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Southend on Sea
West Cumbria BCU
Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many working days have been lost to the Department and its executive agencies in each year since 1997 due to staff absenteeism, expressed as the average annual number of absent days per employee; and what the estimated cost to the Department and its agencies of absenteeism was in each year. 
|Working days lost per person||Estimated cost (£ million)||Cost at 2005-06 salary levels|
|Agencies: HM prison service|
|Working days lost per person||Estimated cost (£ million)|
|Criminal Records Bureau (formerly part of UKPS)|
|Working days lost per person||Estimated cost (£ million)|
|(1 )Figures for Home Office for 2004-05 and 2005-06 exclude IDPS agency figures otherwise included in the published definition.|
(2 )This figure does not include the Identity & Passport Service.
For Home Office figuresCabinet Office Analysis of Sick Absence in the Civil Service, Prison Service The Management of Sickness Absence in the Prison Service 2004 and National Audit Office.
Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people have received student visas in the last five years from language colleges that have subsequently been identified by his Department as providing false information. 
Currently student visas do not tie the individual to a particular institution. This situation will change under the points based system when education establishments will act as sponsors and we will therefore know, should we need to take action against any of the institutions on our sponsor register, exactly how many and which students they are currently sponsoring.
The introduction of the points based system also offers the opportunity for us to tackle abuse through the system of sponsorship. We will require independent accreditation of institutions wishing to recruit international students and require institutions to report those students who do not enrol or cease to attend. At present institutions do not have to report non-enrolment.
Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidance he has issued to the Immigration and Nationality Directorate relating to the Government's Tipping Point target. 
Mr. Byrne: The Tipping Point target, to remove more failed asylum seekers than the number who are predicted to be granted leave, was set by the Prime Minister in the autumn of 2004. IND officials produced a delivery strategy that focused on further reducing asylum intake while increasing the number of removals.
Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many individuals have received a visa under the Fresh Talent initiative in Scotland in each of the first 12 months of the scheme; and how many are (a) resident, (b) not resident and (c) in employment. 
Mr. Byrne: A total of 1,657 individuals were granted leave to remain in the United Kingdom under the Fresh Talent initiative in Scotland in the first 12 months of the scheme. This is broken down in the table below by (a) resident in Scotland (at the time of the grant), and (b) non resident in Scotland (at the time of the grant).
|(a) Resident||(b) Non resident|
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) prosecutions and (b) convictions there have been under the Cigarette Lighter Refill (Safety) Regulations 1999 in each of the last three years. 
Mr. Coaker: The blueprint drugs education programme is designed to evaluate the effectiveness of a multi-component approach to school-based drug education. The programme was delivered in spring term 2004 and 2005 to 4,500 pupils in 23 schools in the North West and East Midlands regions. The programme is currently being evaluated to determine its impact on all drug use, including volatile substances, among the study cohort. The final impact report is due December 2007.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage of young offenders when assessed on arrival at a young offender institution have admitted using volatile substances in the last period for which figures are available. 
Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how changes to the qualifying periods for indefinite leave to remain which took effect from 3 April were communicated to existing holders of work permits; and when this communication was undertaken. 
Mr. Byrne: The intention to increase the qualifying period for indefinite leave to remain was first announced in February 2005, when the document Controlling Our Borders: Making Migration Work For Britain was published and presented to Parliament.
A notice was placed on the Home Offices Working in the UK website, on 14 March 2006, advising customers that revisions to the existing immigration rules, effective on 3 April 2006, would increase the qualifying period for individuals entering or already in the UK within employment categories, from four to five years. This notice included a question and answer brief for customers. A revised website notice reflecting
the most up-to-date position continues to be available on the Working in the UK website.
On 14 March, a letter detailing the impacts of the 3 April immigration rules changes was also issued directly to a number of key stakeholders identified by the Home Offices immigration and nationality directorate (IND). These stakeholders included employers and employer representatives, Work Permits (UK) Sector Panel and User Panel representatives, including members of the Immigration Law Practitioners Association (ILPA), and relevant trade unions and other Government Departments.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he plans to include a requirement to disclose criminal convictions on future documentation in respect of the Workers Registration Scheme; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Byrne [holding answer 10 July 2006]: The Workers Registration Scheme regulates access to the UK labour market in accordance with the worker derogation in the Act of Accession and has enabled us to monitor the impact of enlargement on the UK labour market. The current information requirements have produced sufficient information for the purpose of the scheme, but its provisions are kept under review.
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