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Alan Johnson: A detailed breakdown for the private recruitment industry by particular specialist areas is not available, since many agencies and employment businesses provide work-finding services for a number of occupations. However, we estimate that there are about 20,000 employment agencies establishments, of which around 900 are licensed nurse agencies and some 2,000 specialise in IT.
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Julie Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what information she has collated on the private sector companies that have carried out gender pay audits as recommended by the Code of Practice on Equal Pay 1997 to assess their compliance with the Equal Pay Act since 1997. 
Ms Hewitt [holding answer 21 November 2001]: The Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) Code of Practice on Equal Pay aims to provide practical guidance and to recommend good practice to employers. There is no legal obligation on employers to carry out gender pay audits under the Equal Pay Act.
Many employers have stated publicly that they have carried out, or are planning to carry out a pay review while others prefer to keep this information confidential. Information has not therefore been collated on private sector companies that have carried out gender pay audits.
A programme of action is under way to promote the practice of pay reviews in line with the EOC code of practice. We are funding the EOC to prepare a model for voluntary pay reviews which will offer a technical example for employers in how to review the pay of their male and female employees. Extra funding has been made available to trade unions for training representatives in equal pay issues in the workplace. We plan to introduce annual awards for employers which will recognise excellence in addressing equal pay and related issues.
Ms Hewitt [holding answer 21 November 2001]: No proposal to amend the Equal Pay Directive (75/117/EEC) has been made by the Commission nor are we aware that the Commission has laid down any firm timetable for doing so. If a proposal to amend the Equal Pay Directive is forthcoming, the Government will consider it very carefully, in the light of case law since the Directive came into force in 1975 and the results from the current process of amending the Equal Treatment Directive (76/207/EEC).
Julie Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what progress has been made in revising the employment tribunal regulations concerning the hearing of equal pay cases, as outlined in the consultation document "Towards Equal Pay for Women". 
Ms Hewitt [holding answer 21 November 2001]: Two proposals outlined in the consultation document "Towards Equal Pay for Women" have been implemented already. These are: simplifying multiple cases by requiring just one application (IT1 form) and one response from the employer (IT3 form) which has been given effect in the Employment Tribunals (Constitution and Rules of Procedure) Regulations 2001 that came into force in July 2001; and the Burden of Proof Regulations, which implement the Burden of Proof Directive 97/80/EC, which were laid 20 July and came into force on 12 October. The proposal to introduce a questionnaire procedure into the Equal Pay Act has been included in the Employment Bill that was introduced on 7 November 2001. The Government intend to implement those changes
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Ms Hewitt: Jodrell Bank Observatory is owned and operated by the University of Manchester, who are responsible for its funding and operation. It has successfully applied for and received a rolling grant from the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC) for a number of years for astronomical research. That grant was last reassessed in September 2001, and PPARC awarded Jodrell Bank Observatory just over £2 million for the four years until September 2005. The grant will next come up for reassessment in September 2003. Jodrell Bank Observatory also co-ordinates the MERLIN network of radio telescopes, for which it receives a separate grant from PPARC of approximately £2.2 million per year. This grant is due to expire in 2003. It is currently being reassessed.
Mr. Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will list all (a) funding sources and (b) initiatives available from her Department to (i) the private sector, (ii) the voluntary sector and (iii) local authorities. 
Ms Hewitt: Information on my Department's funding sources and initiatives can be found in table C1 and in the text of my Department's 2001 Expenditure Plans Report (Cm 5112), a copy of which is in the Library of the House. Departmental spending relating specifically to local authorities can be found in table B8 of this report.
Many of the Department's programmes are not sector specific and we do not keep centrally information on involvement with particular sectors. This information cannot be obtained except at disproportionate cost. However, my Department does supply funding to the National Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux (NACAB) and Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) to support the work of the Citizens Advice Service and its volunteers. This financial year my Department provided NACAB with £16.9 million grant in aid (£16.4 million for 200001) and CAS with £2.8 million (£2.225 million in 200001).
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Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will list those local bodies which were set up under legislation which is the responsibility of her Department since May 1997. 
Mr. Whittingdale: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the terms of reference and composition are of the Automotive Innovative Growth Team; and if she will make a statement. 
Formulate a vision of what the industry in the UK could be in five to 15 years' time;
Stimulate frank debate about where the UK's sources of competitive advantage lie and how best to exploit these to drive positive long-term changes;
Develop, co-ordinate and promote a new strategy to ensure the long-term competitiveness of the automotive sector;
Make recommendations to Government, industry and others for specific action including changes in both policies and processes.
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