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Victim Support Groups

Mr. Gregory : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he has plans to co-ordinate victim support groups in other EC states for United Kingdom citizens ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. John Patten : I have been asked to reply.

The United Kingdom participated in work which led to the adoption in 1987 by the Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers of a recommendation on assistance to victims and the prevention of victimisation. This recommendation urged the Governments of all member states (including European Community and other member states) to take a range of steps to support victims in their own countries. So far as co-ordination is concerned, we have encouraged and assisted Victim Support--an independent national body which receives a grant from the Home Office--in its contacts with victim support groups elsewhere in Europe.


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EMPLOYMENT

Employment Training

Ms. Short : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will give, for the latest available date (a) the number of starts on employment training, (b) how many were people with disabilities, (c) (b) as a percentage of (a), (d) total employment training starts under the special groups exemption, (e) how many, of (d), were people wth disabilities, (f) (e) as a percentage of (d), and (g) the sources of referral.

Mr. Patrick Nicholls : To 13 October 1989, the latest date for which information is available, 468,000 people had started on employment training. An analysis of individual trainee records received relating to starts up to the end of June show that about 11 per cent. were people who stated that they had a disability or health problem which affected the type of work they could do. The same analysis shows that training agents and training managers had coded about 23 per cent. of entrants in the special eligibility exemption groups. Of these special group entrants about 16 per cent. were people who stated that they had a disability or a health problem which affected the type of work they could do. The source of referral for most people on employment training is the employment service. In addition some trainees are directly recruited by training agents and training managers.


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Ms. Short : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will publish up-to-date figures for Great Britain and each training agency region for each month since September 1988, the number of (a) entrants to employment training, (b) people receiving employment training allowances, (c) employment training special group starts, separately for skill shortage and labour market schemes, (d) employment training leavers and (e) employment training leavers who left before completing their action plan.

Mr. Nicholls : As the information requested is contained in a number of tables, I will write to the hon. Member.

Ms. Short : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will publish up-to-date figures for Great Britain and each training agency region for each month since September 1988, the number of (a) filled places in employment training ; (b) employment training trainees on work placements with employers and (c) employment training trainees on project- based placements.

Mr. Nicholls : The figures requested for filled places are given in table 1. Information about the number of trainees on practical training placements with employers and on projects on any one day is collected from quarterly census returns submitted by training managers. This information is available for 30 December 1988, 31 March 1989 and 30 June 1989 ; these figures are given in table 2.


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Table 1                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Employment training filled places: September 1988 to July 1989                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

Training agency region   |September             |October               |November              |December              |January               |February              |March                 |April                 |May                   |June                  |July                                         

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

South East               |3,800                 |5,200                 |6,300                 |7,100                 |8,500                 |9,600                 |10,000                |10,300                |10,900                |11,500                |14,500                                       

London                   |4,600                 |6,300                 |9,400                 |10,600                |13,300                |15,200                |16,600                |17,500                |17,900                |18,300                |19,000                                       

South West               |3,000                 |4,300                 |5,700                 |6,900                 |8,400                 |10,000                |10,900                |11,400                |11,600                |11,800                |11,800                                       

West Midlands            |5,200                 |7,700                 |10,100                |12,100                |15,100                |18,200                |20,700                |22,300                |22,600                |22,800                |23,200                                       

East Midlands and                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

  Eastern                |3,900                 |5,700                 |7,600                 |8,900                 |10,600                |12,900                |14,000                |15,000                |15,400                |15,500                |16,400                                       

Yorkshire and Humberside |9,800                 |10,200                |14,500                |16,000                |19,100                |22,100                |24,000                |24,800                |25,100                |25,200                |25,200                                       

North West               |6,700                 |9,900                 |13,400                |15,500                |18,500                |22,500                |24,900                |26,000                |26,600                |27,600                |29,000                                       

Northern                 |4,400                 |7,100                 |9,700                 |11,900                |14,500                |18,000                |20,100                |21,200                |22,000                |23,000                |24,400                                       

Wales                    |2,400                 |4,400                 |6,000                 |7,400                 |9,300                 |11,900                |13,400                |14,200                |14,600                |14,800                |15,800                                       

Scotland                 |4,400                 |6,600                 |9,100                 |11,700                |14,000                |17,900                |21,000                |22,100                |22,500                |23,200                |23,700                                       

                         |-------               |-------               |-------               |-------               |-------               |-------               |-------               |-------               |-------               |-------               |-------                                      

Great Britain            |48,100                |67,400                |91,800                |108,000               |131,200               |158,000               |175,500               |184,900               |189,000               |193,700               |203,000                                      


Table 2                                                                                         

Employment training                                                                             

Percentage of trainees on placements with employers and on projects on the census date          

December 1988-June 1989                                                                         

Region                     December<1>         March               June                         

                          |Project  |Employer |Project  |Employer |Project  |Employer           

                          |per cent.|per cent.|per cent.|per cent.|per cent.|per cent.          

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

South East                |46       |31       |39       |31       |36       |31                 

London                    |43       |17       |48       |18       |42       |19                 

South West                |47       |24       |45       |26       |44       |30                 

West Midlands             |65       |22       |58       |20       |59       |21                 

East Midlands and Eastern |n.a      |n.a.     |57       |27       |49       |26                 

Yorks and Humberside      |52       |23       |51       |25       |48       |25                 

North West                |58       |24       |49       |28       |54       |27                 

Northern                  |66       |16       |53       |24       |53       |24                 

Wales                     |56       |20       |45       |27       |43       |28                 

Scotland                  |69       |18       |62       |21       |60       |24                 

Great Britain             |58       |21       |52       |24       |50       |25                 

<1>Returns include trainees on CP wages.                                                        

n.a.-Not available because of low number of returns.                                            

Ms. Short : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment for Great Britain and each standard Training Agency region, what are the latest available statistics for


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employment training giving a breakdown of entrants which shows how many were male and female, the length of time they had been out of work, their ethnic backgrounds and whether or not they had any disabilities.


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Mr. Nicholls : The information is provided in the following table :


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Employment training characteristics of entrants (April to August 1989)                                                      

(all figures are percentages, figures may not total 100 because of rounding)                                                

                                         Unemployment duration       Ethnic origin<1>                   PWD<2>              

                                         (months)                                                                           

Region                    |men   |women |0-5   |6-12  |13-23 |24+   |1     |2     |3     |4     |5     |yes   |no           

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

South East                |61    |39    |35    |26    |10    |30    |91    |2     |3     |2     |2     |15    |85           

London                    |58    |42    |18    |33    |14    |35    |50    |26    |11    |6     |6     |10    |90           

South West                |67    |33    |28    |33    |11    |28    |93    |2     |1     |1     |2     |15    |85           

West Midlands             |66    |34    |24    |27    |11    |37    |78    |9     |9     |2     |2     |12    |88           

East Midlands and Eastern |71    |29    |16    |36    |13    |35    |88    |4     |5     |1     |2     |14    |86           

Yorkshire and Humberside  |72    |28    |27    |32    |12    |29    |89    |3     |5     |1     |2     |10    |90           

North West                |68    |32    |24    |30    |13    |33    |91    |2     |3     |1     |2     |11    |89           

Northern                  |73    |27    |23    |35    |12    |30    |97    |. .   |1     |1     |1     |9     |91           

Wales                     |70    |30    |23    |36    |13    |28    |95    |1     |1     |1     |3     |11    |89           

Scotland                  |73    |27    |17    |34    |14    |35    |97    |. .   |. .   |1     |2     |10    |90           

                          |--    |--    |--    |--    |--    |--    |--    |--    |--    |--    |--    |--    |--           

Great Britain total       |68    |32    |23    |32    |13    |32    |87    |5     |4     |2     |2     |11    |89           

<1> Ethnic origin: 1-White, 2-Black-African-Caribbean, 3-Indian-Pakistani-Bangladeshi-Sri Lankan, 4-None of these, 5-I      

prefer not to say.                                                                                                          

<2> PWD-People with disabilities. Starts to end July. Those trainees answering whether they had a long-term health problem  

or disability which affected the type of work they could do.                                                                

. . =less than 0.5 per cent.                                                                                                

Ms. Short : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment, for Great Britain and each standard Training Agency region, what are the latest available statistics for employment training showing the number of trainees in each monthly period who (a) have entered employer-based work placements and the cumulative total of how many are in employer placements at the latest available date and (b) the number of trainees in each


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monthly period who entered project-based work placements and the cumulative total of how many are in project-based placements at the latest available date.

Mr. Nicholls : Information about the number of trainees on practical training placements with employers and on projects on any one day is collected from quarterly census returns submitted by training managers. This information is available for 30 December 1988, 31 March 1989 and 30 June 1989. These figures are given in the following table.


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Employment Training                                                                             

Percentages of trainees on placements with employers and on projects on the census date         

December 1988-June 1989                                                                         

                           December<1>         March               June                         

Region                    |Project  |Employer |Project  |Employer |Project  |Employer           

                          |Per cent.|Per cent.|Per cent.|Per cent.|Per cent.|Per cent.          

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

South East                |46       |31       |39       |31       |36       |31                 

London                    |43       |17       |48       |18       |42       |19                 

South West                |47       |24       |45       |26       |44       |30                 

West Midlands             |65       |22       |58       |20       |59       |21                 

East Midlands and Eastern |n.a.     |n.a.     |57       |27       |49       |26                 

Yorkshire and Humberside  |52       |23       |51       |25       |48       |25                 

North West                |58       |24       |49       |28       |54       |27                 

Northern                  |66       |16       |53       |24       |53       |24                 

Wales                     |56       |20       |45       |27       |43       |28                 

Scotland                  |69       |18       |62       |21       |60       |24                 

Great Britain             |58       |21       |52       |24       |50       |25                 

<1>Returns include trainees on CP wages.                                                        

n.a.=Not available because of low number of returns.                                            

Ms. Short : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment, for Great Britain and each standard Training Agency region, what are the monthly statistics for each month since June 1989 for employment training showing the (a) overall cumulative number of employment training trainees in training for each month and (b) the number of starts in each month with employment training training managers.


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Mr. Nicholls : Monthly information for Great Britain and each Training Agency region for each available month since June 1989 is given in the following tables. In-training figures are provided in table 1 and starts figures are provided in table 2.


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Table file CW891025.016 not available

Table 2                                                                                                                                      

Starts at Employment Training Managers: June 1989 to September 1989                                                                          

Training Agency Region    |June                  |July                  |August                |September                                    

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

South East                |2,400                 |4,500                 |1,900                 |3,400                                        

London                    |3,100                 |3,100                 |2,700                 |4,800                                        

South West                |1,900                 |1,500                 |1,200                 |2,300                                        

West Midlands             |3,800                 |3,300                 |3,200                 |4,500                                        

East Midlands and Eastern |2,800                 |3,000                 |2,500                 |3,500                                        

Yorkshire and Humberside  |4,500                 |3,800                 |3,500                 |5,500                                        

North West                |6,300                 |5,300                 |4,500                 |6,200                                        

Northern                  |4,100                 |3,600                 |3,000                 |4,900                                        

Wales                     |2,600                 |2,700                 |2,300                 |3,700                                        

Scotland                  |4,800                 |3,400                 |4,500                 |5,600                                        

                          |---                   |---                   |---                   |---                                          

Great Britain             |36,400                |34,200                |29,300                |44,200                                       

Ms. Short : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what information he has about trainees who leave employment training early ; and what is the latest available monthly estimate of the number of trainees who have left employment training early.

Mr. Nicholls : Information on trainees who leave employment training early is not currently available.

Mr. Anthony Coombs : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what steps are being taken to improve administrative arrangements in employment training.

Mr. Eggar : The forms and procedures involved in the delivery of employment training are kept under review. The objective is to satisfy the requirements of public accountability and good administration whilst minimising the burden on training agents and training managers.

All ET forms (and the guidance notes associated with them) have now been reviewed. In many cases they have been simplified, and the revised forms introduced progressively since March. Currently we are taking steps to improve the trainee attendance records for the payment of training grants and trainee allowances. We are also improving arrangements for notifying termination of training. I am confident that the overall effect of the action we are taking will be to ease administrative burdens while ensuring the proper use of Exchequer funds.

Mr. Tony Lloyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will give the most recent details of (a) the number of filled places on the 23 large company employment training schemes listed on 27 February, Official Report, column 34, (b) any changes to the maximum number of places allocated for each of those schemes and (c) which of those schemes have since withdrawn from employment training.

Mr. Nicholls [holding answer 23 October 1989] : The following table updates to 29 September 1989 the details of the 23 large company ET schemes listed in the Official


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Report on 27 February at column 34. The "Maximum No. of places allocated" column shows, in brackets, the changes to the figures listed in the Official Report.


None of the schemes listed have withdrawn from Employment 

                                                          

Training                                                  

Company                         Maximum number of         

                                places allocated          

----------------------------------------------------------

J. Jarvis and Sons             |1,310   |(-1,616)         

J. Laing Construction          |2,181   |(-157)           

Henry Boot Construction        |495     |(-455)           

Invicta Training (Grand        |1,105   |(+230)           

  Metropolitan Catering)                                  

Martin James                   |650     |(-85)            

George Wimpey                  |437     |(-229)           

Mowlem                         |305     |(-100)           

Comet plc                      |354                       

Pilkington                     |230     |(-70)            

Ferranti                       |152     |(-98)            

Mill Garages Ltd.              |170     |(-10)            

Tower Radio Ltd.               |130     |(-120)           

Portals Engineering Ltd.       |250                       

Marley Extrusions Ltd.         |200                       

Ryder Ltd.                     |165     |(+15)            

Team Greyfriars Ltd.           |380     |(+230)           

John Lawrence Group            |100     |(-50)            

ICI                            |100     |(-50)            

Sumlock Business Services      |60      |(-90)            

R. and D. Associates           |125     |(-33)            

Simon Engineering              |110                       

Coastline Ltd.                 |70      |(-30)            

Strategic Market International |100                       

  Ltd.                                                    

Restart

Mr. Loyden : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many Restart interviews were conduc-ted in the last 12 months ; what numbers were referred to each menu option ; what numbers actually took up their referral ; what numbers were referred to the unemployment benefit services for non-attendance at interview ; what numbers were referred to the unemployment benefit service for non-availability ; what numbers were referred to


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the unemployment benefit services for refusal of suitable employment ; and if he will express the numbers as a percentage.

Mr. Eggar : The information requested is given in the table. We do not know how many people ultimately start a job or other opportunity as a result of the Restart interview.


Restart counselling: August 1988 to August 1989                               

                                          |Number     |Per cent.              

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Interviews                                |2,194,400  |100.0                  

                                                                              

Referred to:                                                                  

  Job                                     |242,800    |11.0                   

  Jobclub                                 |197,600    |9.0                    

  Enterprise allowance scheme             |85,500     |4.0                    

  Restart course                          |67,900     |3.0                    

  Employment training                     |463,100    |21.0                   

  Other referrals<1>                      |238,200    |11.0                   

                                                                              

Referred to Unemployment Benefit Service:                                     

  Non-attendance at interview             |316,400    |<2>10.0                

  Non-availability                        |76,200     |3.0                    

  Refusal of suitable employment          |1,900      |0.1                    

<1> Referrals to claimant advisers, and disablement resettlement officers.    

<2> This is a percentage of the number of invitations sent.                   

Construction Industry (Accidents)

Mr. Wareing : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what representations he has received in respect of accidents in the construction industry ; and what plans he has to increase protection for those employed in that industry.

Mr. Nicholls : Over the last year I have answered several questions in the House and received letters from hon. Members on this subject. Additionally, the Building Employers Confederation has written to me and last April I met officials of UCATT. The number of Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspectors devoted to construction has already risen 10 per cent. since 1988, and HSE aims to have 100 construction inspectors by 1990. Inspectors will be paying more attention to the quality of site management and levels of training and supervision. HSE will also continue to advise the industry and to vigorously enforce the law where necessary.

The Government will shortly be making the wearing of safety helmets on construction sites compulsory and the Health and Safety Commission has recently published a consultative document setting out proposals for new regulations to strengthen the management of health and safety on construction sites.

Training and Enterprise Councils

Ms. Ruddock : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how training and enterprise councils will respond to the specific needs of ethnic businesses within local communities.

Mr. Eggar : Training and enterprise councils will be expected to undertake a comprehensive assessment of local market needs to enable them to draw up their corporate and business plans. Consultation with a wide range of organisations and individuals, including ethnic businesses where appropriate, will be vital to this assessment.


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National Council for Vocational Qualifications

Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will make a statement on the work being done by the National Council for Vocational Qualifications.

Mr. Eggar : The council's task of rationalising and reforming our vocational qualification system is well under way. Over 160 qualifications have now been accredited within the first four levels of the new national vocational qualification framework.

A new system for recording the achievement of parts or units of the new national vocational qualifications has been developed, which will enable candidates to work more flexibly and progressively through their qualifications. In discussion with relevant professional bodies, the council has also begun to prepare the ground for extending its work to higher-level qualifications.

Details of the council's activities are contained within its second annual report, a copy of which has been placed in the Library.

Secondary Picketing

Mr. John Marshall : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what representations he has received about secondary picketing ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Nicholls The Government receive representations on various aspects of industrial relations law. Reform of this law since 1979 has given employers, and others, the ability to restrain unlawful secondary picketing. In the last year no formal representations have been received about this particular matter.

Manufacturing (North-West)

Mr. Pike : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what is his Department's latest assessment of the implications for jobs in the manufacturing sector in the north-west as a result of the introduction of the single market in 1992.

Mr. Eggar : The reduction in barriers to free movement of goods, persons, services, and capital, associated with the completion of the single European market in 1992, will provide considerable trade and employment opportunities in all regions of the United Kingdom. Future jobs growth throughout the United Kingdom depends on how well firms and workers react to these and other opportunities.

Quarterly Attenders

Ms. Short : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment, at each appropriate quarterly date over the most recent three years, what was the flow of new quarterly attender claimants at the same dates, what was the stock of new quarterly attender claimants ; what criteria are used by the employment service in assessing claimants when granting quarterly attender status ; what steps a quarterly attender must take to show actively seeking work ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Eggar : Records are not kept on the flow of new quarterly attenders.

The number of quarterly attenders at each appropriate quarter over the last three years was as follows :


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             |Number         

-----------------------------

October 1986 |297,982        

January 1987 |292,270        

April 1987   |281,871        

July 1987    |269,111        

October 1987 |266,066        

January 1988 |257,897        

April 1988   |257,328        

July 1988    |248,932        

October 1988 |241,580        

January 1989 |222,289        

April 1989   |206,921        

July 1989    |183,614        

YTS

Ms. Short : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment, at the end of June, July, August and September how many people of YTS eligible age, registered with jobcentres or the careers service, were awaiting an offer of a YTS place ; and of them, how many were receiving bridging allowance or extended child benefit or income support.

Mr. Nicholls : Only local careers services hold information on the total number of young people awaiting the offer of a YTS place. There is no central record.

The numbers of young people receiving bridging allowance was as follows :


             |Numbers        

-----------------------------

8 June       |10,310         

13 July      |10,026         

10 August    |10,261         

14 September |9,110          

Extended child benefit was not payable at the end of July or the end of August. The number of young people whose parents were receiving child benefit at the end of June was 8,941 and, at the end of September 15,957.

Information on the number of young people receiving income support is not available.

Adjudication Officers (Decisions)

Ms. Short : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment, for the 12 -month period to the end of June, if he will give the decisions of adjudication officers on doubtful fresh claims, renewal claims and reviewed claims for unemployment benefit showing the numbers allowed, disallowed, referred to a local tribunal, revised in favour of claimants, revised adversely to claimants and not revised in the following categories of questions (a) employed to full normal extent, (b) engaged in employment, (c) availability, (d) restricted availability, (e) leaving voluntarily, (f) for misconduct, (g) neglecting to avail of employment, (h) refusal of employment, (i) refusal or premature termination of training, (j) refusal to carry out written recommendations, and (k) Restart.

Mr. Eggar : All decisions on claims for unemployment benefit are made by the independent adjudication authorities and no statistics are kept as to the manner in which the entitlement doubt arose. Figures on the number of decisions for failure to attend Restart are not compiled separately.

Subject to these qualifications, the following table sets out the information requested.


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Twelve months ended 30 June 1989                                                                                                                                                                        

Review cases                                                                                                                                                                                            

                         |Allowed                 |Disallowed              |Referred direct to Local|Revised in favour of    |Revised adversely to    |Not reviewed/revised                             

                                                                           |Tribunal                |claimant                |claimant                                                                  

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(a)                      |48,652                  |16,231                  |40                      |137                     |320                     |171                                              

(b)                      |3,145                   |16,083                  |18                      |242                     |7,651                   |297                                              

(c)                      |47,950                  |58,303                  |199                     |4,108                   |6,433                   |3,327                                            

(d)                      |50,744                  |20,868                  |98                      |3,632                   |4,198                   |3,324                                            

(e)                      |158,558                 |226,062                 |382                     |2,350                   |714                     |827                                              

(f)                      |90,467                  |70,325                  |674                     |521                     |296                     |318                                              

(g)                      |5,400                   |2,986                   |17                      |43                      |20                      |15                                               

(h)                      |4,893                   |2,438                   |8                       |40                      |13                      |15                                               

(i)                      |983                     |1,563                   |5                       |38                      |62                      |9                                                

(j)                      |46                      |103                     |-                       |27                      |13                      |2                                                

(a)  Employed to full normal extent                                                                                                                                                                     

(b)  Engaged in employment                                                                                                                                                                              

(c)  Availability                                                                                                                                                                                       

(d)  Restricted availability                                                                                                                                                                            

(e)  Leaving voluntarily                                                                                                                                                                                

(f)  For misconduct                                                                                                                                                                                     

(g)  Neglecting to avail of employment                                                                                                                                                                  

(h)  Refusal of employment                                                                                                                                                                              

(i)  Refusal or premature termination of training                                                                                                                                                       

(j)  Refusal to carry out written recommendations                                                                                                                                                       

Art and Culture

Mr. Fisher : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what is the level of expenditure by the Training Agency on training in the arts and cultural industries.

Mr. Nicholls : Information is not available in the form requested for all Training Agency programmes. However,


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in 1989-90 the cost to the Exchequer of YTS training in the arts and related activities is estimated to be around £23 million.


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Working Hours

Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will list for all the member countries of the EEC the average number of working hours per week for (a) 10 years ago (b) five years ago and (c) the latest year for which he has figures.

Mr. Nicholls : Estimates from Community labour force surveys as requested, are shown in the table :


Persons in employment in member countries of the EEC                    

Average hours<1> usually worked per week, 1979, 1984 and 1987           

                            |1979 hours|1984 hours|1987 hours           

------------------------------------------------------------------------

United Kingdom              |38.5      |38.3      |38.6                 

Belgium                     |41.4      |39.9      |38.9                 

Denmark                     |37.9      |36.7      |36.1                 

Federal Republic of Germany |41.2      |40.1      |39.6                 

France                      |42.4      |40.0      |39.4                 

Ireland                     |46.2      |43.1      |43.2                 

Italy                       |40.8      |39.9      |39.7                 

Luxembourg                  |40.8      |40.5      |40.2                 

Netherlands                 |39.7      |<4>n/a    |33.9                 

Greece<2>                   |-         |44.7      |43.4                 

Spain<3>                    |-         |-         |41.6                 

Portugal<3>                 |-         |-         |44.3                 

<1> Basic usual hours                                                   

<2> Not member country of EEC in 1979                                   

<3> Not member country of EEC in 1979 and 1984                          

<4> Did not participate in 1984 Labour Force Survey                     

Local Enterprise Agencies

Mr. Parry: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how long the Government's local enterprise agency project schemes has been operating ; how many projects in Liverpool have received support under the scheme ; in which Liverpool constituencies supported schemes have been situated ; and what is the total amount of support up to the present time.


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Mr. Eggar : The local enterprise agency project scheme (LEAPS) has been in operation since April 1988. Since then six projects in Liverpool have received support. Constituencies in which projects have been or are operating are Liverpool (Riverside), Liverpool (Broad Green), Liverpool (Garston), Liverpool (Mossley Hill), Birkenhead, Wallasey, Wirral West and Wirral South. The total amount of support in Liverpool so far under LEAPS is £38,000 of public money matching an equal private sector contribution. Nationally, around £600,000 has been paid in LEAPS grants since April 1988 on the same basis.

Efficiency Scrutiny

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what topic he proposes for his Department's next efficiency scrutiny.

Mr. Eggar : We have decided to set up an efficiency scrutiny to examine the reasons why some benefit claimants, having expressed an interest in one or more employment and training programme, either fail to take up a place or drop out after a very short time.

Information Technology

Mr. Warren : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many officials in his Department at grade 3 and above have, since promotion to the level of grade 3, attended a course (a) specifically on information technology and (b) containing an element of information technology and what percentage each represents of all the staff in those grades in his Department.

Mr. Eggar [pursuant to his reply, 19 October 1989 ; c. 233-34.] : I regret that the information given in my original reply was not up- to-date due to staff changes since 16 October. The correct information is given in the following table :


                                                  |Number of staff in the  |Number of staff who have|Percentage of staff in  |Number of staff who have                         

                                                  |grade                   |attended courses        |the grade               |attended courses with an                         

                                                                           |specifically on                                  |element of information                           

                                                                           |information technology                           |technology                                       

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Grade 1                  |1                       |1                       |100                     |1                       |100                                              

Grade 2                  |5                       |5                       |100                     |1                       |20                                               

Grade 3                  |26                      |10                      |38                      |13                      |50                                               

TRANSPORT

Motorways

Mr. Simon Coombs : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to provide a new service area on the M4 between Heston and Membury.

Mr. Atkins : A service area is needed to fill the 56-mile gap between the sites at Membury and Heston. Consultants have been searching for a suitable site to meet this need. When they have reported and their recommendations have been considered I shall announce our proposals for development.


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East London River Crossing

Mr. Cartwright : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many objections have been received from (a) organisations and (b) individuals to the revised bridge proposals for the east London river crossing ; and whether he intends to reopen the public inquiry into the scheme.

Mr. Portillo : By the end of the statutory objection period, 55 objections and representations had been received from organisations and 3,235 from individuals.

My right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for Transport and for the Environment announced on 17 October that they had decided to re-open the previous inquiry to consider representations about the change in the design of the Thames bridge and to hold a concurrent inquiry into the draft orders for the revised bridge design. These inquiries will be held jointly with the public inquiry into the planning application to extend the runway and to


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change the operating conditions at London City airport. These inquiries are expected to be held around the middle of 1990.

Private Hire Cars

Mr. Cartwright : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what consideration he is currently giving to the introduction of a licensing system for private hire cars in Greater London.

Mr. Portillo : I consider representations as and when they are made to me.

Channel Tunnel Link

Sir John Stanley : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport at what stage British Rail will require formal investment authority for any public investment in a new line to meet the anticipated growth in international traffic after the opening of the Channel tunnel.

Mr. Portillo : British Rail requires Government approval for significant expenditures.

Sir John Stanley : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport by what criteria he will judge whether a proposal put to him by British Rail to build a new line to meet the anticipated growth in international traffic after the opening of the Channel tunnel is environmentally satisfactory.

Mr. Portillo : The Government will need to be satisfied that BR has carried out an environmental assessment, and that it can provide a full environmental statement detailing the impact of the works and any mitigation measures. Ultimately it will be for Parliament to judge whether any proposals are environmentally acceptable.

Sir John Stanley : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether any proposals have been put to him by British Rail to build a new line to meet the anticipated growth of international traffic after the opening of the Channel tunnel that will run from the tunnel terminal to Swanley only.

Mr. Portillo : British Rail is continuing its discussions with the private sector. No firm proposal has yet been put to Ministers.

Sir John Stanley : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether it remains his policy that he will not give his approval to a proposal from British Rail to construct a new railway line between London and the Channel tunnel if the board's proposals, including environmental protection measures, fail to establish a commercial case for the contruction of a new line.

Mr. Portillo : Yes.

Sir John Stanley : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether, in calculating the rate of return on any public investment in a new line to meet the anticipated growth in international traffic after the opening of the Channel tunnel, he will take full account of the loss in revenue to British Rail on existing routes arising from the diversion of national and international passengers from existing routes to the new line.

Mr. Portillo : This would be taken into account.


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Sir John Stanley : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether any proposals have been put to him by British Rail to build a new line to meet the anticipated growth in international traffic after the opening of the Channel tunnel that involve public sector investment in whole or in part.

Mr. Portillo : The basis of British Rail's discussions with the private sector is that the construction and operation of the new line would be a joint venture in which BR would have a minority shareholding.

Sir John Stanley : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he will direct British Rail that, in its discussions of proposals with the private sector to build a new line to meet the anticipated growth in international traffic after the opening of the Channel tunnel, the proposals are to incorporate as a minimum all those environmental protection works that have been announced by British Rail to date.

Mr. Portillo : I have no powers to give such a direction. I understand that the discussions between British Rail and the private sector have taken full account of BR's progress in designing the route, including environmental protection measures.


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