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Mr. Jack: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what studies her Department has conducted into the number of temporary employees who (a) prefer to remain in temporary employment and (b) are unable to find permanent employment. 
Alan Johnson: This Department has conducted no recent study on this issue. However, the Labour Force Survey (LFS), which is an Office for National Statistics data set covering the UK, examines whether such individuals are temporary employees by choice or because they cannot find a permanent job. The LFS defines temporary employees as including individuals engaged
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on: employment business assignments, seasonal work, fixed term contracts and casual work. The autumn 2001 survey estimated that:
Mr. Jack: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, pursuant to the answer of 3 December 2001, Official Report, column 52W, if she will define the unnecessary restrictions on organisations in the recruitment industry, including the IT sector which are due to be removed by the draft Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Business Regulations. 
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Nigel Griffiths: The Small Business Service has an office in each of the nine English regions. The SBS contracts via regional teams with 45 Business Link Operators to provide business support services throughout England. All of the coalfield communities are served by this local network irrespective of the specific location of the office.
Alan Johnson: The following table shows the numbers of planned redundancies notified for each year from 1997 to 2001. Companies are required to notify only where they plan to make 20 or more people redundant. I regret there are no similar statistics for individual constituencies.
|Redundancy notifications in England|
|Hereford and Worcester||2,676||3,279||2,429||3,007||2,816|
|Isle of Wight||252||386||313||578||1,090|
|Tyne and Wear||14,533||10,756||8,002||7,846||9,575|
|Redundancy notifications in Scotland|
|Dumfries and Galloway||318||1,786||1,200||2,532||619|
|Highland and Island||433||223||1,937||189||275|
|Redundancy notifications in Wales|
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Ms Hewitt: Any Consignia strategic plan would be commercially confidential and therefore under Exemption 13 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information could not be placed in the Libraries of the House.
Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps she has taken to replace the construction industry retention system as regards central Government, agency and local authority contracts. 
The construction industry has yet to achieve 'zero-defects' or 'right first time' culture and continues to have difficulty ensuring quality. Contractors, sub- contractors and specialists in the industry, as well as government, have a role to play in ensuring that quality is a priority issue.
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The Achieving Excellence in Construction initiative, led by the Office of Government Commerce, is placing greater emphasis on team working and value for money procurement strategies and is encouraging central Government construction clients to use partnering and long-term commercial agreements with suppliers to reduce the need for retentions in the future.
The Local Government Task Force, which was formed to promote Sir John Egan's Construction Task Force report 'Rethinking Construction' in local government, is also encouraging authorities to work with suppliers to reduce the need for retentions.
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