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Written Answers to Questions

The following answers were received between Tuesday 29 March and Friday 1 April 2005


Engineering Apprenticeships (West Midlands)

Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many people (a) entered into and (b) completed engineering apprenticeships in the West Midlands region in each year since 1997. [218985]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: This is a matter for the Learning and Skills Council (LSC). Mark Haysom, the Council's Chief Executive, has written to the hon. Gentleman with the information requested and a copy of his reply has been placed in the Library.
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Letter from Mark Haysom to Mr. Peter Luff, dated 18 March 2005:

Engineering apprenticeship starts in the West Midlands region 1997–98 to 2003–04. Pre-LSC figures measured in terms of financial years (April to March)

Advanced apprenticeshipsApprenticeships
at level 2

LSC—figures measured in terms of academic years (August to July)

Framework achievements
Advanced apprenticeshipsApprenticeships
at level 2
Advanced apprenticeshipsApprenticeships
at level 2
April to July 2001282711326

NVQ only achievements
Total leavers
Advanced apprenticeshipsApprenticeships at level 2Advanced apprenticeshipsApprenticeships at level 2
April to July 20012512134193

Notes on methodology:
1.Learner numbers pre-2001 are taken by DfES from TEC management information. TEC Ml is aggregagated data and does not contain information on sector. Individual learner data held on the trainee database contains information on sector, but we know the database did not accurately record the total number of learners. For each year, the percentage of learners studying engineering apprenticeships in the West Midlands from the trainee database has been applied to the total number of learners in the West Midlands from the TEC Ml to estimate the volume of learners studying engineering apprenticeships in the West Midlands. The number of achievements was not collected prior to 2001.
2.Learner numbers and achievements from 2001 onwards are taken from the individualised learned record (ILR) collected by the LSC. Figures include all apprenticeships in the engineering area of learning.
3.Definitions of 'engineering' pre- and post-2001 may not be directly comparable.


Civil Service Pensions

Mr. John Taylor: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office if he will meet representatives of the Civil Service Pensioners' Alliance. [223165]

Mr. Miliband: Should the Civil Service Pensioners' Alliance write to me requesting a meeting, I would consider their request.

Civil Service Training

Llew Smith: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what changes in civil servant training (a) at the Civil Service Training College and (b) in service are planned to be implemented to ensure delivery of the commitment contained in the Sustainability Strategy to strengthen civil service leadership capacity with better training in sustainable development. [224011]

Mr. Miliband: Centre for Management and Policy Studies (CMPS), the Government's centre for learning and development, has run short programmes on sustainable development for civil servants for some years with a largely estates management and procurement focus.
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In autumn 2004, as part of a broader partnership in the sustainability area, CMPS and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) co-designed two one day pilot workshops for senior civil servants which took a strategic and practical view of sustainable development. Parts of the workshop were delivered by Jonathon Porritt, chair of the Sustainable Development Commission, senior Defra officials and Forum for the Future. Jonathon Porritt also spoke recently on the Top Management Programme and sustainable development will be given dedicated coverage on all future runs of the Top Management Programme. Two further workshops for senior civil servants are planned for June and November 2005, and more will be offered if there is demand.

CMPS is currently developing an internal project to integrate sustainable development thinking and practice into a wide range of programmes and will be giving much greater emphasis to sustainable development in professional and policy skills and leadership development programmes. More programmes will be developed which directly address sustainability issues and links are being made to emerging areas of work such as the Egan Skills for Sustainable Communities Review.

Information on sustainability training in individual civil service departments is not held centrally.

Parliamentary Questions

Llew Smith: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office whether his Department has issued guidance to Government Departments on responding to parliamentary questions recommending that in cases where an answer would incur a disproportionate cost, efforts should be made when appropriate to provide an answer to part or parts of the question. [223933]

Mr. Miliband: The Cabinet Office's Guidance to Officials on Drafting Answers to Parliamentary Questions", copies of which are available in the Library, advises officials that



Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many accidents occurred at her departmental premises in each of the last five years involving (a) members of her Department's staff and (b) members of the public. [222564]

Alun Michael: The following figures reflect accidents, incidents, and work-related ill health occurring on Defra premises since Defra was formed in 2001. (a) shows the figures for core-departmental staff and (b) shows the figures for members of the public.

The figures given are in calendar years, and are for the core Department only.
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(a) core-departmental staff(b) members of
the public

Avian Flu

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the evidential basis was for the distances chosen for protective and surveillance zones under the strategy to fight avian influenza. [222980]

Mr. Bradshaw: The sizes for both the protection zone (a minimum of 3 km radius from an infected premises) and the surveillance zone (from the edge of the protection zone to a minimum of 10 km radius from an infected premises) have been set in European legislation for avian influenza since 1992. These minima are common for other non-vector borne exotic notifiable diseases and will be extended if the epidemiological investigation into a disease outbreak suggests that a larger area needs to be subject to disease control measures.


Shona McIsaac: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list the local authorities in England which ban circuses with performing animals. [223458]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Department does not hold information on which local authorities have refused to allow circuses to perform with animals. Such a decision is up to individual local authorities and is in relation to council owned, not private, sites.

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