An Chomhairle Traenála. However, An Chomhairle Traenála are not empowered to make apprenticeship rules for such trades unless the industries concerned have first been designated by Order under Section 21 of the Bill. In the circumstances, An Cheard Chomhairle have asked that An Chomhairle Traenála should be given power to make apprentice training rules for certain trades in conjunction with the appropriate apprenticeship committees where such rules have not been made before An Chomhairle Traenála is established. The amendment gives effect to An Cheard Chomhairle's request.
Amendment No. 27 is a drafting amendment.
I am sure the Minister is aware of an industry which manufactures tubular steel furniture. I shall give him an instance of a number of young people being recruited from the local technical school as apprentices to this type of work. Some of them were welding tubular steel, some of them enamelling it. After some time, an application was made, possibly by the employer, possibly by the local technical school, to the Apprenticeship Board. Later, an inspector of the board ruled that since the boys were not carrying out a type of work which could be generally accepted as a trade, they were not entitled to be treated as apprentices. The result was that after two years those young fellows found themselves termed merely as unskilled labourers. I am giving an instance of one case while I am aware of a number of others. There are a number of garages throughout the country which employ boys as apprentices and they spend a few years there earning very small money. After those few years, you find them washing cars and selling petrol and they have not become craftsmen at all. The employer uses the system to get away with paying a small rate of remuneration and these boys turn out, in fact, to be only unskilled labourers. What is the possibility of having these things straightened out? The trade must be designated and I had in mind a trade which has not been designated.
It can be done under this Bill. It could possibly be brought into some other trade like the furniture trade.
It is, in fact, the furniture trade. Perhaps the inspector said that they were not doing work proper to a craftsman and those boys finished up as jack-of-all trades.
An earlier section of the Bill dealt with this matter. Inspection can be carried out under this Bill.
On whom does the onus of inspection rest?
On An Chomhairle.
Does inspection follow complaint or will the inspectors as a general rule carry out inspections?
I imagine that there will be some general inspection but they would inspect on complaint.
And that type of factory can be designated?
I move amendment No. 16:
In page 16, line 42, to delete "designated industrial activity" and insert "activity of industry".
I move amendment No. 17:
In subsection (3), page 17, line 29, after "determine" to insert ": Provided that in case a person, at the instance of his employer, attends any such course or avails of any such service or facility, any fee payable to An Chomhairle in respect thereof shall be payable by, and only by, the employer".
This amendment was recommended by the Joint Committee. The Committee made two criticisms of the subsection. The first was that it was not clear who would be liable to pay fees and the second was that it appeared that An Chomhairle might be empowered to charge fees to people who had not participated in a training course. An Chomhairle may charge fees if it provides a special course at the request of an employer or groups of employers and it can charge admission fees to these courses and also to conferences and seminars and so on. It is apparent from subsection (4) of the section that An Chomhairle may recover fees only where a contractual agreement exists between An Chomhairle and the other party. The amendment ensures that where a person, at the instance of his employer, attends a course for which a fee is charged, that fee will be paid by the employer and not by the employee.
I take it that the operative part of this amendment is to ensure that where a person attends such a course at the instance of his employer, the fee will be paid by the employer?
What is the position with regard to a person who attends a course of this nature on his own initiative? The section empowers An Chomhairle to impose fees on persons who attend particular courses of training and this seems to be oddly at variance with the ideal of free post-primary education. Is An Chomhairle entitled to impose fees on people who attend courses on their own initiative? The Minister is making provision that where the employee attends a course at the request of his employer, it is right and proper that the employer should pay the fee, but in regard to the section itself, it seems that we are at variance with the idea on which we have all been proceeding that we are to have free post-primary education which is to include vocational training and industrial training.
The fee for attending seminars would not come within the scope of the Deputy's argument.
According to section 35 (1), there shall be paid to An Chomhairle a fee and, if a person takes one of these courses on his own initiative, who is going to pay that fee?
We are now dealing with the Minister's amendment.
The Minister makes provision that where a person attends a course at the request of his employer, the fee for that course will be paid by the employer, but what is the position of the employee who attends such a course on his own initative?
There will be courses for which employees will be picked and paid for by their employers. In the few cases where an employee would not be sent by his employer or would not be selected for the course and elects to go on himself, he would be expected to pay a fee.
In other words, if an employee wishes to improve himself and improve his skill by attending a course for which he is not selected and to which he is not sent by his employer, he must pay for himself, even though he exercises his ordinary natural right to attend that training course?
I do not think it is a natural right to attend a training course. It is a right given by the recent decision of the Government as to the availability of post-primary education. I do not think it a natural right to attend seminars for which fees are payable.
But all the emphasis is now to be on industrial training.
If a person is not selected for a course or sent by his employer and elects to go himself, why should somebody else have to pay his fees?
If an employer selects one employee to go for a course of training and if there is another employee of equal suitability, what will his position be?
If there is a person of equal suitability, he will be selected.
Who will do the selecting?
The employer. It is assumed that the employer will act fairly.
All I am assuming is that according to the legislation coming into this House, we are excluding people——
I do not think so.
It is certainly very much at variance with what is in subsection (4) if we speak of An Chomhairle recovering——
The Deputy should realise all the major course will be free, and it is only in certain cases fees will be charged. Fees will not be charged for these cases where suitable people are selected to attend courses. The Deputy is talking about people who are not selected as suitable but who want to go to a course for which a fee is charged. I do not think you can make a case that everyone should go to every course.
I mentioned this previously in regard to the question of the redeployment of labour: you could have a situation, which possibly will arise in regard to the Free Trade Area or in regard to our entry into Europe, where there would be difficulty in regard to a whole block of work, and courses are going to be provided for these people.
These will be free courses.
Will they be free to all or will the employers select certain people?
The general run of courses will be free. There will be courses where there are fees charged, but a man will have two chances: if he is selected by his employer or if An Chomhairle thinks fit, he will be allowed in free.
Is the Minister talking about apprentices?
This is for all courses.
It does not apply to apprentices only?
The Minister refers to a "seminar" but the section says "course" and it could be for a week, three months or six months. The point made by Deputy Jones is that in a particular case an employer might select one person to go. The course could be of value to another person who may or may not be an apprentice and he might decide he wants to take advantage of the course.
Then An Chomhairle could allow him in free?
The employer pays for apprentice A but apprentice B, who does not happen to be selected, must pay for the course?
If An Chomhairle thinks fit it could allow him in free at their own expense.
He may be required to pay for the course if neither the employer nor the Comhairle selects him?
I am confused about this. It starts off by saying that where a person is taken into employment by way of apprenticeship in a designated industry——
That is subsection (1). We are on subsection (3).
That is the ruling subsection.
Subsection (3) relates to the training of persons. It does not limit it to any group.
Let me take subsection (3) on its own:
(3) Where An Chomhairle provides courses, facilities or services in relation to the training of persons An Chomhairle may charge and there shall be payable to An Chomhairle in respect thereof such fee (if any) as An Chomhairle shall determine.
The Minister says as far as adults are concerned they will be mainly free courses.
Most courses run by An Chomhairle will be free.
Where is the necessity for the section at all?
The first subsection refers to the registration fee, and the third subsection refers to special courses.
With reference to special courses An Chomhairle will——
They have to have power to charge fees for special courses. To cover the point that Deputy Jones is worried about, either the man's employer or An Chomhairle may decide that he should be there free. He has a double chance.
I move amendment No. 18:
In page 18, lines 1 to 5, to delete subsection (4).
Amendment No. 37 is consequential on No. 18, so the two amendments may be taken together.
These amendments are recommended by the Joint Committee. Article 27 of the First Schedule provides that the Chairman and all the ordinary members of An Chomhairle shall have a vote. Section 36 (4), which is similar to section 57 (5) of the Apprenticeship Act, 1959, provides that voting on the granting of exemption from requirements of certain apprenticeship rules should be confined to the Chairman and the workers' and employers' members of An Chomhairle. The Joint Committee recommended that voting on such matters should be open to all members of An Chomhairle and this amendment gives effect to the recommendation. The section as originally drafted was copied from the 1959 Apprenticeship Act and did not take account of the fact that only the Chairman and the employers' and workers' members were entitled to vote. This amendment gives the vote on such matters to all members of An Chomhairle Traenála.
I move amendment No. 19:
In page 18, between lines 8 and 9, to insert before subsection (2) the following new subsection:
"(2) It is hereby declared that nothing contained either in an employment agreement registered in the Register or in an order made by the Labour Court under section 43 of the Act shall affect the provisions of section 38 of this Act."
This is another amendment agreed by the Joint Committee. The purpose is to ensure that the provisions of a registered employment agreement or an employment regulation order made by the Labour Court under the Industrial Relations Act, 1946, which purport to control the intake of apprentices in an industry, shall not have precedence over the decisions of An Chomhairle under section 38 of the Bill relating to the employment of apprentices in a designated industrial activity or in trades controlled under the Apprenticeship Act which will be taken over under this Bill. A provision similar in effect to this amendment is contained in section 64 (2) of the Apprenticeship Act, 1959.
I move amendment No. 20:
In subsection (2) (a), page 18, lines 42 and 43, for "engaged in a designated industrial activity has" to substitute "who carries on—
(i) a designated industrial activity, or
(ii) a trade which stands specified for the time being in an order under section 21 of the Act of 1959,
Amendment No. 21 is consequential, so the two amendments may be taken together.
The purpose of paragraph (a) of subsection (2) is to enable An Chomhairle Traenála to arrange for an employer who has adequate training facilities to take on additional apprentices. These two amendments were agreed by the Joint Committee. The purpose of the amendment is to ensure that the provision in the subsection applies not only in respect of apprentices in an industrial activity designated under this Bill but also in respect of apprentices employed in trades controlled under the Apprenticeship Act, 1959.
I move amendment No. 21:
In subsection (2) (a), page 18, in line 45 and in line 47, after "activity" to insert "or trade".
I move amendment No. 22:
In subsection (2), (b), page 19, line 2, to delete "the activity" and insert "an activity of industry".
The purpose of paragraph (b) of this subsection is to enable An Chomhairle Traenála to arrange for an employer to take into employment persons, other than apprentices, who have been successfully trained in a course provided or approved by An Chomhairle. This amendment was also agreed by the Joint Committee. The purpose of the amendment is to make it clear that the provisions in the subsection apply to any activity of industry and not to a designated industrial activity only.
In regard to subsection (1), it is intended that An Chomhairle will have the right to deploy labour or to require that the labour available should do work requiring a particular type of skill?
That would be unconstitutional.
Would the placement service envisaged be in a position to designate that certain skills would have to be acquired to enable workers to be placed?
Yes. Certain openings will be available only to trained persons. Such persons would be told: "If you want that job, you will have to be trained for it." But you could not force him to take any training.
I agree. It will be left to An Chomhairle to do this?
It will be a job of advising rather than directing.
It will be the aptitude that will count?
Aptitude and the aspirations of the person involved.
Would it be possible, if an industry in a particular place failed, that the person would have to move?
Yes. Another part of the manpower policy is concerned with making movement easier, by making payments to help a person move from one place to another and to re-establish himself.
I move amendment No. 23:
In subsection (7), page 20, lines 33 to 39, to delete paragraph (a) and insert the following paragraph:
(a) In case a person on whom a notice under paragraph (a) of subsection (2) of section 29 of this Act is served, at any time while failing or neglecting to comply with the requirement of the notice, either is on any premises in the occupation of the employer on whom a notice relating to the person is served under paragraph (b) of the said subsection (2), or does work for or on behalf of the employer, the employer shall be guilty of an offence.
This was an amendment recommended by the Joint Committee also. Subsection (2) of section 29 enabled An Chomhairle to serve a notice on an employer requiring him to release his apprentices during working hours, and without loss of pay, to attend trade instruction courses in technical schools. The purpose of this amendment is to cut off any possible loophole which would allow an employer to refuse to release his apprentices to attend such classes. Under the section as drafted, there is, for instance, a doubt whether an apprentice working on a building site is engaged on work in premises in the occupation of his employer. It is to seal off a loophole.
I move amendment No. 24:
In page 21, line 41, to delete "and rules" and insert ", rules and regulations".
Perhaps we might discuss, with this, amendment No. 25? They are both technical amendments with the same purpose.
The amendments may be discussed together but the Minister must move them separately.
The purpose is to ensure that regulations made under section 25, as well as rules which may be made by An Chomhairle, will be covered by these sections which deal with proofs under the Documentary Evidence Act, 1925, and the service and signing of notices.
I move amendment No. 25:
In subsection (1), page 21, line 42, after "rules" to insert "or regulations".
I move amendment No. 26:
In subsection (1) (a), page 22, line 20, after "order," to insert "and any reference to An Cheard Chomhairle in any order under either of the said sections shall be construed as a reference to An Chomhairle,".
The amendment is necessary to ensure that An Chomhairle will have powers similar to those possessed by An Cheard Chomhairle at present to administer orders made under sections 21 and 22 of the Apprenticeship Act, 1959, which are being continued in force by this Bill. The orders provide for the designation of trades for the purposes of apprenticeship and the setting up of apprenticeship committees in respect of such trades. Various actions may have to be performed by An Chomhairle Traenála under these orders, such as the filling of casual vacancies on apprenticeship committees.
I move amendment No. 27:
In subsection (1) (b), page 22, line 31, to delete "and".
I move amendment No. 28:
In subsection (1), page 22, between lines 31 and 32, to insert the following additional paragraphs:
"(c) every document purporting to be an instrument made by An Cheard Chomhairle and to be sealed with the seal (purporting to be authenticated in accordance with section 16 of the Act of 1959) of An Cheard Chomhairle shall continue to be received in evidence and to be deemed to be such instrument without proof unless the contrary is shown,
(d) in case a committee established by an order under the said section 22 has not before the establishment day made rules in accordance with the requirement of subsection (1) of section 29 of the Act of 1959, An Chomhairle may, on the advice of the committee, make such rules and any rules made under this paragraph shall, for the purposes of section 42 of this Act, have effect as if they were made under paragraph (e) of subsection (1) of section 24 of this Act, and".
I move amendment No. 29:
In subsection (9), page 23, line 30, to delete "An Cheard Chomhairle or by".
The purpose of this amendment is to correct an inaccuracy in the subsection. In fact, the registers referred to in the subsection are kept by the apprenticeship committees only and not by An Cheard Chomhairle.
I move amendment No. 30:
In article 2, page 23, line 42, to delete "six" and insert "thirteen".
The Joint Committee recommended that the number of ordinary members of An Chomhairle should be increased from six to 13. The amendment gives effect to the recommendation.
I move amendment No. 31:
In page 24, lines 16 to 19, to delete article 9 and insert the following:
"9. Of the ordinary members of An Chomhairle, five shall be workers' members, five shall be employers' members, one shall be an educational member and two shall be representatives of the Minister."
The Joint Committee recommended that the ordinary members of An Chomhairle should consist of five workers' members, five employers' members, an educational representative, a nominee of the Minister and a person with experience in the field of industrial education and training. There are drafting difficulties in describing the qualifications of the latter member. In the circumstances, it is proposed in the amendment that the ordinary members of An Chomhairle will consist of five workers' members, five employers' members, an educational member and two representatives of the Minister. It is the intention that one of the Minister's representatives should have practical experience in industrial training and education.
Might I ask the Minister a question in respect of these boards, particularly these joint boards of conciliation and arbitration, of which there are a number in existence? What will happen in regard to the personnel attached to these important bodies, the secretaries and the chairmen?
I think the Deputy is talking on the wrong Bill. This is not the Industrial Relations Bill.
It will not be affected by it at all?
Not by this Bill.
I move amendment No. 32:
In page 24, lines 20 to 27, to substitute the following new article for article 10:—
"10. The Minister shall invite an organisation representative of trade unions of workers to nominate five persons for appointment as the workers' members of An Chomhairle and the Minister shall appoint the persons so nominated to be the workers' members of An Chomhairle."
This amendment and amendment No. 33 might be taken together. These amendments give effect to the Joint Committee's recommendations that there should be five workers' and five employers' members of An Chomhairle.' airle and that the distinction between representatives of skilled workers and other workers in the composition of the worker membership of An Chomhairle should be removed.
I move amendment No. 33:
In article 11, page 24, line 31, to delete "two" and insert "five".
I move amendment No. 34:
In article 17, page 24, line 49, to delete "An ordinary" and insert "A".
The article deals with the disqualification of members of An Chomhairle in the event of bankruptcy, imprisonment or ceasing to be resident in the State.
This amendment gives effect to the recommendation of the Joint Committee that the provisions of the Article should apply to the Chairman as well as to the ordinary members of An Chomhairle.
I move amendment No. 35:
In page 25, lines 5 to 18, to substitute the following new article for article 19:
"19. Where a casual vacancy occurs among the workers' members of An Chomhairle, the Minister shall forthwith invite an organisation representative of trade unions of workers to nominate a person for appointment to fill the vacancy and the Minister shall appoint the person so nominated to fill the vacancy."
The distinction between representatives of skilled workers and other workers in the composition of the worker membership of An Chomhairle has been removed by amendment No. 32. This is a consequential amendment providing for the filling of casual vacancies in the workers' members of An Chomhairle without any distinction between skilled and other workers.
I move amendment No. 36:
In article 22, page 25, line 30, to delete "the" and insert "a".
This is a consequential amendment arising out of amendment No. 31. Its effect is to permit of the filling of a casual vacancy affecting either of the Minister's representatives.
I move amendment No. 37:
In article 28, page 25, lines 50 and 51, to delete ", subject to subsection (4) of section 36 of this Act,".
We dealt with this amendment earlier on.
The Minister has an amendment to raise the membership of An Chomhairle. In regard to the Schedule, has he considered that it is proper to leave the quorum still at four? Is it not unreasonable, where the membership has been increased to 13, that it would be possible for the Chairman designated by the Minister and two members to hold a meeting, leaving out a whole section of representatives? A meeting could be held without the representatives of the workers being available. Surely it is logical that the Minister should now increase the quorum in this connection?
Would the Deputy like to suggest the amendment he has in mind?
I think it should be at least seven.
I gather that An Cheard Chomhairle has been working with a quorum of five.
A quorum, as it stands at four, certainly does not seem logical in the case of a committee which has been increased to 13. I do not think that that would lead to confidence in it.
I shall amend it, if we can hit on a suitable figure. I think four is probably small, all right, out of 13.
An Cheard Chomhairle was ten and a chairman. With 13 voting members, the quorum should now be increased.
Would the Minister consider dealing with it on the next Stage?
We could amend the figure to seven.
Yes, on the Report Stage.
Perhaps the Deputy would agree that what he now suggests would be incorporated in an amendment in the Seanad?
What about the Report Stage? The Minister promised to deal with a few matters and he could deal with that on the Report Stage, too.
I was hoping to get all Stages of this Bill this evening because I want to have the body set up as soon as possible.
The Minister promised on an earlier section to consider the matter of consultation with the Department of Finance.
Yes. If I reach the conclusion that it should be done the other way, I could amend it in the Seanad. I am anxious not to rush it but to get the body set up soon.
If the Minister will do it in the Seanad, that will be all right.
If I come to the conclusion that it should be done, I will do it in the Seanad.
If the Minister will leave it in that position, then, that he will——
It requires consultation —not this amendment but Deputy Larkin's suggestion.
What about this one?
I will accept seven, if seven is what the Deputy wants.
One more than half the membership of the body.
I move amendment No. 38:
In article 7, page 26, line 51, to delete "designate" and insert "invite".
I move amendment No. 39:
In article 9, page 27, line 12, after "members" to insert "of an industrial training committee".
This amendment and amendment No. 40 are only drafting amendments designed to bring the drafting of the Articles into line with that of Articles 7 and 8 of the Second Schedule.
I move amendment No. 40:
In article 10, page 27, line 15, before "who" to insert "of an industrial training committee".
"Traenála" sticks in my gullet.
I take it that the Minister, in regard to the matters on which we have been speaking—the question of the quorum and the question of the limitations which are being imposed, or that seem to be imposed by Finance— has promised to have a look at it before he takes it to the Seanad.
The point raised by Deputy Jones and Deputy Larkin is that the salaries fixed by An Chomhairle have to be sanctioned by the Minister for Labour in consultation with the Minister for Finance. The Deputies understood that the basis for it is so that there could be an overall look by the Minister for Finance at the salaries for comparable posts in different State bodies but I agree that this particular body should not be restricted if other bodies are not similarly dealt with. What I undertake to do is to go back and consult now and see if we can make the change and, if this is possible, to introduce an amendment in the Seanad to bring it about.
The Minister, I am sure, could have a list of comparable bodies which may be provided with the necessary finance to operate. In the case of An Foras Talúntas, the money is voted in bulk. They have to submit accounts, of course. In the case of many other bodies, the money is provided and they can make their own decisions. It can be of tremendous value, particularly from the point of view of efficient operation. The Minister has indicated that he will have the matter considered and we hope that he will be able to amend the sections.
The Deputy will appreciate that while it was general practice to permit such bodies to pay the salaries, that practice has resulted in the position that comparable employment in State bodies was not being equally remunerated and this caused leap-frogging. It was necessary for the Minister for Finance to have some say in it, but, if it is not generally applied, it should not be applied to anyone. I will try to deal with it as best I can.
Nach bhfuil aon fhocal níos fearr ná "traenála"?
Níl a fhios agam.
Tá sé go dona.
Cad mar gheall ar "oiliúna"?
Bhéadh se níos fearr ná "traenála".
Tá sé ann anois. Tá sé mar atá sé.
Is ar do cheann féin atá sé.
Ní féidir aon rud a dhéanamh leis anois.