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Ian Pearson: The Department believes that mainstreaming diversity into its talent and performance management policies is the most effective form of positive action. Over the past five years, the Department has developed two internal development schemes of positive action. Positive discrimination is unlawful and is not departmental policy.
Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many of his staff took early retirement in the last five years; at what cost; what grades of staff took early retirement; and what percentage of each grade took early retirement. 
In the former DFES, there have been voluntary early severance and retirement releases. For the 2002-03 financial year to the end of the 2006-07 financial year, the total number and cost for such releases from the former DFES were as follows:
|Financial year||Number of early releases (from former DFES)||Total cost (to former DFES) (£ million)|
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills whether (a) his Department and (b) its agencies has made payments to Flint Bishop solicitors since its establishment. 
Mr. Lammy: I can confirm that the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills and its predecessor, the Department for Education and Skills have no record of any payments to Flint Bishop solicitors during the last seven years. The Department does not hold data prior to financial year 1999-2000.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills which Bills in policy areas for which his Department is responsible introduced in the last five years contained sunset clauses; and what plans he has for the future use of such clauses. 
Mr. Lammy: In policy areas for which the Department is responsible, there have been no Bills introduced in the last five years which have contained sunset clauses. The appropriateness of a sunset clause for the whole or part of any proposed legislation is considered on a case by case basis. It is also addressed when a regulatory impact assessment relating to legislation is being prepared.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills which Bills introduced by his Department and its predecessors in areas within his Department's responsibility in the last five years did not contain sunset clauses; and if he will make a statement. 
The Higher Education Act 2004
The Patents Act 2004
The Further Education and Training Bill
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many employees in his Department were employed by (a) the Department for Education and Skills and (b) another Department prior to 27 June 2007. 
(a) 560 employees were employed by the DFES and
(b) 1,294 by an other Department prior to 27 June 2007.
Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what the total cost is of all private finance initiative projects for which his Department has responsibility completed since 1997; and what the projected cost is of such projects commissioned or underway. 
Mr. Lammy: Information on all signed private finance initiative contracts, including balance sheet treatment and future unitary charges, is included in HM Treasury's PFI Signed Projects List, which is available through
This is a working document containing information on current signed PFI projects. It is updated on a six-monthly basis to reflect the updates HM Treasury receives from Departments at Budget and pre-Budget report.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how much his Department paid in fees to recruitment agencies for (a) temporary and (b) permanent staff in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Lammy: In 2004-05, the cost of fees to recruitment agencies for temporary staff was £2,485,158. In 2005-06, the cost was £2,585,392 and in 2006-07, it was £2,076,348. The cost of temporary staff via recruitment agencies for 2007 to date is £2,210,740.
Information for fees paid in other financial years from 1997 through to 2004 for temporary staff and in each year since 1997 for permanent staff is not collected in the form requested and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
This figure does not include expenditure for taxi fares incurred abroad or claims by staff that do not have access to the on-line system. To extract this information would involve disproportionate cost.
The Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) was established under Machinery of Government changes on 28 June 2007. This response only related to those areas of responsibility held by its predecessor the Department for Education and Skills.
Mr. Lammy: The spend from departmental officials for travel within the UK on first class rail tickets for the 12 month period July 2006 to June 2007 for the former Department for Education and Skills was £3,923,948.
Mr. Lammy: The spend form departmental officials on (a) business class flights in the 12 month period July 2006 to June 2007 for the former Department for Education and Skills was £295,593 and (b) first class flights in the 12 month period July 2006 to June 2007 for the former Department for Education and Skills was £13,146.
Bill Rammell: I have not received any representations on this subject. There is no statutory post 16 curriculum. Individual colleges work with partner agencies including local authorities, the LSC, their learners and employers to deliver a curriculum which meets the needs of the community they serve.
Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what plans he has to give new responsibilities to (a) the Higher Education Funding Council for England, (b) the regional development agencies and (c) sector skills councils in the provision of further education for people aged over 19 years; and if he will make a statement. 
We set out in World Class Skills: Implementing the Leitch Review of Skills in England our plans to consider how best to deliver the functions and services that support the further education system, building on the progress made with the Learning and Skills Council over recent years in developing a demand-led approach. In taking forward these changes, the Government will work closely with key stakeholders, including the LSC, HEFCE, RDAs and Sector Skills Councils, to ensure any necessary new arrangements are introduced with minimal impact to
learners, employers and providers. We will announce in due course proposals for how we will review the funding and accountability framework to best support initiative and high performance.
As regards the brokerage service offered as part of the Train to Gain programme, the Sub-National Review published on 17 July made clear the Governments view that a single brokerage service is the simplest way for business to access government support. However, the Government are currently consulting on business support simplification. The conclusions of this consultation will be available to the Government by the time of the Comprehensive Spending Review, allowing the Government to give effect to any changes on the provision of brokerage services by April 2009.
Mr. Rob Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what estimate he has made of the average amount of time needed for a university graduate to repay debts incurred during study. 
Bill Rammell: We estimate that a student who entered higher education in 2006/07 will take an average of 13 years to repay their student loan. This period is counted from the statutory repayment due date, which is the April following the year of graduation.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what additional funding (a) Hertfordshire University has received from his Department and (b) his Department intends to provide to Hertfordshire University as a business facing university. 
Bill Rammell: The Department provides no direct funding to the institution, and information is not held centrally on whether the university has used its grant funding from HEFCE, or funding from other sources, to support its shift towards becoming overtly business-facing.
However, the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) has provided project funding for the University of Hertfordshire to develop its employer engagement activities. The university received £2.93 million under the third round of the Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF) to support engagement with a range of knowledge transfer activities with business, public sector and community partners, for direct or indirect economic benefit. It received Strategic Development Fund money to: take forward its employer engagement strategy through projects aiming to secure an effective and sustainable relationship with a substantial pool of employers and enable it to address the skill needs of employers, students and its graduates (£2.2 million); re-engineer the institution to meet the needs of small and medium-sized employers (£2.0 million).
Mr. Boris Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many and what percentage of (a) male and (b) female students in socio-economic groups (i) one, (ii) two, (iii) three, (iv) four, (v) five, (vi) six and (vii) seven studying (A) physics, (B) chemistry, (C) biochemistry, (D) a European modern language, (E) a non-European modern language and (F) all subjects at (x) Russell Group, (y) non-Russell Group universities and (z) departments awarded 5 or 5* in the last research assessment exercise in each of the last 10 years. 
Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many people from (a) Cornwall, (b) the south west and (c) England applied to a higher education establishment in each year since 1997. 
Bill Rammell: The latest available information is shown in the table. The figures are taken from data collected by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) which are limited to students who apply to full-time undergraduate courses via the UCAS application system. The figures do not therefore cover part-time students, nor those full-time students who apply directly to higher education institutions.
|Number of applicants from the south west and England UK higher education institutions: year of entry 1997 to 2006|
|Year of entry||Number of applicants from|
|South West||England( 1)|
|(1) Includes applicants from the south west.|
Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS)
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