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1 May 2008 : Column 681Wcontinued
Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which police forces she has (a) received representations from and (b) had discussions with on concerns surrounding threats to public order arising from overcrowding or delays in processing passengers through airport security, customs and immigration procedures. 
Mr. Byrne: The United Kingdom Border Agency regularly engages with police forces throughout the country with responsibility for airports to ensure that arriving flights are managed effectively, that passengers are processed efficiently and that threats to public order are minimised.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what steps the Cogent Sector Skills Council is taking to ensure that there is an adequate supply of people with the skills needed for the nuclear waste industries. 
Mr. Lammy: Cogent Sector Skills Council (SSC) works with employers to ensure that the nuclear industrys skill requirements are met.
Cogent has a sector skills agreement (SSA) with the nuclear industry, Government, trade unions and other stakeholders. This identifies the skills needs of the sector and the recruitment, training and education solutions needed to address skills gaps. One important solution is the launch of the National Skills Academy for Nuclear (NSAN). NSAN is a subsidiary company of Cogent and, responding to employer demand in the sector, its focus is UK-wide with responsibilities for assuring training provision to agreed standards.
To address the specific skill needs of the nuclear waste industry, Cogent is working closely with the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, the National Skills Academy for Nuclear and employers. The initiatives include a web-based career pathways service and development of apprenticeship/modern apprenticeship frameworks, a nuclear industry training framework and national occupational standards along with the associated Scottish/national vocational qualifications, and foundation degrees. The career pathways scope the skills to deal with current nuclear waste volumes and the requirements of a future national nuclear waste repository.
Through the Alliance of SSCs, Cogent works with related SSCs as well as with other skills bodies, such as the Engineering Construction Industry Trade Board, to ensure the full range of skills required to deal with nuclear waste are available.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills whether his Department provides health or social care services out of public funds, with reference to the statement by the Minister of State, Department of Health, in the Health and Social Care Bill Committee, of 17 January 2008, Official Report, column 327. 
Mr. Lammy: The Department does not provide any health or social care services out of public funds.
Greg Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what payments the Learning and Skills Council made to Weber Shandwick Public Affairs in each of the last five years; on what date; and for what purpose the payment was made in each case. 
Bill Rammell: The payments made by the Learning and Skills Council at this level of detail are not collected by my Department. This is an operational matter for the LSC as they determine any payments to local providers, partners and other organisations that are necessary to support the delivery of the Councils key priorities and targets. Mark Haysom, the Councils chief executive, has written to the hon. Member with further information and a copy of his reply has been placed in the House Library.
Letter from Mark Haysom, dated 30 April 2008:
I refer to your recent parliamentary question relating to the above. I am replying as your question is about the Learning and Skills Council.
Your question asked the Secretary State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what payments the Learning and Skills Council have made to Weber Shandwick Public Affairs in each of the last five years; on what date; and for what purpose the payment was made in each case.
Below is a table that gives the amounts paid in the last five years totalling £94,187.87:
|Payment amount (£)|
The LSC has engaged the firm in its capacity as a Public Affairs Consultant to provide strategic counsel to the LSC Public Affairs team. The payments were all for information on the public affairs and media arenas in relation to the education and skills sector.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many and what proportion of (a) part-time and (b) mature students are in receipt of Government-funded support for the latest period for which figures are available. 
Bill Rammell: The number and proportion of undergraduate students in receipt of student support is as follows (postgraduate students do not generally qualify for support):
|Part-time and mature students, England, academic year 2006/07|
|Students||Students receiving loans, grants or allowances||Percentage receiving support|
|(1) English domiciled part-time students studying in the UK.|
(2) English domiciled students studying in the UK and EU domiciled students studying in institutions in England. Students receiving support includes PGCE students.
Higher Education Statistics Agency and Student Loans Company
Part-time students need to be studying at 50 per cent. of the intensity of a full-time student to apply for both a fee and course grant. This Government was the first to introduce statutory support for part-time students, in 2000/01. In 2006/07, we introduced the most generous package of financial support ever for part-time students in England. This included increasing the maximum fee grant by 27 per cent. and an above-inflation increase in the income threshold for receiving this support.
Mature full-time students are generally eligible for the same student support package as other students but maintenance loans are only available to those under 60. They can also access targeted support including the Adult Dependants Grant, Parents Learning Allowance, Childcare Grant and Disabled Students Allowance. Students may also qualify for a bursary from their higher education institution.
From 2008/09, we are increasing the income thresholds for the means tested maintenance grant so many more full-time students, including mature students, will receive grant support. This will mean that one third of all eligible students in England entering higher education in the academic year 2008/09 are expected to be entitled to a full non-repayable grant worth £2,835 and another one third are expected to be entitled to a partial grant.
Mr. Rob Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many students from other EU member states other than the UK had a loan from the Student Loans Company at the latest date for which figures are available; and what the total value of such loans was. 
Bill Rammell: EC nationals are eligible for tuition fee support only, provided that they have been ordinarily resident in the EEA and Switzerland for the three years prior to the start of their course. Prior to 2006/07 this support was in the form of a means tested grant.
During academic year 2006/07 8,300 EU domicile students took out loans with a total value of £22 million, which represents 0.6 per cent. of the total amount borrowed during the year.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what the cost of the Quality Improvement Agency has been; and if he will make a statement. 
Bill Rammell: The Quality Improvement Agency for Lifelong Learning is an advisory NDPB and was established on 1 April 2006. QIA will soon be merged with the Centre for Excellence in Leadership to form a new sector owned improvement body for the further education and skills sector.
In the financial year 2006 to 2007 the QIAs budget was £95.315 million, and its gross expenditure was £93.135 million.
In the financial year 2007 to 2008 the QIAs budget was £114.773 million. The figure for its gross expenditure in the financial year 2007-08 is not yet available as the Department will not receive the final accounts for that year from the QIA until mid July.
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what estimate he has made of the level of debt which will be owed to the Student Loans Company in each of the next five years. 
Bill Rammell: The estimated amount of outstanding publicly owned student loans at the end of each of the next five financial years is:
|End of financial year||Total outstanding (£ billion) (rounded to nearest £ billion)|
The amounts include those taken out by English domiciled students studying in the UK and EU students studying in England, as well as Mortgage Style (MS) loans taken out by English and Welsh domiciled students studying in the UK.
There will be steady growth in the total value of outstanding loans over the next five years, with estimated repayment levels being lower than the estimated value of new loans. Several years further into the future, the income contingent repayment (ICR) loans system will be fully mature and there will be consistent numbers of borrowers studying, repaying, completing repayment and having loans cancelled after 25 years. At that stage, the total value of loans in real terms is expected to peak.
These amounts include all ICR loans and do not take account of potential future sales of loans to the private sector. They include Mortgage Style loans, except those that were sold to the private sector in 1998 and 1999.
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many and what proportion of undergraduate part-time students in England were ineligible for a fee grant solely because (a) they already had a Level 4 qualification, (b) they were studying for less than 50 per cent. of a full-time course and (c) their income was assessed as too high, in the last year for which figures are available. 
Bill Rammell: Information on the sole reason for a student being ineligible for a fee grant is not available. Some students are not eligible for more than one reason.
|Part-time English domiciled undergraduate students who already have a level 4 qualification or are studying at less than 50 per cent. intensity, academic year 2006/07|
Already have Level 4 qualification and studying at 50 per cent. or more intensity
Without previous Level 4 qualification and studying at less than 50 per cent. intensity
Already have Level 4 qualification and studying at less than 50 per cent. intensity
The number of part-time students ineligible for a fee grant solely because their income was assessed as too high is not available.
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