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18 Dec 2008 : Column 1064Wcontinued
From the 1998/99 academic year and onwards the methodology for counting students was changed from a snapshot (census date) to a whole year count (students active in the academic year) in order to better record students following non traditional enrolment patterns. Therefore the figures in the following table are on a different basis to those in the aforementioned table.
|Enrolments( 1) and increases to higher education courses by mode of study. English higher education institutions. 1998/99 to 2006/07 academic years|
|Year on year increase||Year on year increase|
|Academic year||Full-time enrolments||Number||Proportion (percentage)||Part-time Enrolments||Number||Proportion (percentage)|
|(1 )Figures cover enrolments from all domiciles to undergraduate and postgraduate courses.|
Figures are on a HESA Standard Registration Population (SRP) basis. Numbers are rounded to the nearest five and proportions are rounded to one decimal place.
Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) Student Record.
Joan Ryan: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many people living in Enfield North constituency have participated in the Train to Gain programme in each of the last three years. 
Mr. Simon: There were 310 people living in the parliamentary constituency of Enfield North who started a Train to Gain programme in 2006/07.
1. Train to Gain was created in April 2006. Standard reporting practice is to include the months of April to July 2006 in the 2006/07 academic year. The aforementioned figure therefore cover Train to Gain achievements over a 16-month period.
2. Fully audited figures are not yet available for 2007/08.
3. Constituency is based on learners home postcode.
Derek Twigg: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many people living in Halton have participated in the Train to Gain programme in each of the last three years. 
Mr. Simon: There were 480 people living in the parliamentary constituency of Halton who started a Train to Gain programme in 2006-07.
1. Train to Gain was created in April 2006. Standard reporting practice is to include the months of April to July 2006 in the 2006-07 academic year. These figures therefore cover Train to Gain achievements over a 16-month period.
2. Fully audited figures are not yet available for 2007-08.
3. Constituency is based on learner's home postcode.
Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what estimate he has made of the number of businesses in Oxfordshire that will receive extra Train to Gain funding as announced in the Pre-Budget Report. 
Mr. Simon: I recently announced that I have relaxed the funding rules for Train to Gain for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). To help get them the training that they need, these new flexibilities offer funding for selected units and thin qualifications in business critical areas , and more funding for qualifications at level 2 and 3 for those who already have qualifications at that level. We are promoting this new offer to all SMEs. We will also continue to encourage larger employers to access Train to Gain to help increase the skills of their staff and the productivity of their business.
It is not possible to predict the level of take up particular to a local authority as it is dependent on employer demand. LSC data indicate that during the 2006-07 academic year, 41,700 SMEs were engaged by Train to Gain, representing 83 per cent. of all employers engaged.
Joan Ryan: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what steps his Department plans to take to ensure that people who lose their jobs in the current economic downturn will have the necessary skills and qualifications to re-enter employment. 
Mr. Simon: The Government announced in October 2008 that we are setting aside £100 million from the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) to deliver integrated employment and skills support for those facing redundancy. The pre-Budget report on 24 November announced that the funds available now total £158 million and form part of a wider package on employment to support retraining, skills development and job search for those facing redundancy or already looking for work.
Support will be carefully targeted to help, for example, people from sectors experiencing significant job losses and will help the Learning and Skills Council, with local colleges and training providers working closely with Jobcentre Plus to make sure those people most affected get access to the services they need.
The Department is working closely with DWP and BERR to develop the package of support for people facing redundancy and further details will be announced shortly.
Mr. Rob Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how much has been provided from each applicable funding stream for (a) universities and (b) further education colleges to enable people made redundant to re-train. 
Mr. Simon: Universities are playing a central role in supporting businesses and individuals. Universities UK have recently published a brochure which summarises the help universities are offering to individuals and businesses during the downturn. These activities are being funded from existing budgets, and from the £120 million savings made by universities as a result of the reduction in VAT.
Planned investment for adult participation in further education and skills will increase to £3.3 billion in 2009-10. The Government investment strategy underpinning this investment includes specific measures designed to help people who have been made redundant to retrain. This includes: providing more flexibility for colleges and providers in the use of funding for courses below level 2 (equivalent of five good GCSEs) to enable them to respond to demand from learners looking to get back into employment; and exploring ways to reward colleges and providers who deliver sustainable employment outcomes for learners.
As announced in the pre-Budget report in November 2008, £158 million of European Social Funds will be available over the next three years, £79 million of which will be matched with LSC funding. This will help support people currently facing redundancy and those looking for work to retrain and develop their skills so they can quickly move back into sustainable employment. Details of the package of support will be announced shortly.
Mrs. Moon: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality how much was spent by the Government Equalities Office on furniture made by (a) British firms, (b) Remploy and (c) overseas firms since it was established. 
Maria Eagle: The Government Equalities Office has not made any purchases of furniture.
Bob Spink: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality if she will make it her policy to ensure that those temporary and permanent employees at the same grade in the Governments Equalities Office who are paid at an hourly rate are paid at the same rate. 
Maria Eagle: The Government Equalities Office has already adopted this policy and employs some temporary staff on fixed term contracts (typically between three and six months) at the same rate of pay as permanent employees in the same grade.
Other temporary staff are employed from agencies for shorter periods. In these cases the GEO negotiates a rate for the job dependent upon the knowledge and experience available.
Lynne Jones: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality if she will place in the Library a copy of the Governments submission to the European Court of Human Rights on rights for same-sex couples in Austria; and if she will make a statement. 
Bridget Prentice: I have been asked to reply.
I have placed in the Library a copy of the submissions made by the United Kingdom in the case of Schalk and Kopf v. Austria.
The main purpose of the UK intervention in this case is to argue that the right to marry under Article 12 of the European Convention on Human Rights does not require marriage to be made available to same-sex couples. This remains the Governments firmly held position.
A further argument in this case relies on Article 14 (the prohibition on discrimination in the protection of the Convention rights) read with Article 8 (the right to respect for private and family life). These provisions have been held not to require states to provide formal legal status for same-sex relationships. The Government chose to introduce civil partnerships for reasons of social justice and equality, instead of being obliged to do so.
As my noble friend Lord Bach has noted, we have agreed to reconsider the technical aspect of the intervention on the meaning of family life and article 8, and will clarify our position with the Court on that point.
Mr. Ancram: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what bonuses were paid by his Department in 2007-08; to which members of staff; and for what purposes. 
Mr. McFadden: The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform awards non-consolidated bonuses in two formats:
1. Special bonuses to recognise performance, in particularly, demanding tasks or situations. Staff in receipt of a special bonus may also receive an annual performance award.
2. Annual performance awards paid to highly successful performers as part of the annual pay award.
Based on the information available, the number of staff receiving these awards, and total amount of bonuses for which this information can be provided is in the following table.
|Special bonus||Performance awards|
|Financial year( 1)||Number of staff receiving||Total value (£)||Number of staff receiving||Total value (£)|
|(1) Financial year running from 1 April to 31 March.|
(2) In 2007-08, the total value of bonuses paid was approximately 1.5 per cent. of the total Departments paybill.
(3) Includes staff who were transferred from DTI to DIUS as part of the June 2007 machinery of government changes as these staff received a DTI/BERR pay award in 2007. Does not include those staff transferred into BERR from Cabinet Office and the Department for Communities and Local Government as part of the June 2007 machinery of government changes as these staff received Cabinet Office and DCLG pay awards respectively in 2007.
The special bonuses and performance awards for non-SCS staff are paid on a non-consolidated, non-pensionable basis and do not increase the Departments paybill costs each year. For the SCS, the Senior Salaries Review Body determines the level of expenditure to cover bonuses.
Rob Marris: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what responsibilities the regional development agencies will have under the proposals set out in the Raising Expectations White Paper; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Simon: I have been asked to reply.
The White Paper Raising Expectations: enabling the system to deliver, set out proposals to ensure that the needs of learners (young people and adults) and employers are met by a more responsive system. Responsibility for the planning, commissioning and funding for education and training for 16 to 19-year-olds will transfer to local authorities, supported by a new Young Peoples Learning Agency. For adults we propose to build on the demand led approach, including through the creation of a new Skills Funding Agency and strengthened advice and support services for adults and employers.
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