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Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment his Department has made of links between terrorist groups operating in Yemen and terrorist groups operating in (a) Afghanistan and (b) Pakistan; and if he will make a statement. 
David Miliband: We judge it likely that terrorist groups operating in Yemen receive strategic direction from terrorist groups operating in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and that there are probably facilitation links between terrorist groups in the tribal areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan, and terrorist groups in Yemen.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the Yemeni Government's implementation of the requirements in UN Security Council Resolutions 1737 (2001) and 1377 (2001) on the suppression of terrorism; and if he will make a statement. 
David Miliband: The Government of Yemen has committed publicly to combating terrorism both inside and outside Yemen. It has conducted several successful operations, including against members of Al-Qaida in Yemen, most recently in August. This operation resulted in the death of a high-profile terrorist suspect, Hamza al-Qaiti.
We are working with the Government of Yemen to counter the threat of terrorism to the UK from Yemen and to UK interests in Yemen. In the short-term we are focused on protecting British interests in a volatile security environment. In the longer-term we are developing joint work on preventing terrorism by tackling the radicalisation of individuals and reducing the threat to the UK and UK interests through disrupting terrorists and their operations.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many people were undertaking an apprenticeship in each year since 1997; and what estimate his Department has made of the number of people who will be undertaking an apprenticeship in each of the next five years. 
Mr. Simon: Table 1 shows the number of people that have started on an apprenticeship from 1997 to 2006/07, the latest year for which fully audited data is available. Information for 2007/08 is due to be published in a statistical first release in December 2008.
Information on future apprenticeships starts are due to be made available next month through the Annual Statement of Priorities published by the Learning and Skills Council. This will include latest estimates of the actual starts for the 2007/08 academic year, and proposals for delivery during 2008/09, 2009/10 and 2010/11. Resources have not yet been made available beyond that period.
|Table 1: Apprenticeship Starts, 1997/98 to 2006/07|
1. These figures represent learners starting an apprenticeship or an advanced apprenticeship. Additionally, there are a very small number of higher level apprenticeships included in the 2006/07 total.
2. Figures are rounded to the nearest thousand.
Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what representations he has received on apprenticeships which might be terminated because of job losses and company failures in the current economic climate; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Simon: We are aware that in some construction companies apprenticeship places are at risk and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State met major representatives of the construction industry in August to discuss what we might do to protect such apprentices. As a result, the Learning and Skills Council in partnership with the sector skills body, ConstructionSkills, has established a service to help construction apprentices at risk of losing their jobs find a new employer or place them in a full-time construction training place while an employer is found for them. I and my ministerial colleagues are actively engaging with employers to ensure that if we need to intervene in other areas we will be prepared to respond flexibly to promote and support apprenticeships.
Mr. Prisk: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what proportion of invoices for goods and services procured from small and medium-sized businesses were paid within 30 days of receipt by (a) his Department and (b) the agencies for which his Department is responsible in 2007-08; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Simon: The information is not available in the format requested as the Department does not separately identify its suppliers as small or medium-sized businesses. The proportions of valid invoices for all goods and services procured and paid within 30 days of receipt by the Department and its agencies in 2007-08 are as follows:
Annual Report and Accounts 2007-08 for each of the aforementioned bodies.
Adam Afriyie: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 29 October 2008, Official Report, columns 32-33WS, on Education (Student Support) Regulations, when his Department will identify the £1.5 billion of cash-releasing efficiency savings referred to. 
Mr. Lammy: The Department published its Value for Money Delivery Agreement for the CSR period in December 2007. This set out how it plans to achieve cash releasing savings of £1.5 billion over the period. The delivery strategy includes increasing co-funding from the private sector, reprioritising spend, and achieving improved procurement and shared services by its delivery partners.
Mr. Prisk: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how much (a) his Department and (b) its Executive agencies spent on (i) recruitment consultants and (ii) external recruitment advertising to recruit staff in each of the last five financial years; which recruitment consultants were employed for those purposes in each of those years; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Simon: The Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills was created as a result of machinery of Government changes in June 2007. Information on how much was spent on recruitment consultants and external recruitment advertising to recruit staff prior to this date is not held by the Department.
In 2007-08, the Department spent £243,548 in total on recruitment consultants and external recruitment advertising to recruit staff. The recruitment consultants
employed by the Department for those purposes include KMC international, Kay Management Consultants Ltd. and Capita Resourcing Ltd.
|Advertising (£)||Consultants (£)|
|Advertising (£)||Consultants (£)|
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many civil servants in his Department were seconded to work for (a) trade unions and (b) the Trades Union Congress in each year since its inception. 
Stephen Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how much his Department spent on the offender learning and skills service in (a) the most recent year for which figures are available and (b) in each of the previous five years, broken down by main budget heading. 
The offender learning and skills service was introduced in August 2005 in three regions, before being rolled out across England in August 2006. Following machinery of Government changes in June 2007, funding for the offender learning and skills service, previously
from the Department for Education and Skills vote, was divided between the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills and the Department for Children, Schools and Families. The following figures set out spending by the Learning and Skills Council on offender skills and employment in prisons and young offender institutions, and on specific provision for offenders in the community.
|Offender learning and skills service spend|
|(1) Department for Education and Skills. (2) Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills and for Children, Schools and Families.|
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many postgraduate students were studying for (a) doctorates, (b) Masters degrees and (c) other postgraduate qualifications in the latest period for which figures are available, broken down by socio-economic group. 
Mr. Lammy: Figures are given in the following table. The latest period for which figures are available is the 2006/07 academic year; figures for the 2007/08 academic year will be available in January 2009.
|Postgraduate enrolments( 1) by qualification aim, English higher education institutions, 2006/07 academic year|
|(1) Figures cover postgraduate enrolments from all domiciles on full-time and part-time courses. Notes: Figures are on a HESA Standard Registration Population (SRP) basis and have been rounded to the nearest five. Source: Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) Student Record.|
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how much was spent on widening participation in higher education in each year since 1999-2000; and how much has been spent on (a) outreach activity to raise aspirations and attainment among potential students, (b) improving retention and (c) widening access and improving provision for students with disabilities in each of these years. 
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