Who Were the Bevin Trainees?
(not to be confused with Bevin Boys)
The Bevin Trainee Scheme was introduced by Ernest Bevin, Minister of Labour and National Service during 1941.
The proposal was to bring 2,000 Indians into the United Kingdom for industrial training with a view to developing Indian industry particularly in relation to the war effort.
The first 50 Bevin Trainees came over in May 1941 and were sent to a training centre in Letchworth, Hertfordshire, after which the Trainees were sent to industrial centres in Manchester, Birmingham, Rugby and Glasgow.
The scheme was not without problems as many were fully qualified with technical, workshop and engineering degrees, all receiving elementary training.
Additionally there were further problems involving religious and political activities as well as complains of insufficient clothing, food, and gross interference of personal liberty and intimidation.
Little is known about the above and it should be made clear that there is no connection between the 1941 Bevin Trainees from India who worked in the factories and the 1942-1948 Bevin Boys conscripted in the UK to work in the coal mines.
Source: Warwick H Taylor MBE