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11 Jun 2003 : Column 957W—continued

Education Funding

Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much finance will be received by each further education college as part of the funding for the sector which was recently announced. [116923]

Jane Kennedy: Colleges will receive the following allocations in respect of their main recurrent block grant allocations for the 2003–04 academic year.

Armagh College of Further and Higher Education4,167,783
Belfast Institute of Further and Higher Education25,482,613
Castlereagh College of Further and Higher Education4,130,391
Causeway Institute of Further and Higher Education4,914,222
East Antrim Institute of Further and Higher Education6,824,152
East Down Institute of Further and Higher Education4,509,722
East Tyrone College of Further and Higher Education4,116,439
Fermanagh College of Further and Higher Education5,273,300
Limavady College of Further and Higher Education4,431,085
Lisburn Institute of Further and Higher Education4,899,571
Newry and Kilkeel Institute of Further and Higher Education8,410,605
North Down and Ards Institute of Further and Higher Education9,485,688
North East Institute of Further and Higher Education8,701,192
North West Institute of Further and Higher Education13,843,976
Omagh College of Further and Higher Education3,935,546
Upper Bann Institute of Further and Higher Education6,873,715
The additional £14 million which will be made available to colleges for special initiatives has not yet been allocated on an individual college basis.

11 Jun 2003 : Column 958W

Employment Opportunities

Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland pursuant to his answer of 19 May 2003, Official Report, column 594W, on manufacturing, what percentage of the jobs created in Northern Ireland since the signing of the Belfast Agreement were (a) public sector, (b) private sector, (c) full-time, (d) part-time and (e) temporary contract. [117072]

Mr. Pearson: The most comprehensive information available for which it is possible to provide a breakdown by areas requested relates to the period spring 1998 (March-May 1998) to winter 2003 (December 2002– February 2003) and refers to employment levels not jobs. The net change in employment levels in Northern Ireland by employment status over that period as estimated by the Labour Force Survey (LFS) is provided in Table 1.

Table 1: Change in employment status spring 1998 to winter 2002–03

Spring 1998Winter 2002–03ChangePercentage change
Public sector employment210,000230,00021,00010
Private sector employment471,000517,00045,00010
Full-time employment541,000582,00040,0007
Part-time employment139,000166,00028,00020
Permanent employees(30)530,000596,00066,00013
Temporary employees(30)36,00033,000-3,000-9
All in employment(31)687,000751,00064,0009

(30) Note that permanent/temporary nature of job only applies to employees and not to other types of employment.

(31) Status not known or does not apply.


The Labour Force Survey is a sample survey and as such estimates are subject to sampling variability. For example, the estimate of net annual change in total employment has an associated sampling "error" of ±27,000 which indicates that 95 per cent. of the time the true population figure of net change in employment is expected to lie within the range 64,000 ±27,000. A similar principle underlies each of the estimates of net change in the table and this should be taken into account when interpreting the results.


Labour Force Survey (LFS)

Employment Relations Act

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many staff in his Department have taken time off from work in order to attend to domestic incidents as provided for by the Employment Relations Act 1999. [108345]

Mr. Paul Murphy: The legislation in Northern Ireland corresponding to the Employment Relations Act 1999 is the Employment Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1999. Special Leave policy rests with individual Departments and Agencies who are free to decide on the amounts of special leave and the circumstances for which it is granted, including whether it is paid or unpaid.

Within the Northern Ireland Office, 109 Northern Ireland Civil Service staff were granted absence for domestic incidents (which includes bereavement leave, childcare, domestic emergency, partner care, elderly/relative care, paternity leave) from 16 October 2002 to 11 April 2003. A total of 298.5 days was taken. Statistics on Home Civil Service staff could be collected only at disproportionate cost.

11 Jun 2003 : Column 959W

Statistics on those members of staff working in NI Departments who have taken time off from work in order to attend domestic incidents since the introduction of the legislation on 15 December 1999 could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Central records have, however, been maintained since 16 October 2002. Between that date and 31 March 2003, 1,104 members of staff working in NI Departments have taken time off from work in order to attend to domestic incidents.

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many staff in his Department have used their leave entitlement under the Parental Leave Directive since it came into force. [108419]

Mr. Paul Murphy: Within the Northern Ireland Office, since the Maternity and Parental Leave etc. Regulations (NI) 1999 came into operation on 15 December 1999, giving staff the right to Parental Leave, 24 members of staff have made use of this entitlement.

Within the Northern Ireland Administration, 12 members of staff have made use of it.

Energy Industry

Lembit Opik: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what plans he has to bring forward legislation to allow for a low-cost borrowing mechanism in the Northern Ireland energy industry. [116823]

Mr. Pearson: I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer I gave on the 4 March 2003. (97894)

I am currently awaiting a report and recommendations from a working group, involving my officials and economists from the Northern Ireland Authority for Energy Regulation, which I set up to examine practical options for reducing energy costs in Northern Ireland. I will also wish to hear the views of the Authority, particularly in the light of their latest consultation paper, "Competition and Customer Empowerment—The Next Steps in the Northern Ireland Electricity Market".

I have made clear my commitment to reducing energy costs for consumers and business in Northern Ireland in the context of the Department's consultation paper "Towards a New Energy Strategy for Northern Ireland" published on 17 April 2003.

11 Jun 2003 : Column 960W

Energy Efficiency

Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what targets his Department has for improving energy efficiency; and how he intends to achieve these targets. [116649]

Mr. Pearson: The Climate Change Programme, published by the then Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions in November 2000, was laid before the Northern Ireland Assembly. The energy efficiency targets it contains were included in the Northern Ireland Executive's Programme for Government and also adopted by the Northern Ireland Office for the areas within its control. These targets are being pursued by: (a) programmes of training in energy awareness for key staff; (b) regular investment in projects to improve the energy efficiency of, and reduce emissions from, buildings occupied by Departments; and (c) regular monitoring of buildings' energy performance.

Mr. Yeo: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement, in relation to his Department and each agency and non-departmental public body for which his Department is responsible, on (a) the amount of energy consumed, (b) spending on (i) energy and (ii) energy efficiency measures, (c) the amount saved through energy efficiency measures and (d) energy policy in each of the last five years. [108863]

Mr. Paul Murphy: The Northern Ireland Office and the Northern Ireland Administration do not hold the information in the format requested.

With the establishment of the Northern Ireland Executive, all the Northern Ireland Departments, their agencies and many other public bodies were reorganised. Furthermore, the basis on which information is collected was changed from April 2000. The combined effect of these changes means that it is difficult to make meaningful comparisons across the period as a whole.

The information available is given in the following tables.

Investment in energy efficiency includes support from the Central Energy Efficiency Fund, a measure unique to Northern Ireland. Between 1997–98 and 2001–02, in addition to departmental investment, the Fund has invested £12.7 million, producing an estimated cumulative saving for that period of £16.4 million.

Departments and other public bodies in Northern Ireland have been actively seeking to improve their energy efficiency for many years, and are aware of the targets for improvement contained in the Climate Change Programme.

PQ 1000/03Northern Ireland Departments—Energy Consumption (kWh)—1997–2000

Department1997–981998–991999–20003-year total
Prison Service73,869,69882,317,44574,246,430230,433,573
Probation Board1,073,261899,3481,540,7053,513,314
RUC Estate Services96,563,72095,532,28499,029,833291,125,837

11 Jun 2003 : Column 961W

Northern Ireland Departments—Energy Consumption (kWh)—2000–2002

Department2000–012001–022-year total
Agricultural Research Institute of NI1,301,3341,329,0362,630,370
Education and Library Bds446,963,427385,658,801832,622,228
Further Education Colleges47,737,23847,142,10394,879,341
DHSS and PS728,632,911695,895,3761,424,528,287
Core Buildings7,586,1157,156,55614,742,671
Fire Authority for NI13,805,38713,909,71627,715,103
Roads Service99,245,787102,136,164201,381,951
Water Service221,433,423236,514,571457,947,994
NI Housing Executive11,292,65810,547,52921,840,187
Total—NI Departments1,814,157,2211,732,325,5153,546,482,736
Prison Service54,098,54146,861,152100,959,693
Probation Board1,034,0871,611,8722,645,959
Royal Ulster Constabulary /Police Service for NI Estate Services101,046,077100,412,788201,458,865
Total—NIO160,180,207153,171,2933 13,351,500
Overall total1,974,337,4281,885,496,8083,859,834,236

(32) DFP did not have any buildings of its own and occupied buildings managed by DOE as part of the Office Estate.

(33) With the exception of Hillsborough Castle, all energy consumed in NIO buildings is managed through the Construction Service, formerly part of DoE but now with DFP. Until 2000, electricity was supplied to the Stormont Estate by NIE. The cost was then apportioned to the user departments according to their space occupancy but no kWh figures were ever produced. The information for Hillsborough Castle and the amount of oil burned at Stormont House is available but the inclusion of these figures in the table would be misleading.

***Figures for DCAL, DE and DHFETE/DEL are not currently available.

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