Papers of George H. Cullen, Manager of the Government Training Centre and Industrial Rehabilitation Unit at Perivale, Middlesex

Scope and Content

This collection includes: minutes; correspondence; subject files; publications; photographs.

Administrative / Biographical History

Perivale Government Training Centre was opened in 1948, and an Industrial Rehabilitation Unit was added in 1959. George H. Cullen was manager at Perivale between 1948-1966, and had previously worked at Barking and Honicknowle (Plymouth) GTCs.

Government Training Centres (GTCs) were established in 1925 with the intention of providing vocational training in a factory-style environment to unemployed workers in industrially depressed areas. After the Second World War they were also used to rehabilitate or retrain ex-soldiers and people with disabilities. In 1970 they were renamed 'Skillcentres'.

The 1944 Disabled Persons (Employment) Act required the government to provide industrial rehabilitation courses for people who were unable to work due to injury or physical or mental disability. The first Industrial Rehabilitation Unit was opened at Egham, Surrey, in 1944, and remained the only government IRU until 1948. By 1951, there were 14 units around the UK. Each centre had a series of workshops to enable industrial training and courses lasted on average 8-12 weeks. Allowances were paid to patients to encourage a positive attitude to returning to work and psychological support was an important aspect of the units. In 1951 an Industrial Rehabilitation Development Committee was established to monitor the progress of the government policy and in 1952 a new unit with an additional specialist research function was opened.

Access Information

This collection is available to researchers by appointment at the Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick. See

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