|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
22 Jan 2004 : Column 1380Wcontinued
14. Mr. Blizzard: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what research her Department has conducted into the use of carbon capture technology to enhance recovery of North sea oil. 
Mr. Timms: The Department has conducted its own research and sponsored research jointly with the oil industry since the mid 1980's into the use of carbon dioxide injection into mature oil fields to recover more oil. We are currently investigating the feasibility of demonstrating the use of carbon dioxide for enhanced oil recovery in the North Sea. We expect to publish the findings of this investigation in March.
Jacqui Smith: The Department gave a £2.8 million grant to the Shipbuilders and Shiprepairers Association for a four-year programme of productivity improvements and research and development benefiting shipyards, which concluded on 31 December 2003. Separately, my Department is funding the Science, Engineering and Marine Training Agency (SEMTA) to undertake a range of studies into training needs and provision in the shipbuilding industry, with the aim of ensuring that the UK shipbuilding and marine engineering sector has sufficient numbers of properly skilled people to meet the Ministry of Defence's substantial naval procurement programme.
16. John Thurso: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what plans she has to facilitate the connection to the national electricity grid at affordable prices of potential consumers living in remote areas. 
Connections for those in remote areas are generally more difficult and this is, unfortunately, reflected in the cost. There are no provisions in existing legislation which could be used to require the cost of connection to be subsidised by, for example, the existing customer base.
22 Jan 2004 : Column 1381W
Mr. Timms: DTI uses information on natural gas availability from a variety of sources including the International Energy Agency, the Energy Information Agency of the US Department of Energy and the BP-Amoco Statistical Digest.
18. Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on the Government's policy towards trade negotiations following the World Trade Organisation ministerial conference in Cancun. 
Ms Hewitt: We do not have official figures for the number of financial services jobs being offshored. We are addressing this issue through seeking views from parties interested in offshoring as part of our consultation exercise. In recognising the economic and social importance of this issue, we are also looking at how we can improve data collection.
Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps she has taken to inform (a) schools, (b) colleges and (c) universities of the Altran Foundation for Innovation's award for 2004 on the theme of Discovery, Understanding and Enjoying Science through innovation. 
Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry which inter-ministerial group is responsible for the English equivalent of the Scottish Business Birthrate Strategy; and which ministers are members of that group. 
Nigel Griffiths: Responsibility for small business policy, including start-up strategy, is a matter for the Ministerial Committee on Economic Affairs, Productivity and Competitiveness. The members are:
Deputy Prime Minister and First Secretary of State
Secretary of State for the Home Department
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Secretary of State for Transport and Secretary of State for Scotland
Secretary of State for Health
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
Secretary of State for Defence
22 Jan 2004 : Column 1382W
Leader of the House of Lords and The Lord President of the Council
Secretary of State for Trade and Industry
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
Parliamentary Secretary, Treasury and Chief Whip
Secretary of State for Education and Skills
Chief Secretary, Treasury
Leader of the House of Commons, Lord Privy Seal and Secretary of State for Wales
Minister without Portfolio
Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
Minister for State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Mike O'Brien)
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many businesses have been helped by each of the UK business link organisations; what the average sum of money received by these businesses is; how many of the businesses helped are still operating; and how many of those businesses have increased their profitability. 
Nigel Griffiths: In the last full operating year (200203) over 300,000 businesses were helped by Business Link Operators (BLOs) in England. A breakdown of this totalby individual BLOfollows. Information about business survival rates are not collected individually.
Tyne and Wear4,685
Cheshire and Warrington6,642
North and West Lancashire6,435
Lincolnshire and Rutland4,720
Birmingham and Solihull8,149
Coventry and Warwickshire5,377
Hereford and Worcestershire8,489
22 Jan 2004 : Column 1383W
Milton Keynes, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire10,542
Devon and Cornwall9,157
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment she has made of the impact that (a) regional venture capital funds have had on (i) the overall productivity of United Kingdom businesses and (ii) reducing disparities in regional productivity, (b) Faraday centres have had on enterprise areas, (c) University Challenge Seed Funds and (d) the SMART scheme. 
Jacqui Smith: The nine regional venture capital funds have only recently become operational. The first funds became operational in January 2002 and the final fund in July 2003. These funds have a 10 to 12 year lifespan and it is, therefore, too early to assess their impact on the areas you have identified. Plans are already in hand, to assess their impact at the appropriate time.
An early evaluation, to measure progress, was concluded in July 2003 and a summary report can be found on the following website address: http://www. sbs.gov.uk/content/finance/SBS RVCF Esummary july2003.pdf
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the (a) actual and (b) percentage change in the take-up of connectivity technologies among the UK's micro and small businesses was in each year since 1997; and what steps are being taken to increase take-up. 
Mr. Timms: Measurement of take up of connectivity is covered by the DTIs International Benchmarking Study (IBS). The IBS has been produced annually since 1997 and copies are available from the Libraries of the House.
22 Jan 2004 : Column 1384W
there has been a slight falling off in connection by micro and small businesses. A similar situation applies to the use of websites.
The Government will continue to promote the benefits of being connected to the internet for micro and small businesses but emphasis will be placed on encouraging a more effective use of information and communication technology (ICT). Businesses of all sizes need to use ICT in a more sophisticated way, paying due attention to people and processes, as well as the technology, if they are to gain the expected benefits.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what proportion of employees in the information and communication technology sector are women; and what steps are being taken to increase the representation of women in the sector. 
As part of the Government's strategy the DTI announced in December the award of a contract to the JIVE Consortium (Bradford College, Sheffield Hallam University, the Open University and Cambridge University) to operate a new resource centre for women in science, engineering and technology (SET) occupations, which include IT. JIVE will offer advice and support to SET employers about best practice in recruiting and retaining women and also support and advice for women wishing to work in or already working in SET occupations. This strategy is aimed at increasing the representation of women in all SET occupations at all levels, and will include the provision of a dynamic and content-rich website; good practice guides for SET employers; a 'Good SET Employer' recognition for women wishing to return to SET occupations. Working with their Open University partners JIVE are developing specific ideas about increasing the number of women in IT. Bradford College already trains women to be Microsoft professionals and their experience in this field will be invaluable in ensuring that the new resource centre is effective.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|