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Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what the cost of sickness pay to staff within his Department was in the most recent year for which figures are available. 
Consequently, even if the Department routinely calculated the actual cost of sickness absence it would not have figures for a full year. The Department does not keep such a record presently because this would involve manually investigating employee sickness records and pay details on an individual basis. The cost of doing so would be disproportionate to the benefits arising. Instead, the Department has undertaken calculations on the basis of average working days lost and average salaries in the first six month of its existence. On this basis, the total cost of sickness is around £189,000 for six months.
Mr. Philip Hammond:
To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many staff in his Department and its agencies have attended the (a) Influencing with Integrity, (b) Emotional Intelligence, (c) Counselling Skills for the Workplace, (d) Managing your Confidence, (e) Balancing Work/
Life Realities and (f) Working Assertively training course run by the National School of Government in the last 12 months for which information is available; and at what cost. 
Mr. Lammy: The Department was set up as part of the Machinery of Government changes on 28 June 2007. In the period since it was formed records show the following participation by employees in the specified training programmes run by the National School of Government:
Influencing with Integrity: one employee at a cost of £726;
Working Assertively: two employees at a combined cost of £1,452.
Total cost involved: £2,178.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how much his Department has spent on first class travel since establishment, broken down by staff grade. 
Mr. Lammy: The Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills was created as a result of Machinery of government changes in June 2007. Information on travel expenditure to this detail is not collected centrally in the Department. This information could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. However, year to date, the Department has spent £1,807,973 on travel and subsistence.
Mr. Lammy: The Department was set up as part of the Machinery of Government changes on 28 June 2007. We have been keeping records of time taken to fill vacancies from 1 December 2007 this records time from advertising the post to the time a successful candidate is offered the post. Our records indicate that five posts have remained vacant for over three months and have been re-advertised.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many hours (a) in total and (b) on average per employee were worked by civil servants in his Department in the last year for which records are available. 
Records of hours worked, including overtime, are kept by individual teams across the Department and could be amalgamated only at disproportionate cost. The contractual hours of employment in DIUS are 41 per week in London and 42 elsewhere, inclusive of an hour each day as a rest break.
Subject to business needs, flexible working arrangements are available to all staff, together with scope for approved home working, part-time working and job sharing arrangements. The intention is to enable an appropriate balance to be struck between personal and work responsibilities. With this in mind, efforts are made to avoid overtime or extra hours being worked, with guidelines to the effect that this should be used only during periods of exceptional pressure of work.
Mr. Lammy: DIUS interests are mainly represented in overseas posts by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the British Council. The level of representation varies according to the size of post and the amount and significance of bilateral activity. On science and innovation issues, the Government have recently announced that DIUS will assume responsibility for leading and managing science and innovation attaches based in embassies and high commissions overseas.
Mr. MacNeil: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what targets his Department has set in relation to its employment of people with disabilities over the next five years. 
Mr. Lammy: DIUS is a new and relatively small Government Department, with the second smallest headcount in Whitehall. A member of the DIUS Departmental Board has been appointed as diversity champion to drive forward our commitment to diversity and a Diversity and Inclusion Programme Board has been established to set and deliver an effective strategy. We have already identified a number of priorities for intervention and the actions we will take to underpin them. These include the creation of a single database of information about the composition of our workforce so that we can assess our performance on equality and diversity relative to others and ensure that we are targeting action appropriately. We have also committed in principle to the setting of targets on representation within our workforce, including of disabled employees, with clear dates for achievement. This will form part of the wider proposition to employees and prospective employees of DIUS but at present the work is not sufficiently developed to indicate specific targets.
David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many claims for discrimination, based on (a) sex, (b) race and (c) sexual orientation, were brought by members of his Department and its predecessor and settled (i) in and (ii) out of court in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Lammy: It is not possible to provide information for the entirety of the period in question because my Department was created as part of the Machinery of Government changes on 28 June 2007. However, in the period since the Department was formed there have been no claims of discrimination based on gender, race or sexual orientation.
Bill Rammell: The following table lists the further education colleges which are directly funded by Higher Education Funding Council for England to deliver higher education courses, together with the provisional level of grant each college will receive in 2008-09.
|Provisional HEFCE grant 2008-09|
|Further education colleges||£|
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