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Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills if he will bring forward proposals to allow contractors employed by his Department to apply for internal job vacancies advertised within his Department; what recent representations he has received on this issue; and if he will make a statement. 
The Department has no plans to allow contractors to apply for internal job vacancies advertised. Permanent members of staff only are eligible to apply for internal job vacancies. Contractors
are not employees of the Department. If we are unable to fill a post internally, we may advertise the vacancy externally. In this instance, the principles of the civil service commissioners recruitment code would be applied. The code is mandatory and must be followed when any post if opened up to competition from outside the civil service. The fundamental principle is that appointments must be made on merit on the basis of fair and open competition.
Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many employees in (a) his Department and (b) each (i) executive agency and (ii) non-departmental public body funded by his Department applied to continue to work beyond state retirement age in the latest year or part thereof for which figures are available; and how many of those applications were successful. 
Mr. Lammy: The Department has no set retirement age for the majority of staff. A retirement age of 65 has been adopted by central Government for the senior civil service but members of the SCS can request to work beyond that age.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what steps his Department is taking to increase the number of older people in formal learning or educational programmes. 
We recognise the invaluable contribution that older people can and do make to the economic and social wellbeing of this country. We are
committed to ensuring that learning serves the needs of the whole community, including older people both within and outside the work force. Our strategy for world class skills and our reforms of wider adult learning are designed to ensure that everyone, whatever their age or background, has the opportunity to improve their skills, prospects and quality of life.
Older people will continue to benefit from a wide range of publicly-funded learning opportunities. Many will be able to take advantage of access to literacy and numeracy courses free of charge, as well as free tuition to a first full level 2 qualification. Older people in the work force will benefit from our work with employers to upskill or reskill in line with the changing needs of the economy. Older people will also benefit from our commitment to safeguard the funding of learning for personal and community development at £210 million through to 2010-11.
Our wider policies aim to encourage older people, especially the disadvantaged and those in hard-to-reach groups, to take up learning through a variety of other learning opportunities, including: unlocking the potential of libraries, museums and galleries as places of learning for older people in partnership with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport; helping them to access information and communications technology through UK Online; working with the Home Office and other partners to encourage older people to use their skills and learn new skills as peer mentors and volunteers; and improving guidance and publicity materials for older people from minority ethnic groups.
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many applications for undergraduate university courses were made by students from each London constituency in each year since 2005-06. 
Bill Rammell: The information is not held by my Department. The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service collects information on applicants to full-time undergraduate courses at UK higher education institutions but they do not produce figures on the number of applicants by parliamentary constituency.
The latest figures which were published by UCAS on 17 October showed that, compared to 2006, applicants from England who had been accepted for entry in 2007 had risen by 6.4 per cent. to 306,000, the highest ever.
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how much was spent on the security of (a) public and (b) private institutions studying pathogens that act on (i) humans and (ii) animals in each of the last five years in 2006 prices. 
This information is not collected centrally by Government. The Government do not provide specific funding to research establishments in order that they
comply with proscribed biological security standards. If an organisation cannot meet the standard, licenses are either not supplied or are revoked. Legislation covering the security of pathogens and toxins is captured within the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001.
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills (1) how many new learners enrolled in learndirect centres in each of the last three years; and how many centres are enrolling new learners; 
(2) how many qualifications were obtained by learndirect learners in each of the last three years, broken down by level of qualification; and how many of them were (a) IT qualifications and (b) in other areas of content. 
Mr. Lammy: The number of learners, new in-year to Ufi, in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in the past three years is 524,000 in 2004-05; 367,000 in 2005-06; and 249,000 in 2006-07. Over the same period, the number of learndirect centres enrolling new learners has been 1,587 in 2004-05 and 1,152 in 1,036 in 2006-07.
The reductions in Ufis learner numbers are part of our strategy to offer longer courses related to our national targets. We now focus funding on the courses where it can make the most difference rather than shorter courses which provide less benefit. Ufi has moved towards a significantly greater number of learners on priority courses. The number of learners gaining their first Skills for Life test passes has doubled over the past three years and those learners gaining their first NVQ qualification has risen from zero to over 3,500 in the same period.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what the reasons were for the time taken to provide funds for repair work to the drainage system at the Pirbright laboratory facility; and if he will make a statement. 
|Number of borrowers with student loans repaid in fullfinancial year in which loan fully repaid|
|Financial year||Borrowers with loans fully repaid ( Th ousand)( 1)|
|(1) Borrowers who have paid at least one loan account in full in the financial year. This includes accounts with small balance write-offs of £5 or less and accounts closed under the Repayment of Teacher Loans scheme.|
(2) Data up to 2004-05 are on a UK basis, separate England figures were not available for those years.
(3) Data from 2005-06 cover English domiciled borrowers.
(4) 2006-07 data are provisional.
Consistent data are not available before 2000-01.
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what the average (a) training and (b) student support costs were to train (i) a doctor on a conventional undergraduate training scheme over six years and (ii) a doctor on a fast-track postgraduate training scheme over four years in the latest period for which figures are available; and from which budgets the funding was drawn. 
Bill Rammell: In the period between entry to medical school and full registration, it is estimated that training a doctor costs between £225,000 and £275,000. Doctors generally continue training after full registration. As the duration and nature of post-registration training varies greatly and as service and training costs are closely related, it is not possible to provide a meaningful estimate of the total cost of training.
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what the (a) budgetary allocations and (b) outturn was for University for Industry (including learndirect) in (i) 2004-05, (ii) 2005-06 and (iii) 2006-07. 
|n/a = not available|
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