|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Stephen Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills (1) what advice he has received from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills on the funding and management of the cross-sector standard setting bodies; 
Mr. Simon: The UK Commission for Employment and Skills has undertaken mapping work on the coverage of National Occupational Standards (NOS) and qualifications development by Sector Skills Councils (SSCs) and Standard Setting Bodies (SSBs). This recognises the need for a co-ordinated approach for national occupational standards that are commonly found across all sectors of the workforce. The UK Commission will progress arrangements for ensuring consistency across SSCs and SSBs on cross-sector standards. Proposals were put to the UK Vocational Qualification Reform Programme Board in November setting out how the UK Commission intends to ensure comprehensive occupational coverage. The proposals recognise the expertise and importance of cross-sector standard setting bodies, and are currently the subject of consultation in the Devolved Administrations. In the meantime funding and management of cross-sector standard setting bodies will continue in line with current arrangements.
Mr. Rob Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills which 10 employment sectors have the greatest acknowledged skills excess; and what the current level of unemployment in each sector is. 
Mr. Simon: The National Employer Skills Survey is a key source of data for the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills in order to understand the skills shortages across industry sectors. These surveys are undertaken by an independent research organisation.
The following table is taken from the National Employer Skills Survey (NESS) 2007 (published May 2008) and shows the number of skills shortage vacancies (SSVs) occurring in each SSC sector, and the density of these SSVs in comparison to total vacancies and employment.
|Table 3.11: Number and density of vacancies by SSC (p. 56)|
|Vacancies||SSVs (Skills shortage vacancies)||% of vacancies that are SSVs||SSVs per 1000 employees|
Figures rounded to the nearest 25.
* is used where the base size was less than 25. Figures in italics denote base sizes of 25 to 49 and should be treated with caution.
Mr. Lammy: Provisions were included in the Higher Education Act 2004 to prevent student loans from being written off on bankruptcy. The numbers of students notifying the Student Loans Company of their bankruptcy declined from 2004 after the legislation came into effect. Currently student loans are not exempt from IVAs.
|Borrowers who notified the Student Loans Company of their bankruptcy or IVA while studying( 1. ) England|
|Financial year||Bankruptcy||IVA( 2)|
|(1) Publicly-owned loans. Figures rounded to nearest 5.|
(2 )IVA includes Trust Deed for students who moved to Scotland.
(3 )Since 2004 student loans are not written-off due to bankruptcy. From that time the number of students notifying the SLC of their bankruptcy has declined.
The Government's student finance package is designed to ensure that finance should not be a barrier to a higher education course. Student loans from the Government are not like commercial loans: interest is paid at the rate of inflation, so in real terms students only pay back what they borrowed. For income contingent loans available since 1998, repayment is linked to earnings and borrowers only repay if their earnings are over £15,000 and those taking out a student loan from 2006 have their debt cancelled after 25 years.
Mrs. Maria Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills (1) what the average childcare grant payment to students was in the most recent period for which figures are available; 
(3) how many and what proportion of students attending (a) higher education institutions and (b) foundation education colleges were women with children under the age of three in each year since 1997; 
Mr. Lammy: The childcare grant is available for full-time, higher education students with dependent children in registered or approved child care; it is not available to part-time students. For 2008/09, the childcare grant meets 85 per cent. of actual costs up to a maximum of £148.75 per week for one child (85 per cent. of the actual costs of up to £175 a week) or up to £255 per week for two or more children (85 per cent. of the actual costs of up to £300 a week) throughout the year.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|