Business training for laid-off Britons

By , Special to The Christian Science Monitor

Britain's government-operated Manpower Services Commission is beginning to play an important role in training the country's business managers of the 1980s.

The commission, which works closely with the civil service Employment Department, runs a wide variety of courses for laid-off people seeking to establish their own companies and unemployed workers looking for specialist tuition in preparing for new jobs.

Although training facilities for the country's new entrepreneurs are limited and are being offered to a very small percentage of the United Kingdom's 2 million unemployed, commission officials appear confident that their 16-week classes are starting to give a practical boost to business expansion.

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Established in Manchester and taken up by business schools in London, Durham (northeast England), and Glasgow, the New Enterprise tuition program has produced its first employers from its earliest students. Considering the fact that the graduates had to learn a great deal about business methods within four months, three weeks of which were spent as residential students within the training centers, the budding employers seem to have developed a wealth of talent for new enterprises.

One of the main objects of the business training courses is to show people with commercial ideas how to put them into practice. Another aim is to encourage graduates to become employers.

Applicants for the courses are closely screened by the Manpower Services Commission and the business schools as to the worth of commercial projects. A Scottish spokesman for the commission has said that 10 of the 11 students who undertook the state-funded classes at Glasgow University last year are trading, producing goods like ice axes, goat's milk cheese, and electronic equipment.

Three of the first group of students have entered the Scottish Council (Development and Industry) Enterprise Scotland competition for ideas about the growth of small businesses.

A second group of graduates has started ventures in boatbuilding, catering , electronic instruments, and screen printing.

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