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Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people in the nine areas piloting the Pathways to Work scheme have (a) been interviewed and (b) subsequently got jobs. 
Maria Eagle: In total, there have been 5,600 job entries in the Pathways to Work Pilots to the end of August 2004. Of these 4,200 were in the first three Pilot Districts and 1,200 were in the four Pilot Districts in the second phase. The following table sets out how many Initial Work Focused Interviews have been attended and how many job entries have occurred subsequent to those Work Focused Interviews.
|Pilot district||Initial Work Focused Interviews attended||Job starts|
|Renfrewshire, Inverclyde, Argyll and Bute||2,820||450|
|Bridgend, Rhondda, Cynon, Taff||2,920||420|
Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on what assumptions his assertion that Pathways areas show twice the improvement in job entries of that in the rest of the country are based. 
Maria Eagle: The improvement in the number of job entries in the Pathways to Work pilots is based on an analysis of the recorded number of job entries recorded by Jobcentre Plus, including those by New Deal for Disabled People job brokers, in the seven Pathways to Work pilot districts compared to non-pilot districts.
The number of job entries recorded between November 2003 and September 2004 in the three Phase 1 pilot districts was 88 per cent. higher than for the corresponding period in the previous year. This compares to an increase of 32 per cent. over the same period for non-pilot districts.
Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if he will make a statement on the statutory basis under which the Pension Protection Fund would be able to charge pension protection levies designed to incentivise participating schemes to opt for a predominantly risk-based levy. 
Malcolm Wicks: During the transitional period, well funded schemes will be able to reduce their overall levy charge by opting to pay the risk based pension protection levy rather than just the required scheme based pension protection levy.
As more schemes opt to pay the risk based pension protection levy during the transitional period, the PPF will need to ensure that it adjusts the amounts paid to reflect the risk represented by those schemes who remain outside the risk regime. In this way we would anticipate that those schemes which opt only to pay the scheme-based pension protection levy will see the levy rate increase during the transitional period, thereby increasing the incentive for schemes to opt in to the risk-based regime.
Mr. Pond: All social fund applications are administered by Jobcentre Plus. We have no plans to change these arrangements. The pensions service will continue to ensure that pensioners have access to advice and help in completing the appropriate forms.
Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if he will estimate the number of eligible people who have not received backdated winter fuel payments for the first three years of the scheme; and what the value was of such payments. 
Malcolm Wicks: We estimate that about 1.9 million people could have been eligible for backdated payments for the first three years of the scheme and about 1.2 million people have now been paid. There is no cut-off dates for these retrospective payments.
It is not possible to provide a reliable estimate of the numbers who have not claimed because the estimate of those newly eligible was based on sample data. It is up to the individual, where a claim is necessary, to decide whether or not to make that claim.
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what estimate he has made of the number of self-employed electricians who will be required to register as a competent person by 1 January 2005 under the requirements of Part P of the Building Regulations; and if he will make a statement. 
Phil Hope: It is estimated that there are about 61,000 electrical contractors in England and Wales. There is no requirement to register; it is for each one to decide whether or not to do so. Those that choose not to register and carry out notifiable electrical work in dwellings after 1 January 2005 will need to submit a building notice to the local authority detailing the work they intend to carry out.
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the capacity of certification bodies to process the likely number of applicants to become competent persons under Part P of the Building Regulations; and whether compensation will be made available to applicants whose certification is delayed and who lose work as a result. 
The adequacy of the competent person operators to deal with applications to join the competent person schemes within a reasonable timescale was one of the criteria for authorisation of the schemes. There is no requirement to be registered in order to carry out electrical installation work in dwellings, no compensation will be payable.
2 Dec 2004 : Column 259W
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will make it his policy to permit self-employed electricians who have applied for competent person accreditation in accordance with Part P of the Building Regulations (a) to continue working on jobs which were already under way before 1 January 2005 and (b) to continue their trade pending the availability of the certification inspector to examine and process their application. 
Phil Hope: There is a transitional period in the Regulations on Part P. Any work contracted for or started by 31 December 2004 will not be within the scope of the requirements of Part P so long as it is completed by 31 March 2005. In respect of work that does not fall within the transitional arrangements it will be necessary to submit a building notice to the local authority until an application to join a competent person self-certification scheme is approved.
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what steps his Department has taken, and over what period, to ensure that self-employed electricians have (a) been made aware of and (b) been granted adequate time to apply for accreditation in accordance with Part P of the Building Regulations due to come into force on 1 January 2005. 
Phil Hope: The Government issued a Consultation Document on proposals to regulate electrical installation work in dwellings in May 2002. All the electrical trade bodies were consulted on the proposals and would have made their members aware of them. The Government formally announced in July 2003 that they had decided to introduce Part P of the Building Regulations. Throughout this period there have been many articles about the introduction of Part P in the trade press.
The Government authorised five competent person self-certification schemes to which electricians could choose to apply in July 2004. All have been accepting and assessing applications since that time. Those electricians that applied in good time should have their application approved before 1 January unless it was defective.
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