The Bevin trainee scheme was designed to speed up the production of arms in Indian munitions factories during World War Two. This required more technically skilled workers and as a result the Minister of Labour, Ernest Bevin, set up this scheme, which enabled Indian workers to train in Britain over a six-month period. This was later extended to eight months.
The first trainees, also known as the Indian ‘Bevin Boys’, arrived in May 1941. Initially trained at Letchworth, the men then found placements in factories across the Midlands, Manchester and Glasgow. Some stayed with English families.
The trainees featured heavily in press coverage and publicity materials such as this brochure, Ambassadors of Goodwill, and were seen as a vital propaganda tool to highlight how India supported Britain’s war effort. This pamphlet compiles short essays written by the apprentices about their experiences of the scheme and living in Britain.