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Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what effect she expects (a) the splitting of the Learning and Skills Development Agency and (b) the establishment of the Learning and Skills Network to have on costs; and if she will make a statement. 
Bill Rammell: Re-structuring the Learning and Skills Development Agency to form the Learning and Skills Network and the Quality Improvement Agency for Lifelong Learning will enable us to achieve significant efficiency savings in future years in line with the Department's commitments to the Gershon Review. It is a key part of our streamlining and rationalisation programme to reduce costs and complexity in the sector.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) how many of those graduating from national skills academies since they were established have found work in the sectors for which they were trained; 
Phil Hope: The Fashion Retail Academy opened in September 2005 with 50 students studying at Level 2 and Level 3. Building on this, we announced on 31 October that a further four sectors would be supported to develop their proposals for national skills academies through more detailed business planning. It is therefore too early to provide any information on students graduating from national skills academies.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the contribution from public funds to the four proposed national skills academies will be; and how much funding will come from industry. 
Phil Hope: Public funds will be available to help meet the four sectors further develop their proposals for national skills academies (including, for example, business planning and research and development costs). If these proposals are accepted, funding may then be available to support the capital and revenue costs of each academy. The amount will be negotiated by the Learning and Skills Council with each sector and will depend on the size and nature of each proposal.
Capital funding will be available to support the up front investment required to establish a national skills academy. This will be drawn from a range of contributors. On average, around 35 per cent. will come from Government via the Learning and Skills Council
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(LSC), 50 per cent. from employers sponsoring the academy and the remaining 15 per cent. from a range of other sources and partners.
The day to day revenue income of national skills academies will be earned by delivering skills training and will come from a variety of sources including the LSC and from employers purchasing training services.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what role the skills councils of the relevant industries will have in each of the proposed National Skills academies. 
Phil Hope: Expressions of Interest to develop a National Skills Academy must have the formal endorsement of the relevant Sector Skills Council. Each of the four proposals to develop National Skills Academies now moving into detailed business planning are led by a Sector Skills Council. We expect the Sector Skills Councils to continue to work with employers and other key partners to develop business models, governance and other arrangements which meet the needs of their sectors.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many nursery places were available through the Neighbourhood Nurseries Initiative in each participating authority in 200405; and what the average cost per place was in each area. 
Beverley Hughes: The Neighbourhood Nurseries Initiative aimed to create 45,000 new full-time child care and early education places for children aged 0 to 5 in the 20 per cent. most disadvantaged areas in England by March 2004. £100 million of capital funding from the New Opportunities Fund (now the Big Lottery Fund), £28 million of Sure Start capital and £243 million of start-up revenue funding from the Sure Start Unit was made available to 142 of the 150 local authorities to support the development and delivery of these places. The places have been developed through a diverse range of local and national providers and are intended to be responsive to local needs and preferences. By end March 2005, over 49,000 places across over 1,390 neighbourhood nursery projects had been delivered.
Information on the average cost per place in each area is not available. One of the conditions set for all providers taking part in the Neighbourhood Nurseries Initiative was that fees charged should not exceed the level of help available to parents towards the costs of child care through the working tax credit for the period that the nursery received its initial start-up funding from the Government.
|Barking and Dagenham||307|
|Bath and North East Somerset||130|
|Blackburn with Darwen||743|
|Brighton and Hove||205|
|East Riding of Yorkshire||163|
|Hammersmith and Fulham||311|
|Isle of Wight||221|
|Kensington and Chelsea||227|
|Kingston upon Hull||377|
|Newcastle upon Tyne||567|
|North East Lincolnshire||352|
|Redcar and Cleveland||336|
|Sunderland (City of)||764|
|Telford and Wrekin||459|
|Windsor and Maidenhead||84|
|Total places 2004/05||49,114|
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