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Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what the cost of his Department's contracts with public relations consultancies has been since it was established. 
Mr. Simon: The Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) was created by machinery of government changes at the end of June 2007. Information on the cost of the Departments contracts with public relations consultancies before that date is available from the predecessor departments of DIUSthe Department for Children, Schools and Families and the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform.
|(1 )Budget to 31 March 2009|
Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many staff in his Department or its predecessors were on sick leave for (a) over 30 days, (b) over 50 days and (c) over 100 days in each of the last five years. 
|Occurrences where staff have had a spell of absence||Number|
Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many staff in his Department were recorded as having been on sick leave for over 12 months on 31 December in each year since his Department was established. 
Mr. Simon: The Department was created on 28 June 2007. There have been no employees recorded as having been on sick leave for over 12 months on 31 December in each year since the Department was established.
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many language translators are employed in each of his Departments executive agencies; and what the cost of translating services provided by such people was in the latest period for which information is available. 
Mr. Simon: There are no language translators employed by the Departments executive agencies. The Department does not collect this information from its non-departmental public bodies and this information could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what criteria will apply for the allocation of Learning and Skills Council funding for capital projects; and whether he plans to make dates of approvals in principle the primary basis of prioritisation. 
But the pace of demand for capital funding has increased. Projects and the scale of Government funding they require are becoming increasingly ambitious. In addition there are signs that the ability of colleges to raise their own funds for proposed projects is being affected by the downturn.
It is for this reason that over the past few weeks the Learning and Skills Council has been working closely with colleges that have submitted or are working on bids, to look at the individual current positions before making further funding decisions. As a result of this the consideration of a small number of applications that were due for decisionboth in principle and in detailhas been deferred from December to March.
At the March meeting of the LSC National Council it will decide when it can make decisions on the small number of applications that were deferred from December to March. It will also advise on when and on what basis it will consider other capital applications. This will include as necessary, any decisions on how future proposals may be prioritised.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what steps he is taking to ensure that skills shortages for the training of flood engineers are being addressed. 
Mr. Simon: The Government support the work of Energy and Utility Skills (EUSkills) Sector Skills Council, which covers the water industries. The remit of Sector Skills Councils includes raising employer engagement, demand and investment in skills.
EUSkills, working with the water companies, have developed an on-line work force development tool which allows the water companies to undertake a number of different forecast work force scenarios. This scenario work is continuing, and water companies may include this data within their final business plans as part of their price review to Ofwat (the Water Services Regulation Authority) during 2009.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) commissioned a comprehensive report on Engineering Skills for Flood Risk Management from the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), which was produced in October 2004. The Environment Agency has had a capacity plan since May 2004 and a three year strategy to address the civil engineering skills shortage since August 2005. The Environment Agency also operate a foundation degree in Science for River and Coastal Engineering and have a new graduate training programme. These are both supported by national recruitment campaigns.
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how much his Department and its predecessor spent on courses in English for speakers of other languages in each of the last five years, broken down by course level. 
The Department has signed and is committed to the Government Skills Pledge to encourage and support all staff to achieve at least a full level 2 qualification. Some element of this support may in a few cases include supporting the attainment of basic literacy but this is provided via local colleges and incurs no direct cost to the Department.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills pursuant to the answer of 3 February 2009, Official Report, column 1098W, on higher education: anti-Semitism, when he expects to set up the dedicated sub-group to the Cross Government Working Group against anti-Semitism; who the members of the sub-group will be; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Lammy: The Department is currently in the process of establishing this group and inviting attendees to the first meeting. At this first meeting the group will agree its continuing membership and terms of reference. We see this group as playing an important role in helping to tackle anti-Semitism in higher education.
Mr. Simon: The minutes from the Learning and Skills Councils (LSC) National Council meetings are sent to and held by the Department. The LSC also makes a summary of these minutes available on its website.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what the estimated cost in empty property business rates for the vacant properties recorded on the e-PIMS database owned by the Learning and Skills Council is in 2008-09. 
Mr. Simon: E-PIMS does not hold the information requested about the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) vacant properties. However, the LSC does collect this information separately and I have asked Mark Haysom, LSC chief executive, to write to the hon. Member. A copy will be placed on the House Library.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills with reference to the answer to the hon. Member for Brentwood and Ongar of 20 February 2008, Official Report, column 760W, on new local government network: finance, how much funding his Department has provided to the new local government network since February 2008; and what the purpose of the allocation of £56,417 by the Learning and Skills Council was. 
Mr. Simon: We are not aware of any funding being made available to the New Local Government Network (NLGN) by this Department. However, the Learning and Skills Council (LSC), which is a non-departmental public body sponsored by this Department, provided £21,150 for corporate membership of the Network for the period January 2008 to December 2008.
The £56,417 which the LSC contracted to the New Local Government Network in the period from January 2007 paid for LSC corporate membership for the 2007 calendar year, and sponsored two research projects focused on service delivery and the role of local authorities in managing migration. Local authorities are a key partner of the LSC and these projects aimed to support delivery of a number of LSC education and training programmes.
James Duddridge: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what assessment he has made of the (a) teaching, (b) research and (c) achievement against objectives of the Marine Institute at Plymouth University; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Lammy: Information on the closure, merger or opening of particular university departments is not routinely collected by the Department although we are aware that Reading university has recently proposed to close its social work department in order to strengthen other areas. Nationally, 100 higher education institutions teach social work as a major subject for nearly 60,000 students. While institutions will continue to be responsible for deciding for themselves which subjects to teach, we are committed across Government to strengthening the capacity of the social care work force to respond effectively to the challenges they face.
Mr. Jamie Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how much funding his Department has made available to support the Train to Gain programme in (a) Cumbria and (b) Copeland constituency. 
Mr. Simon: LSC data is not available at constituency level. Data can be obtained at local authority level, but this can be provided only at disproportionate cost. Data for the North West Region as a whole indicates that spend to support the Train to Gain programme for the 2006-07 financial year was £28,680,424 and for the 2007-08 financial year was £43,004,270 giving a total spend of £71,684,694.
Train to Gain is the key service for supporting employers to invest in the future productivity and profitability of their businesses by investing in the skills of their employees. Train to Gain offers quality-assured, impartial advice from skills brokers, to help identify the business skills needs at all levels and make the right, informed choices. Since Train to Gain was rolled out nationally in August 2006, it has engaged over 101,000 employers and supported over 570,000 learners to begin learning, of which over 290,000 have achieved a qualification.
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills (1) how many Learning and Skills Council-funded adult learners in 2006-07 who were eligible for inclusion in statistics used to measure progress in the Skills for Life Public Service Agreement target were aged (a) 19 to 24 years and (b) 25 years and over, broken down by whether they were funded through (i) further education colleges and (ii) the University for Industry; 
(2) how many Learning and Skills Council-funded adult learners over the age of 16 years were eligible for inclusion in statistics used to measure progress against the Skills for Life Public Service Agreement target in (a) 2002-03, (b) 2003-04, (c) 2004-05, (d) 2005-06 and (e) 2006-07. 
Mr. Simon [holding answer 9 February 2009]: The following table shows Skills for Life achievement figures by age and funding stream in 2006/07. The table shows only those achievements which count towards the 2010 PSA target which is to improve the basic skill levels of 2.25 million adults between the launch of Skills for Life in 2001 and 2010. This target was achieved in 2008.
|Skills for Life 2010 target-bearing achievements (LSC-funded), for FE colleges and University for Industry, in 2006/07 (annual discounted achievements)|
|FE colleges||University for Industry|
FE and UfI Individualised Learner Record
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment he has made of the effect of the EU Working Time Directive on staffing and medical cover in (a) accident and emergency departments and (b) urgent care centres. 
Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many individuals aged over 65 years resident in each (a) London borough and (b) Government office region were treated for alcohol-related health problems in each of the last five years. 
Dawn Primarolo: The only centrally available data on treatment for alcohol-related health problems are the number of admissions to hospital for alcohol and alcohol-related health problems. An individual may account for more than one admission.
While it is possible to analyse the admissions data to determine the number of individuals aged over 65 years admitted to hospital for alcohol and alcohol-related health problems, this could be done only at disproportionate cost.
The following tables gave the number of alcohol-related finished admissions for patients aged over 65 years by London borough and Government office region for each year from 2002-03 to 2006-07. 2006-07 is the latest year for which data are available. The figures relate to the number of admissions rather than the number of individuals.
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