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Dr. Tony Wright: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission how many electronic items were disposed of by the House in each year since 2001; how many were in working order when they were disposed of; and how many were (a) recycled and (b) donated to charitable organisations. 
Members IT equipment was provided centrally for the first time in 2001 and became due for disposal only from mid-2005. A total of 4,053 items of desktop equipment used by Members and staff of the House of Commons were disposed of between May 2005 and December 2006 as part of the periodic refresh programme. A further 812 items were disposed of between January and June 2007.
The disposal of all these items was managed by a third-party contractor, responsible for secure data removal and onward recycling or sale as appropriate. The House received the residual value of sales, after the deduction of costs. Information from the supplier is presented to the House in order to meet its asset management responsibilities, but this does not provide detail on whether individual items were still in working order. The contractor does not make charitable donations.
Telephone handsets are re-used within the House if possible and otherwise assigned for safe disposal. Since June 2004 redundant mobile telephones have been sent for recycling and the proceeds are donated to charity. Detailed records have been kept since May 2006 and these show that 221 items have been sent for recycling since that date.
Mr. Lammy: Employers invest very substantial time and resources in the skills of their employees. In 2005 employers reported that they spent around £33 billion on training (including the wage costs of trainees). However, Lord Leitchs review of skills last year set out the major challenge ahead if the UK is truly to be a world leader in skills by 2020. The Government have recently published World Class Skills, setting out how we will implement the Leitch review in England. This says that achieving the change in culture that the Leitch ambitions demands, will require a major new investment of time, effort and money by employers and individuals. But it also says that Government have a responsibility to support them, and World Class Skills sets out how we will meet that responsibility.
Government have a range of support in place designed to motivate employers to invest in the skills of their employees. This includes Train to Gain, Apprenticeships and Foundation Degrees. Train to Gain is a major new service that will raise skills levels and the quality of training across England.
Train to Gain offers a holistic service to employers. Independent and impartial skills brokers work with the employers to identify how skills might help them meet their business goals, including increased productivity. The Skills Brokers help the employer identify possible sources of public funding available, as well set out the employer investment, in both cash and in paid time off for employees to study for the relevant qualification. Training when appropriate is often held on the employers premises.
In its first year of operation it has already engaged more than 40,000 employers with some 70 per cent. of those defined as hard to reach (i.e. not recognised as an Investor in People and no recorded investment in training).
From 2008-09, employers will be able to access matched funding for level 3 programmes as part of the package they put together with skills brokers, and we will continue to develop the higher level skills offer in the light of the current Higher Level Skills Pathfinders. We will also support discrete Skills for Life programmes as well as those embedded within level 2 programmes for those who do not already have a level 2 qualification.
Mr. Lammy: Sector Skills Councils are on target to complete Sector Skills Agreements by March 2008 in England. These agreements identify the priority skill needs of industry sectors and how training provision can become more responsive to employer and learner needs.
There are a range of measures to support individuals to improve their skills including Apprenticeships, Train to Gain, National Skills Academies, Foundation Degrees and Union Learning. In addition, there are targeted programmes to address skill shortages. For example the Women and Work programme helps women enter occupations where they are under-represented and where specific skills shortages exist.
Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what (a) recruitment procedures and (b) arrangements to choose members of the selection boards are in place for the appointment of (i) the Director General of Research Councils and (ii) the Chief Scientific Adviser. 
Ian Pearson: Civil service recruitment is managed by individual Departments in accordance with the rules and procedures laid down by the Office of the Civil Service Commissioners. This is to ensure that all recruitment is dealt with in a fair and open manner. Recruitment processes for senior appointments are clearly set out by the Commissioners and these processes are followed at all times.
Selection boards for senior positions are chaired by a Civil Service Commissioner, and for the most senior posts such as the Government Chief Scientific Adviser the panel is always chaired by the First Civil Service Commissioner. The rest of the panel will comprise the relevant Permanent Secretary, an external representative such as someone from business or academia and usually a senior representative from another Government Department.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills which 10 employment sectors employ the largest number of foreign skilled labourers in the UK; and from which 10 countries the greatest numbers of such workers come to the UK. 
Bill Rammell: The following tables show estimates from the Annual Population Survey (APS), 2006, for the United Kingdom. The data relate to foreign workers employed at the time of the survey who arrived in the UK since the start of 2003, who hold some kind of qualification, and who were not full-time students at the time of the survey.
|Employment by nationality|
|Country||Number employed from foreign countries who have arrived in the UK since 2003 with some qualifications, excluding full- time students*|
|Employment by sector|
|Sector||Number employed from foreign countries who have arrived in the UK since 2003 with some qualifications, excluding full time students*|
The number of foreign workers presented here is likely to be understated, because the APS:
1. Excludes those who have not been a resident in the UK for 6 months
2. Excludes people in most other types of communal establishments (e.g. hotels, boarding houses, hostels, mobile home sites, etc.)
3. Is grossed to population estimates that only include migrants staying for 12 months or more
4. Is only grossed to population estimates consistent with those published in spring 2003, which are significantly lower than the latest population estimates.
Annual Population Survey, 2006
We estimate from data provided by the Connexions Service that 174 16 to 18-year-olds (i.e. young people aged 16, 17 or 18) were not in education, employment or training (NEET) in the Poole local authority area at
the end of June 2007. Equivalent information is not available for 19 to 24-year-olds.
These NEET measures are those used for setting and monitoring Local Authority NEET targets. The definition differs from that used to measure the national departmental PSA NEET target. The Connexions NEET measure does not cover the entire population, for example it excludes those on gap years and those in custody. The PSA measure is for academic rather than calendar age 16-18.
We estimate from data provided by the Connexions Service that 91 per cent. of 16 to 18-year-olds (i.e. those aged 16, 17 or 18) were in education, employment or training (EET) in the City of York local authority area in 2005-06.
Ms Dari Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment he has made of the Arts Council England North Easts work in contributing to the renaissance of the North East region since 1997. 
Margaret Hodge: Arts Council England North East has made a very significant contribution to the renaissance of the region since 1997. Iconic projects in which they have been involved include the Sage Gateshead, the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art and the Angel of the North. Arts Council England North East currently provides regular funding to over 80 organisations in the region including Dance City, a national dance agency in Newcastle upon Tyne and Arc, a community arts and education centre in the Tees Valley. Arts Council England North East also supports events such as Stockton International Riverside Festival.
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport pursuant to the answer of 27 March 2007, Official Report, column 1428W, on digital broadcasting, whether the data released in accordance with the Digital Switchover (Disclosure of Information) Act 2007 will be available before the Whitehaven and Copeland switchover begins. 
James Purnell [holding answer 11 July 2007]: We expect the information covered by the Digital Switchover (Disclosure of Information) Act 2007 about people who may be eligible for assistance from the Help Scheme in Whitehaven and Copeland will be released by DWP later this week.
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what (a) equipment and (b) upgrades people are entitled to under the programme of assistance in relation to digital switchover. 
James Purnell: In most cases, people eligible for the Digital Switchover Help Scheme will be entitled to receive a digital set-top box which meets the Schemes Core Receiver Requirements. Where digital terrestrial signals are not available, they will be provided with the most cost-effective platform available in their area.
They can also choose other types of digital terrestrial television equipment, such as an integrated digital TV or a personal video recorder (PVR), for an additional payment. Similarly, they can choose an alternative platform such as satellite, cable or TV via a telephone line, in which case the scheme will make a contribution towards their costs.
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