Mr. Burstow: To ask the Minister for the Olympics what estimate she has made of the length of time it will take to travel to the 2012 Olympic Games main stadium from (a) Manchester, (b) Leeds, (c) Birmingham, (d) Edinburgh, (e) each London borough and (f) each European capital city when the Games are taking place. 
Tessa Jowell: This far in advance of the games, the timetables operated by private sector train operators and airlines are indeterminate, therefore it would be misleading to give precise journey times this far ahead.
The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) continues to work with a wide range of stakeholders to plan transport arrangements for the 2012 games. This work includes extensive transport demand forecasting and modelling, which draws on estimates of journey times from a range of sources. People will travel to the Olympic Park using a wide range of transport modes including National Rail, London Underground, Docklands Light Railway (DLR), bus, coach, park and ride as well as walking and cycling. Journey times will vary by mode, or a combination of modes.
The ODA uses a range of data sources to predict journey times including the Department for Transports (Transport Direct Portal) database, plus the most up-to-date data from train operating companies and Transport for London. The ODA also uses a range of computer modelling techniques to estimate total journey times and costs, which are widely used by transport practitioners, agencies and local authorities across the country.
Journey times from European cities will vary considerably depending on whether people are travelling by Eurostar, short-haul flights, or road-based transport. If travelling by Eurostar, people will be able to interchange at either Ebbsfleet or St. Pancras where they will have a train journey of either 10 minutes or seven minutes via the games-time Javelin service to Stratford International for the Olympic Park.
Mr. Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of the Higher Education Funding Council for Englands arrangements for liaison in the North West region with sixth form and other further education colleges involved with the Aimhigher initiative. 
Arrangements for ensuring the effectiveness of liaison with sixth form and other further education colleges in the North West are made through area partnership committees for each of the Aimhigher areas.
Each area partnership committee has a lead higher education institution that acts as the treasurer to the committee ensuring accountability for funding. Sixth form and further education colleges are part of each area committee. In addition, Action on Access provides support for partnerships. The area partnership committee structure was introduced for Aimhigher for the 2008-11 phase of the programme. The first monitoring reports will be available in July 2009 and will be evaluated by an external assessment.
Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many people were on (a) apprenticeships and (b) advanced apprenticeships in (i) City of York constituency and (ii) the City of York local authority area (A) on the latest date for which figures are available and (B) the same date in each of the last 10 years. 
Mr. Simon: Table 1 shows the number of apprenticeship starts for learners living in the parliamentary constituency of City of York, and separately for learners living in York local authority. Figures are presented from 2002/03 to 2006/07, the latest year for which fully audited data is available. Comparable information is not available prior to the formation of the Learning and Skills Council in 2001.
|Table 1: Apprenticeship starts in City of York parliamentary constituency and York local authority
1. Figures may not sum due to rounding
2. Local authority and parliamentary constituency is based on learners home postcode
Work Based Learning ILR data
Mr. Jeremy Browne: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what the remit is of each non-departmental public body sponsored by his Department; and what budget each has been set for (a) 2008-09, (b) 2009-10 and (c) 2010-11. 
|Non - departmental public body
|(1) Includes residual funding for Sector Skills Development Agency ) in 2007-08.
(2) Funding for IIP UK for 2009-10 and 2010-11 is yet to be announced.
(3) On 1 October 2008, the Quality Improvement Agency (QIA) and the Centre for Excellence in Leadership (CEL) transferred their operations to the Learning and Skills Improvement Service (LSIS). In March 2008, the Secretary of State sent LSIS a letter announcing a grant of £129 million for 2008-09, This figure has since been raised to £145 million.
(4) National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) is funded by an endowment from the National lottery rather than grant-in-aid.
The advisory NDPBs sponsored by the Department incur little or no information on budgets for 2008-11 is not available.
Departmental Annual Report 2007-08 Annex 9 except Research Councils and STFC: The Allocations of the Science Budget 2008-09 to 2010-11 and HP UK and QIA : Main Estimate 2008-09.
Mr. Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what meetings he has had with the Higher Education Funding Council for England to discuss the new University Challenge learning hubs in the North West region. 
Mr. Lammy: Ministers and officials speak to many institutions and organisations about issues that affect Individuals' progression to higher education. The Higher Education Funding Council for England Is now looking at the responses to consultation on our new University Challenge policy but it is already clear that this is going to be a very successful policy, which has generated interest in all parts of the country.
Mr. Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what discussions the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) has had with (a) employees and (b) employer organisations in the North West on their input to funding HEFCE's decision-making process in the last 12 months. 
Mr. Lammy: HEFCE uses formulae to determine how most of the money is allocated between HE institutions, helping to reduce the number of separate funding streams and minimise the accountability burden. These formulae take account of certain factors for each institution, including the number and type of students, the subjects taught, and the amount and quality of research undertaken.
In the North West region, close contact with the North West Development Agency, the Learning and Skills Council and other agencies, together with employer representative involvement in its Employer Engagement Panel, routinely help to inform HEFCE's decisions over that funding which is not allocated by formula.
Mr. Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what groups his officials have met in the North West to discuss widening access to higher education in the region in the last 12 months. 
Mr. Lammy: Widening access to higher education is a Government priority and my officials have engaged in discussions with a wide range of partners in the North West on numerous topics related to widening access to higher education. As our policy initiatives are primarily taken forward by stakeholders, we find contact with such groups invaluable as they can advise on issues at a local level and we can update them on national developments. Specific groups involved include lifelong learning networks, educational establishments, those involved in the Train to Gain initiative and Aimhigher Partnerships, among others.