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Mrs. McGuire: DWP offers a wide portfolio of L&D learning solutions that can be accessed via an IT Learning and Development Management system and L&D portals. A self-managed learning and blended learning approach incorporates e-learning, open learning, line manager coaching and classroom based activities. Available L&D solutions range from technical job specific products to enable staff to meet job requirements to generic skills and leadership development products to enable personal development or to increase staff capabilities.
DWP civil servants have access to all of the L&D solutions shown in the attached files provided subject to line manager approval that there is a business need for the L&D solution and that the training offered is relevant to the individual member of staffs job role. We are unable to provide specific details of which L&D courses have been undertaken by civil servants in the last 12 months as this information is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Where there is no in-house provision for L&D, DWP has procurement processes in place, through which external providers and L&D solutions can be brought insuch as contracts with (a) Parity to provide PRINCE 2 and Programme Management, (b) Happy Computers to provide generic IT solutions e.g. Microsoft Excel, Word etc.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will take steps to establish a strategy to tackle age discrimination and promote age equality in the provision of goods and services (a) by the Department and (b) within the sectors for which he has policy responsibility; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Department for Work and Pensions is committed to age equality, and providing services which embrace diversity and promote equality of opportunity. The Department's published equality schemes 2008 to 2011 (which can be viewed at http://www.dwp.gov.uk/aboutus/equalityschemes/progress. asp) include commitments on age.
The Department will review its policies and practices on age equality in the light of the Government's proposals for its Equality Bill. The document A Framework for a Fairer FutureThe Equality Bill published 26 June (Cm 7431 available at http://www.equalities.gov.uk/publications/frameworkforafairerfuture.doc) outlines the steps which will be taken to streamline and strengthen the law.
In 2006 the Government introduced legislation prohibiting unjustified direct and indirect age discrimination in employment and vocational training. Age Positive seeks to promote the business benefits to employers of employing older people as part of a mixed age workforce and challenge the ageist myths that some employers still believe.
The Department has been putting in place a number of initiatives to improve older people's quality of life. Through LinkAge Plus pilots, we have brought together a range of Government Departments, agencies and voluntary and community organisations to provide a seamless range of services including housing, transport and volunteering.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the incidence of work-related injuries and illnesses to foreign migrant workers employed in the construction and tourism industries in the United Kingdom since January 2005. 
Mrs. McGuire [holding answer 30 June 2008]: Current data sources, principally the Labour Force Survey and Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) 1995, do not allow such estimates to be made due to limitations in the quality of data captured regarding foreign or migrant workers. HSE is currently reviewing evidence about the degree of risk to which foreign and migrant workers are exposed.
HSE does have limited data on fatalities to foreign/migrant workers in construction. The reporting year for workplace injury and ill-health statistics runs from 1 April to 31 March. HSE Construction Division statistics show that for the 2005-06 reporting year of 60 worker fatalities in the construction industry, five were foreign/migrant workers and in 2006-07 of 77 (provisional) worker fatalities in the construction industry, eight were foreign/migrant workers.
|Incapacity benefits age additions expenditure|
|£ million, nominal terms|
1. Figures include age additions payable to recipients of incapacity benefit, ex-invalidity benefit and severe disablement allowance.
2. Figures are rounded to the nearest £10 million.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the cost of each training course offered by Jobcentre Plus was on the latest date for which figures are available; how long each course lasted; and how many people have taken each course since their inception. 
Mr. Timms: The introduction of employment and support allowance and associated budget is a matter for the chief executive of Jobcentre Plus, Lesley Strathie. I have asked her to provide the hon. Member with the information requested.
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question asking how much has been allocated to Jobcentre Plus for training on Employment and Support Allowance. This is something that falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.
A range of job roles are affected by Employment and Support Allowance. People in these job roles will complete tailored training designed and developed to provide detailed knowledge of the new Allowance and work focused regime and to operate the new business IT systems and processes. Our Programme budget to develop and deliver this Learning and Development is £12 million covering two operational years.
I hope you find this information helpful.
Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what research he has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on a possible relationship between contact with semiconductor production materials and certain types of cancers. 
Mrs. McGuire [holding answer 3 July 2008] : The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) commissioned its own statisticians or external researchers to undertake the following studies, which have been completed and published:
A study of Cancer among current and former workers at National Semiconductor (UK) Ltd, Greenock;
A Further update of cancer incidence and cancer mortality in a cohort of semiconductor workers; and
A Feasibility study into the establishment of a retrospective cohort study of workers in the British semiconductor industry.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of people who have found jobs through the New Deal for (a) young people, (b) 25 plus, (c) disabled people, (d) older people and (e) lone parents. 
|Number of individuals who have found jobs through certain new deal programmes. November 2007|
|Number of individuals|
Figures are rounded to the nearest 10.
Department for Work and Pensions, Information Directorate.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many existing claimants of incapacity benefit requested, but were declined, a place on a Pathways to Work programme in each year for which information is available. 
Mr. Timms: All existing incapacity benefits claimants are free to volunteer for a place on the Pathways to Work programme. Between 1 per cent. and 2 per cent. of the caseload do so each year. We have no evidence that existing incapacity benefits customers have been declined a place.
Mrs. Humble: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether the departmental commissioning strategy is applied when transferring work from one contractor to another under Pathways to Work. 
Mr. Timms: The Department's commissioning strategy was published after the award of Pathways to Work contracts. However, in cases where work had to be transferred, for instance because a contractor became insolvent, the same overarching principles of ensuring a consistent and coherent service for the customers would have been applied.
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps have been taken to improve service delivery by contractual providers to new clients under Pathways to Work; what contractual provisions
he has imposed on A4e in the last 12 months; and what steps his Department has taken to improve the monitoring of contract providers. 
The implementation of a revised Contract Management Framework, setting out the processes for monitoring departmental contracts, enables early identification of poor performance so remedial action can be put in place. A Supplier Relationship Management Team set up in April this year aims to develop strong, positive relationships with providers in order to help us improve delivery of services to customers. The new Commissioning Strategy, published on 28 February this year, includes a Code of Conduct which spells out the key values and principles of behaviour we expect of providers and which are essential for creating healthy, high performing supply chains. Additionally, the introduction of a star rating accreditation system for providers will enable the Department and welfare to work providers to understand and drive up performance.
At the beginning of this year the Department agreed an improvement plan with A4e to address some issues with the delivery and management of their New Deal contract in Manchester. A4e has now successfully addressed all areas of concern.
Mr. Plaskitt: We have recently carried out some research looking at the interaction of older people with the Social Fund in particular with regard to community care grants. The information obtained from that research is currently being evaluated. When we receive the final evaluation report we will study the recommendations closely before deciding the way forward.
Mr. Devine: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps he plans to take to make progress towards the Governments targets on child poverty reduction; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Timms: We have succeeded in arresting and reversing the rising trend of child poverty, with 600,000 children lifted above the line in the past decade. On Budget day we published Ending Child Poverty: everybodys business, setting out progress to date and the Governments strategy.
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what estimate his Department has made of the number and proportion of lone parents
living in poverty and entitled to but not claiming (a) council tax benefit and housing benefit or local housing allowance, (b) council tax and income support, (c) income support and housing benefit or local housing allowance and (d) income support, housing benefit or local housing allowance and council tax benefit in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what estimate his Department has made of the number and proportion of couples with children with one or both parents working, living in poverty and who were entitled to but not claiming (a) council tax benefit and housing benefit or local housing allowance, (b) council tax benefit and income support, (c) income support and housing benefit or local housing allowance and (d) income support, housing benefit or local housing allowance and council tax benefit in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement; 
(3) what estimate he has made of the number and proportion of working lone parents entitled to but not claiming (a) council tax benefit and housing benefit or local housing allowance, (b) council tax benefit and income support, (c) income support and housing benefit or local housing allowance and (d) incom e support, housing benefit or local housing allowance and council tax benefit in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement; 
(4) how many and what proportion of couples with children, where one or both parents are working, were entitled to but not claiming (a) council tax benefit and housing benefit/local housing allowance, (b) council tax benefit and income support, (c) income support and housing benefit/local housing allowance and (d) income support, housing benefit/local housing allowance and council tax benefit, in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Timms: Estimates of the numbers of entitled non-recipients of income-related benefits in Great Britain, covering income support, pension credit, housing benefit, council tax benefit and jobseekers allowance (income-based) are published in the report, income related benefits estimates of take-up in 2006-07; copies of this and earlier reports in the series, are available in the Library.
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