|Previous Section||Home Page|
Ms. Short : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what percentage of those referred by the employment service to ET complete their assessment with a training agent ; what percentage of those who complete their assessment stay six days with a training manager ; and what percentage of those originally referred by the employment service stay six days with a training manager.
Mr. Nicholls : It is estimated that 54 per cent. of those people referred by the employment service to training agents complete their assessment ; 61 per cent. of people completing an assessment stay one week with a training manager ; 33 per cent. of all those originally referred by the employment service stay one week or more with a training manager.
Mr. Wigley : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what the level of ceiling grant would have to be for the coming financial year for it to keep its value abreast of inflation including the making up of the shortfall in real terms resulting from this financial year's increase.
Mr. Eggar : The grant ceiling is adjusted to take account of changes in the average costs actually incurred by sponsors in providing places in both sheltered workshops and the sheltered placement scheme. It is not the intention of the grant to match specific movements in inflation, and in recent years average costs have risen at less than the rate of inflation. However, the effects of inflation are reflected in the information on costs on which the calculations are based.
Mr. Eggar : No. A network of European information centres is being set up by the European Commission. The Commission provides an initial financial contribution on the understanding that the centres will be financially independent after three years. The first four centres in the United Kingdom were established in 1987 ; a further 16 were approved in October 1989 and will be operational by April this year. All the centres chosen by the Commission were already involved in related activities.
The centres provide information to businesses on European matters, particularly issues concerning the single European market. They receive all the relevant EC documentation, have direct
computer-linked access to Brussels for answers to specific queries and are able to signpost inquirers to both the United Kingdom and EC single market specialists.
Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what account is being taken in his Department's review of employment services for disabled people of demographic changes and their effect on developing equal opportunities in employment for disabled people.
Mr. Eggar [holding answer 7 February 1990] : This Department's internal review of services to people with disabilities is taking careful account of the likely effects of demographic changes on the employment of people with disabilities. The shortage of young people in the 1990s means that employers will have to make better use of their workers and seek new sources of recruitment, including people with disabilities.
Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what consideration his Department's internal review of employment services for disabled people is giving to a quota-levy system requiring employers to pay a levy according to the number of unfilled quota places.
Mr. Eggar [holding answer 7 February 1990] : The operation of quota-levy systems is among the subjects being carefully considered as part of this Department's internal review of services to people with disabilities.
Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what consideration his Department's review of employment services to disabled people is giving to the introduction of legislation to prevent unjustifiable discrimination on the grounds of disability.
Column 781Mr. Eggar [holding answer 7 February 1990] : Successive Governments have judged that education and persuasion of employers is the most effective approach to improving employment opportunities for people with disabilities. The role of legislation is being carefully considered as part of this Department's internal review of services to people with disabilities.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what is the current establishment at each grade at the unemployment benefit offices at (a) Doncaster and (b) Mexborough ; how many deal directly with interviewing of new claimants ; and what
representations he has received concerning the lack of staff to deal with claimants.
Mr. Nicholls [pursuant to his reply, 15 January 1990, c. 59-60] : I regret that the information given in the table in my reply of 15 January was incorrect due to the omission of four executive officers from one column. The correct information is as follows :
A graded breakdown of the staff employed at Doncaster and Mexborough unemployment benefit offices is given at table 1. New claimants are normally interviewed by an executive officer (new client adviser). In each of the Doncaster unemployment benefit offices four executive officers are directly involved with interviewing and counselling new claimants. In Mexborough unemployment benefit office three executive officers interview and counsel new clients.
Additionally in each office two clerical staff provide support services for the new client advisers, which includes making appointments for unemployed people to make their claims.
No formal representations have been made to local management about staffing levels in these offices.
Table 1 Graded breakdown of staff employed at Doncaster and Mexborough unemployment benefit offices-January 1990 |Doncaster |Doncaster |Doncaster |Mexborough |'A' |'B' |'C' ------------------------------------------------------------------ Permanent HEO |1 |1 |1 |1 EO |9 |8 |7 |4 AO |25 |25 |26 |17 AA |4 |5 |4 |3 Messenger |- |1 |- |- Casual AO |- |- |- |1 AA |- |2 |1 |- |------- |------- |------- |------- Total |39 |42 |39 |26 Notes: HEO = Higher Executive Officer EO = Executive Officer AO = Administrative Officer. AA = Administrative Assistant.
|Tonnes --------------------- 1980 |599 1981 |58 1982 |263
Less than 10 per cent. of these weights were actual waste, the remainder being packaging and shielding.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what are the current arrangements for dealing with accidents involving trains transporting nuclear material in London ; and when they were last reviewed.
Mr. Portillo : There is a comprehensive emergency plan administered by CEGB/Nuclear Electric to deal with incidents involving irradiated nuclear fuel flasks in transit. This was last reviewed towards the end of 1989.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what information his Department has about plans to increase the transport by train of nuclear waste through London ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Vaz : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many children in England and Wales have the opportunity to take a cycle proficiency test through their school ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Atkins : Some 275,000 children took part in RoSPA's cycle proficiency training and testing scheme in 1989. This is administered locally by local authority road safety officers with the training taking place mainly in schools, by agreement with head teachers. RoSPA publishes and distributes the teacher materials and the Department supplies each child with a free copy of the "Highway Code for Young Road Users".
|Number ---------------------------- North Eastern |14 North Western |11 West Midland |10 Eastern |16 Western |9 South Eastern |11 Metropolitan |26 Scotland |6 |-- Total |103
In addition two female examiners are instructors at the Department's driving examiner training establishment at Cardington. Applicants for examiner posts are assessed on the basis of qualifications, relevant knowledge, experience and personal qualities. There has been a welcome recent rise in
Column 784the number of women candidates coming forward, and 20 of the 47 interviewed for appointment last year were successful compared with 137 of the 283 male applicants.
Mr. Vaz : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many people have passed their driving tests for each of the last 10 years at (a) their first attempt, (b) their second attempt, (c) their third attempt and (d) more than fifth attempt ; what percentage of each were female ; and if he will make a statement.
First attempt Subsequent attempts |Men |Women|All |Men |Women|All ------------------------------------------------ 1980 |51 |37 |45 |55 |46 |50 1985 |51 |39 |45 |56 |49 |52
Comprehensive information is not available on candidates' pass rates on each attempt. Surveys in 1980
Column 784and 1985 indicated that the pass rates for candidates taking their test for the first time, and taking it for the second or subsequent attempt, were as follows :
First attempt Subsequent attempts |Men |Women|All |Men |Women|All ------------------------------------------------ 1980 |51 |37 |45 |55 |46 |50 1985 |51 |39 |45 |56 |49 |52
Mr. Atkins : Head injuries are a major cause of death and serious casualties in cycle accidents, so it makes sense for riders to have head protection. We encourage people to wear helmets but there are no present plans to make this obligatory.
Mr. Norris : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he will list the number of professionally qualified loss-prevention staff employed by his Department and the qualifications held by such staff, excluding qualifications obtained during police or military service.
Column 784Management's responsibility is buttressed by systems of checks and controls, and these are audited regularly by the Department's internal audit division, comprising 13 staff trained to the basic audit training standard. Six of these are members of the Institute of Internal Auditors. A further 11 staff are under training.
1989-90 prices £ million |1990-91|1991-92|1992-93 ------------------------------------------- InterCity |7.1 |3.1 |1.6 Provincial |12.2 |12.6 |13.1 Freight |3.9 |2.8 |4.8 Parcels |0.1 |0.2 |0.2 |-------|-------|------- Total |23.3 |18.7 |19.7
Rolling stock investment cannot be attributed to particular areas of Great Britain.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what was the number and proportion of foreign vessles visiting British ports in each calendar year from 1979 to have been (a) inspected, (b) found to have serious defects, (c) other defects and (d) pollution defects ; what
Column 786is his target for inspections ; the reasons for any deviation from this target ; and what proportion of vessels is inspected in the United States of America, France and Holland.
|1983 |1984 |1985 |1986 |1987-88<2>|1988-89<2> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Ships visiting UK ports |6,445 |6,463 |6,579 |<1>6,500 |6,425 |6,158 Ships inspected |2,557 |2,529 |2,532 |2,788 |2,188 |1,830 Per cent. inspected |39.7 |39.1 |38.5 |- |34.0 |29.7 <1> Estimated. <2> Financial year.
The Department's records do not differentiate between ships with serious defects and others. In 1988-89, of the 1,830 ships inspected 900 were found to have defects of which 87 were pollution related. Information for other years is not readily available.
Under the memorandum of understanding on port state control the target inspection rate is 25 per cent. of individual ships visiting a signatory's ports. The United Kingdom has always exceeded the target figure. Port state control inspection figures are circulated to signatories of the memorandum but on a confidential basis. All signatories aim to achieve the same 25 per cent. target.
No information is available for the United States of America.
Mr. Spearing : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport over what period he expects the contribution to the extension of the Jubilee line by Messrs. Olympia and York of £400 million to be paid ; what conditions have been attached to this payment ; and what is its expected value likely to be in 1989 prices.
Mr. Spearing : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what charges he expects to be made on the public expenditure reserve fund for transport investment in London, other than that already approved for the Jubilee line extension ; and from what vote he expects capital expenditure to be dispersed for either the proposed main line crossrail and proposed Hackney to Chelsea tube line, respectively.
Mr. Portillo : The Jubilee line extension is the only public transport project in London for which provision has been made from the reserve. No decision has yet been taken on the funding arrangements for any other new line.
Mr. Atkins : Our current programme of initiatives to promote mobility for people with disabilities is set out in our document "Transport and Disability--a Statement of Aims and Priorities". One major priority is to improve the accessibility of public transport including the development of wheelchair-accessible coaches and buses. We are also working with vehicle designers and manufacturers to influence car design and control modifications, to increase opportunities for personal mobility for even the most severely disabled people. We are also developing guidelines on design for pedestrian areas to help elderly and disabled people.
Mr. Tredinnick : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what measures he proposes to take in response to recent proposals to remove, from 1 June 1990, the entitlement to drive large non-commercial passenger carrying vehicles on an ordinary driving licence.
Mr. Atkins : I am aware of the responses to the recent consulation exercise on changes to the regulations governing the driving of cars and motorcycles. While few people dispute the principle that large buses should be driven only by someone who holds a PSV licence, the proposed timing for removing the entitlement to drive a large bus on an ordinary driving licence would have caused practical difficulties. I have therefore decided to defer the implementation of this measure for at least six months. A further announcement will be made about exactly when and how the entitlement is to be removed.
Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he has reached a decision on future changes to passenger and goods vehicle operator licensing, following the recent review ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Atkins : The review has now been completed. In the light of consultations, I have today announced decisions on a number of steps to improve the licensing system. Details of these are set out in a press notice, a copy of which has been placed in the Library.
Mr. Skinner : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security whether he has any plans to repeal or amend regulation 72, Social Security Adjudication Regulations 1986, S.I. 1986 2218 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard : The Social Security (Miscellaneous Provisions) Amendment Regulations 1990, which will be laid before Parliament shortly, contain an amendment to regulation 72. The amendment provides that the amount of arrears of benefit on review made as a consequence of a reinterpretation of the law by a decision of a social security commissioner or the courts is paid from the date of that decision.
Mr. Summerson : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will widen the scope of the social fund to enable loans to be made to those who have obtained employment but need funds to pay for suitable clothing and transport for the period before their first wages are paid.
Mr. Scott : We believe it is reasonable to expect good employers to help with the cost of necessary clothing and travel for their employees, for example through an advance of salary. Where a person does not have enough money to live on until his first pay day, a crisis loan can be considered.
Mr. Harry Barnes : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he is in a position to reply to both the letters from the hon. Member for Derbyshire, North-East dated 15 January and the question raised in column 183 of the Official Report on 30 January, on Mr. Melvin Wall's loss of entitlement to mobility allowance.
Mr. Meacher : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will reintroduce transitional payments for students in full-time further education who have been receiving income support under I/S regulation 132(c) and 2(d), so they may continue their studies to their completion beyond their 19th birthday without the present loss of benefit.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard : We are aware that a small number of young people are experiencing difficulties. Although financial assistance can be provided by local education authorities, we are keeping the benefit rules under review.
Mr. Dunn : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will publish in the Official Report the extent in cash terms of export trade from the United Kingdom to the empire of Japan and the extent in cash terms of import trade from the empire of Japan to the United Kingdom ; and if he will publish figures for both for each year since 1979.
Mr. Redwood : There are at least 800 industrial and commercial organisations in the United Kingdom owned by commercial interests resident in Japan. I have placed a list, prepared by the Anglo-Japanese Economic Institute, in the Library of the House.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list those European countries which have a trade surplus with the United Kingdom, whose trade deficit is a higher proportion of gross domestic product than the United Kingdom's.