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Ms. Mowlam : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will explain the methods being used to provide publicly available information on 16 and 17-year-olds who remain unemployed after the ending of the bridging allowance payments or extended child benefit.
Mr. Viggers : No such information is currently made available.
Ms. Mowlam : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many people of YTS eligible age, registered with jobcentres or the careers service were awaiting an offer of a YTS place at the end of October 1988, November 1988, December 1988, January 1989, February 1989 and March 1989 ; and of them, how many were receiving bridging allowance or extended child benefit or income support or a severe hardship grant from the social fund.
Mr. Viggers : The information is not readily available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Ms. Mowlam : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will provide figures for the number of young people no longer on bridging allowance who have not yet been allocated a YTS place.
Mr. Viggers : The number of young people no longer receiving bridging allowance who have not yet been allocated a YTP place is 140. Some of these young people have been submitted to YTP schemes and results are awaited.
Mr. Hoyle : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will ensure that the terms and conditions of the employees of Harland and Wolff are protected when the undertaking is transferred to the privatised company.
Mr. Viggers : On 22 March 1989 I approved, on behalf of the Government, heads of agreement for the sale of H&W plc to a management- employee buy-out team, backed by Mr. Olsen. The terms and conditions of the employees of the privatised company will be a matter for the new owners.
Sir John Farr : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the present system of promulgation of information relating to the routing and timing of sectarian funerals ; whether the cause of the failure to brief the late Corporals David Howes and Derek Wood in this respect, has been remedied ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Ian Stewart [holding answer 12 April 1989] : These are operational matters for the general officer commanding and the Chief Constable.
82. Mr. Patrick Thompson : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will make a statement about Government measures to alleviate skill shortages in manufacturing industry.
Mr. Cope : There are a number of Government measures designed to alleviate skill shortages in all industries. These include the setting up of training and enterprise councils to enable employers to define and meet local skill needs. The Government is also helping young people and the unemployed to learn new skills through YTS, employment training and the recently announced business growth training.
83. Mrs. Maureen Hicks : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment to what extent a lack of trained personnel is threatening the ability of United Kingdom industry to meet the surge in demand.
Mr. Cope : Previous figures cannot express completely the extent of the threat. The most recent quarterly survey of industrial trends, conducted in January 1989 by the Confederation of British Industry, reported that 25 per cent. of manufacturing firms in the United Kingdom anticipated that a shortage of skilled labour would limit output over the coming four months.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment further to his reply of 13 December 1988, Official Report, column 535, if he will make a further statement on the changes to calculation of the unemployment figures in the United Kingdom.
Mr. Lee : I have nothing to add to my previous reply.
Mr. Gill : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many training and enterprise councils he expects to approve in the west midlands ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Cope : I published a prospectus on 10 March inviting employers to form training and enterprise councils (TECs) in their local area. Response to TECs in the west midlands or elsewhere has been excellent. Groups of employers have been asked to apply for development funding. The deadline for first bids is 28 April. Decisions on the numbers of TECs will be taken when the bids are considered.
Mr. Paice : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will make a statement on the progress of Business Growth Through Training.
Mr. Cope : My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State launched business growth training on 11 April 1989. The reaction that we have had from employers has been most encouraging. The Training Agency will be evaluating the impact of the new programme on business performance.
Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many specialist inspectors have left the Health and Safety Executive in the last 12 months ; and how many have been (a) retirements and (b) resignations.
Mr. Nicholls : Between 1 April 1988 and 31 March 1989, 17 specialist inspectors have left the Health and Safety Executive ; of these, five retired, nine resigned and three transferred to other Government Departments.
Mr. Skinner : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many mines inspectors and quarries inspectors the Health and Safety Executive had in place on 1 April.
Mr. Nicholls : On 1 April 1989 the Health and Safety Executive employed 58 mines inspectors and 11 quarries inspectors.
Mr. Cox : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment whether he will make a statement on the Health and Safety Executive's budget provision for the next three years.
Mr. Nicholls : Gross provision for the Health and Safety Commission and Executive in the three years from 1 April last is £118.3 million, £125.9 million and £133.5 million. The provision allows for real growth in the executive's activities in all three years, including an increase in the number of inspectors, and of inspections. Details will be published shortly in the commission's plan of work for 1989-90 and beyond.
Mr. Harry Barnes : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment whether he will estimate the number of accidents that go unreported in the mining industry.
Mr. Nicholls : While under-reporting of accidents is significant in some industries, there is no evidence that it occurs to any marked degree in the mining industry.
Mr. Bowis : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what steps he is taking to improve access for disabled people to tourist attractions.
Mr. Lee : The English Tourist Board's advisory committee on visitor attractions has drawn up a voluntary code of practice for operators, which includes recomendations on access for disabled people. This code of practice is to be piloted in the west country in the near future, with the aim, following further consultations, of issuing the code in early 1990.
Mr. Cartwright : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what representations he has received about the future of the Co-operative development agency ; and what has been his response.
Mr. Cope : I have received written representations from 14 organisations on the future of the Co-operative Development Agency. I have also received representations from a Co-operative parliamentary delegation.
All the representations are currently under consideration.
Mr. Corbett : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment why the report into the film and television industries by the Monopolies and Mergers Commission has not been made publicly available.
Mr. Cope : The Monopolies and Mergers Commission report entitled "Labour Practices in TV and Film Making" (Cm. 666) was laid before Parliament on 13 April. Copies are available to Members from the Vote Office and from HMSO bookshops.
Mr. Tony Lloyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what the level of the 1983 YTS allowance would have been had it risen annually in line with (a) the retail price index, (b) average earnings and (c) the average yearly rate of inflation.
Mr. Cope [holding answer 17 April 1989] : The YTS allowance was £25 per week in April 1983. If the allowance had been increased in line with changes in the retail price index it would have been £33.17 in February 1989. If adjusted in line with increases in the average earnings index, the allowance would have been £38.69 in January 1989. Adjusting the allowance for the rate of inflation is equivalent to the adjustment made for changes in the retail prices index. Many trainees receive more than the minimum level of the trainee allowance.
Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment which items included in the 1988-89 estimated outturn columns of table 7.29 on page 25 of the public expenditure White Paper published in January were not included in the estimated total of £17.8 million on publicity spending by his Department given in the answer to the hon. Member for Holborn and St. Pancras on 13 March, Official Report , column 56 .
Mr. Cope [holding answer 17 April 1989] : Since the public expenditure White Paper and my previous answer were published, later information has become available.
The latest estimated total for publicity expenditure for the Department of Employment in 1988-89 is £18.3
Column 213million. It includes expenditure for the employment service, but excludes that for the Training Agency, ACAS and the Health and Safety Executive.
The expenditure for the Training Agency, which was given in the reply to the hon. Member on 13 March 1989, Official Report , column 55 , excludes expenditure for the skills training agency (shown as "Other TA publicity" in the PEWP table).
Mr. Allen Adams : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what conclusions he draws from his Department's statistical information on whether assistance to the long-term unemployed is better provided by employment service jobcentres or private job clubs.
Mr. Lee [holding answer 17 April 1989] : At the end of February 1989, the job entry rate, or percentage of people leaving job clubs to go into jobs, was 56 per cent. for employment service job clubs against 52 per cent. from external job clubs. However the gap in performance is
Column 214closing ; at the end of March 1988 employment service job clubs had a job entry rate of 57 per cent. and external job clubs 50 per cent. In some employment service areas external job clubs are now performing as well as or better than their employment service counterparts. A number of initiatives, such as improved job club leader training, are in progress which should further improve performance.
External job clubs already provide valuable help to long term unemployed people and statistics suggest they are capable of performing broadly as well as those directly run by the employment service.
Mr. Tony Lloyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will publish details of the destinations of job club participants since the start of the initiative to the most recent date, by year, for the north- west region and for the United Kingdom as a whole.
Mr. Lee [holding answer 17 April 1989] : Details of the destinations of job club participants since the year to 31 March 1987 are given in the table. Comparable earlier statistics are not available.
± Date North West Great Britain |Number into jobs |Number into other |Per cent. into total|Number into jobs |Number into other |Per cent. into total |positive outcomes |positive outcomes |positive outcomes |positive outcomes --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Year to 31 March 1987 |2,280 |611 |71 |10,910 |2,364 |73 Year to 31 March 1988 |10,623 |2,709 |69 |57,080 |14,883 |68 11 months to 27 February 1989 |11,590 |3,307 |70 |64,179 |18,032 |69 Note: Other positive outcomes include training, full-time education, self-employment, a place on community programme and now employment training.
Mr. Tony Lloyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many employment training places are currently contracted within skill centres ; and what guarantees he will obtain as to their future post- privatisation.
Mr. Nicholls [holding answer 17 April 1989] : The number of employment training (ET) places currently contracted is 11,774. The skills training agency obtained these places in competition with other training providers, and private sector skill centres will be free to compete for ET places in the same way.
Mr. Janner : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many and what percentage of officers in grades 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7, respectively, and overall in his Department are (a) women and (b) members of ethnic minorities.
Mr. Cope : The table below gives the information requested in respect of women in the Employment Department group in the grades specified. Overall, 34,485 (66.6 per cent.) out of the group's 51,751 administrative staff are women.
Grade |Total staff in grade |Number of women in grade|Percentage women ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- G1 |2 |0 |0.0 G2 |5 |0 |0.0 G3 |27 |3 |11.1 G4 |12 |0 |0.0 G5 |111 |17 |15.3 G6 |120 |14 |11.7 G7 |785 |124 |15.8
In common with the rest of the Civil Service, the Employment Department group has carried out surveys of the ethnic origin of its staff. The surveys were undertaken on the basis of voluntary self classification. Results for 1 April 1989 show :
Grade |Total respondents|Ethnic minority |Percentage |respondents ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Grades 1-6 |469 |3 |0.6 Grade 7 |1,088 |9 |0.8 All staff |54,077 |2,501 |4.6
A code of practice on the use of ethnic data exists to safeguard the confidentiality of individuals who have responded to the survey. For this reason we have not provided figures by individual grades for grades 1 to 6.
Mr. Janner : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment when his Department last conducted a survey of the ethnic origin of its employees ; when it next plans to do so ; and whether he will make a statement.
Mr. Cope : The first survey of ethnic origin of staff took place in 1986 and was undertaken on the basis of voluntary self
classification. A further inquiry was sent to all staff for
Column 215whom the information was not held in November 1988. As a result we now know the ethnic origin of 91.5 per cent. of Employment Department group staff. My Department is now considering whether further action is required.
Mr. Janner : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what steps he has taken to recruit members of ethnic minorities in top grades of employment at his Department.
Mr. Cope : Recruitment at grade 7 level and above is undertaken by the Civil Service Commission on behalf of my Department. Members of Employment Department group staff from ethnic minority backgrounds are participating in a series of newspaper advertisements being run by the commission to encourage more people from ethnic minorities to apply for professional posts. My Department is currently examining its effectiveness in selecting graduates with ethnic minority backgrounds, both externally and from our own staff for the "fast stream" schemes of management trainee and administration trainee/higher executive officer (development).
Mr. Lloyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what new measures the Training Agency has undertaken in response to the report on racial inequality published in 1988 by the youth employment and training resource unit entitled "The Firms That Like to Say No".
Mr. Cope [holding answer 17 April 1989] : This report presents a selective and biased account of the
Column 216representation of ethnic minority young people within YTS, and calls for no specific response. The Training Agency is, however, continuing its efforts to increase the proportion of ethnic minority trainees in employer-led YTS schemes. It is currently preparing improved marketing materials and new good-practice guidelines for managing agents. and is exploring with employer interests ways in which employers may improve and encourage access to training and employment opportunities for ethnic minority young people. A video is also in production to market YTS to ethnic minority young people.
Mr. Tony Lloyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will publish details in for the nine standard economic regions, of the total numbers of entrants and leavers, excluding community programme transfers, to employment training by sex, ethnic origin and disability.
Mr. Nicholls [holding answer 17 April 1989] : The information is not available in the precise form requested. Information is only available for entrants for the eight Training Agency regions in England and for Scotland and Wales. The information for entrants to employment training to the end of February 1989 is given in table 1. The number of these entrants who have left employment training is currently only available for Great Britain as a whole and is estimated to be 50,000.
|c|Table 1|c| |c|Details of entrants to employment training to end February 1989|c| Percentage EntrantsMen Women Ethnic origin<1> PWD<2> Region |numbers |1 |2 |3 |4 |5 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- South East |11,891 |65 |35 |90 |2 |2 |3 |3 |15 London |18,193 |59 |41 |50 |25 |12 |7 |6 |10 South West |11,081 |68 |32 |93 |2 |1 |2 |2 |16 West Midlands |22,564 |69 |31 |79 |9 |8 |2 |2 |12 East Midlands and Eastern |15,984 |73 |27 |87 |4 |6 |1 |2 |15 Yorkshire and Humberside |28,899 |75 |25 |90 |2 |5 |1 |2 |11 North West |30,202 |72 |28 |92 |2 |3 |1 |2 |12 Northern |20,473 |75 |25 |96 |1 |1 |2 |9 Wales |14,627 |71 |29 |94 |1 |1 |1 |3 |12 Scotland |22,512 |73 |27 |96 |1 |1 |2 |11 <1>Ethnic groups:1. White. 2. Black/African/Caribbean descent. 3. Indian/Pakistani/Bangladeshi/Sri Lankan descent. 4. None of these. 5. Prefer not to say. <2>PWD-People with disabilities-People with a long-term health problem or disability which affects the work they can do. -Less than 0.5 per cent.
Mr. Tony Lloyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will publish the most recent scheme by scheme details of the numbers of entrants and leavers, excluding community programme transfers, to employment training by sex, ethnic origin and disability in the Greater Manchester area.
Mr. Nicholls [holding answer 17 April 1989] : The information is not available in the form requested. Figures for entrants for the Greater Manchester area are provided in the following table. Information for these entrants who have now left employment training will be available in the summer.
Table 1 |c|Details of entrants to employment training to end February 1989|c| Percentage |Greater Manchester -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Entrants Numbers |11,208 Men |72 Women |28 Ethnic groups White |88 Black/African/Caribbean descent |4 Indian/Pakistani/Bangladeshi/Sri Lankan descent |4 None of these |2 Prefer not to say |2 PWD-People with disabilities<1> |<2>- <1>People with a long-term health problem or disability which affects the work they can do. <2>Information not available for Greater Manchester. Proportion PWD for North West region is 12 per cent.
Mr. Bermingham : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what proposals exist within the Health and Safety Executive to review policy on Legionnaires' disease and air-conditioning systems ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Nicholls [holding answer 11 April 1989] : The Health and Safety Executive is currently undertaking a review of policy on this subject for the Health and Safety Commission. The commission will inform me of the outcome of this review as soon as possible.
Mr. David Nicholson : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what representations he has received on the subject of the Ramblers Association 1989 footpaths appeal ; what measures he is planning to prevent footpaths being removed from definitive maps and to encourage local authorities to clear signposts and improve local paths ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Virginia Bottomley : We have received a number of representations supporting the Ramblers Association's campaign to protect public footpaths. Successive Governments have recognised the importance of the rights of way network in providing access to the countryside for quiet enjoyment, and have given local authorities the duty of ensuring that such paths are recorded, maintained, and signposted where appropriate, and made available for public use. The Countryside Commission, through its "Enjoying the Countryside" initiative, has sought to encourage and assist local authorities to give appropriate priority to this work.
Footpaths can be removed from definitive maps only by means of the statutory procedures providing for the creation, diversion and extinguishment of public paths. The Government propose to amend these provisions, in the light of the Rubinstein judgment, to restore the power to correct mistakes on such maps, where there is evidence to show that a right to way, or its status, was recorded in error.
Mr. Sayeed : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what information he has as to how many acres of playing fields in (a) state schools and (b) private schools have been added in each of the last five years and how many have been lost to development ; how many acres of private sports grounds have been added in each of the last 10 years and how many have been lost to development.
Mr. Moynihan : This information is not held centrally. As far as school playing fields are concerned, local education authorities are required to meet the minimal standards prescribed by the Education (School Premises) Regulations 1981. There have been some studies of private sports grounds which show that the position varies from
Column 218area to area. While there has been a reduction in the number of grounds in industrial ownership there has been a substantial increase in both the quantity and quality of provision in the voluntary sector, for example, approximately 100 new artificial turf pitches have been provided in the last 10 years.
Mr. Sayeed : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment on what basis recreational need is assessed or calculated for the purposes of public inquiries.
Mr. Moynihan : The body or individual making the planning decision, whether a local authority, a planning officer or the Secretary of State, should consider the merits of the case having regard to all the relevant provisions of the development plan. They should also give consideration to the regional recreation strategies prepared by the regional councils for sport and recreation.
Mr. Sayeed : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what are the significant regional variations in the provision per head of population of urban recreational open space.
Mr. Moynihan : This information is not held centrally.
Mr. Sayeed : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what his Department recommends for the number of acres of playing fields per head of population ; and what information he has on the figures recommended by (i) the National Playing Fields Association and (ii) the Sports Council.
Mr. Moynihan : The Department makes no recommendations about the average size of playing fields to be provided per head of the population. However, circular 33/70 encourages local planning authorities to consult with the appropriate sports council (now regional council for sport and recreation) on such matters. I understand that the regional councils for sport and recreation take into account the frequency of play and the days of peak demand in offering advice. The National Playing Fields Association recommends 6 acres per 1,000 people.
Mr. Sayeed : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many additional areas of recreational open space would be available to the community if dual use became universal.
Mr. Moynihan : So far as I am aware, no assessment has been made of the additional areas of recreational open space which would be available as a result of universal dual use.
Mr. Sayeed : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how his Department recognises and assesses increase in latent demand for sporting provision in the light of Government supported campaigns for healthy lifestyles and increased sports participation.
Mr. Moynihan : The Sports Council have a research programme which monitors and assesses the demand for sporting provision. The results of this research underpin the council's strategies as set out in its annual corporate plan and in its longer-term strategy documents.
Mr. Sayeed : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what guidance is provided by his Department in the form of target figures for provision of outdoor recreation land within urban district boundaries.
Mr. Moynihan : Circular 33/70 sets out the Government's general policy on the provision of recreational facilities. It is for local authorities to decide specific target figures in consultation with local or regional sports councils and in the light of all material considerations. Circular 33/70 encourages local authorities to identify private open spaces in their development plan.
Mr. Sayeed : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what assessment he has made of what are the most popular forms of physical recreation (a) indoors and (b) outdoors, and of what is the stated and latent demand for facilities for these activities and the anticipated provision in the next five years.
Mr. Moynihan : The table shows, by sport, the percentage of all adults participating in each activity in a four-week period immediately prior to interview. The figures are taken from the general household survey (1986). (Figures are rounded up).
|1977|1980|1983|1986 ------------------------------------------------------- Outdoor 1. Walking/rambling/hiking (2 miles or more) |17 |19 |19 |19 2. Football |3 |3 |3 |3 3. Golf |2 |2 |2 |3 4. Athletics-track and field (including jogging) |1 |1 |2 |3 5. Swimming (including public pools) |2 |2 |3 |2 6. Cycling |1 |1 |2 |2 7. Fishing |2 |2 |2 |2 8. Tennis |1 |2 |1 |1 9. Bowls |1 |1 |1 |1 10. Camping/caravanning |1 |1 |1 |1 11. Cricket |1 |1 |1 |1 12. Horse riding |1 |1 |1 |1 Indoor 1. Swimming |5 |6 |7 |9 2. Snooker/billiards/pool |6 |7 |8 |9 3. Darts |9 |7 |7 |6 4. Keep fit/yoga |1 |2 |3 |3 5. Squash |2 |2 |3 |2 6. Badminton |2 |2 |2 |2 7. Gymnastics/athletics |- |1 |1 |2 8. Bowls/tenpin |1 |1 |1 |2 9. Table tennis |2 |2 |1 |1
Information about the demand for facilities is not held centrally.
Mr. Sayeed : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what information he has as to what percentage of urban recreation land lost to development has been replaced within the urban area ; and what percentage has been replaced in the urban fringe.
Mr. Moynihan : This information is not held centrally. There have however been a number of local studies which suggest that, although the position varies from area to area, the overall provision of recreational land has remained fairly static.
Mr. Sayeed : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what information he has as to how many acres of municipally owned recreation grounds have been added in each of the last 10 years and how many have been lost to development.