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We made clear in World-class Apprenticeships that the level of apprenticeship provision in the public sector was poor and that we should take action to
improve the situation. This has happened and we have a broad programme of activity right across the public sector to increase the number of apprentices.
During Apprentices Week in February we announced that there will be 21,000 additional apprenticeship places in the public sector in 2009-10. My right hon. Friend the Communities Secretary committed to her Department working with the Local Government Association to deliver the ambition that 7,500 of these would be in local government, roughly doubling the number of places available in local authorities.
We have no detailed information about the number of apprentices in the third sector. We know this is an area where we need to develop more provision and the recently published prospectus for Group Training Associations will be an important opportunity to develop new ways to deliver apprenticeships in non-traditional areas.
Mr. Lammy: As the Prime Minister said on 27 February, science, engineering and technology will be the foundation of Britains economic success. That is why the Budget maintained the Science and Research ring fence, and announced a £750 million Strategic Investment Fund to support advanced industrial projects of strategic importance.
21. Richard Ottaway: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many people in (a) Croydon and (b) England enrolled on a further education course in the last three years. 
Mr. Simon: In 2005/06, 31,600 learners resident in Croydon participated in further education and skills courses funded by the LSC; in 2006/07, this total was 29,300; and in 2007/08, 25,000. In 2005/06, 4.78 million adult learners resident in England participated in FE and Skills courses funded by the LSC; in 2006/07 this total was 4.12 million; and in 2007/08, 4.25 million.
This reflects our prioritisation on longer, more valuable courses which will help people get new jobs and progress in work. Also funding an extra 75,000 college places this year as part of our response to the downturn. This Government are now investing in adult skills at record levelsover £5 billion this year.
23. Jeff Ennis: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what steps his Department is taking to encourage collaboration between universities and the private sector in the development of green-collar jobs. 
Sustained investment over the last decade has given us a world class science and research base from which to exploit potential growth markets, including the green economy. Measures in the 2009 Budget, such as £4 billion support for UK renewable energy projects
and £405 million for developing a low carbon energy and green manufacturing sector, offer further scope to promote university collaboration with the private sector in this area. Publication of the new Higher Education Framework will set out how the HE sector will take a more active approach to building British competitive strengths through higher skill levels, research and knowledge transfer. This work will include ensuring our universities have clear funding incentives to respond quickly to support areas of potential growth.
Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what recent consideration the Learning and Skills Council has given to funding the proposed development at South Devon College. 
Mr. Simon: The Learning and Skills Council will have been in regular contact with all colleges affected by the current position. Colleges can expect to meet shortly with the external team of property advisers that the LSC has appointed who will ensure information held by the LSC is a sound basis for making future decisions.
Budget 2009 announced an additional £300 million in the current spending review period, which allows a limited number of further projects to start. Selection of projects will need to be based on objective criteria the LSC are currently developing in consultation with the sector.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills when his Department last reviewed its assets and land and property holdings with a view to identifying and disposing of surpluses. 
Adam Afriyie: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many colleges applied for funding under the Further Education Specialisation and Innovation Fund in 2008; which institutions were awarded funds in response to such applications; and how much was awarded to each. 
Mr. Simon: The Further Education Specialisation and Innovation Fund, published in July 2008, received over 130 bids from specialist networks of FE colleges and training providers. Over 140 FE colleges were included in the networks that submitted proposals.
The five successful pathfinder projects, announced on 1 December 2008, include 34 FE colleges in their networks. The number of FE colleges involved in each project and the amount of funding allocated to each network are as follows:
South West Composites Gateway: led by City of Bristol College, will provide innovative solutions in composites design and manufacture for the aerospace and defence industry. Two FE colleges£434,000.
College-Business Innovation Accelerator: led by Cornwall College, will enhance the quality of business innovation services in the Land-based and Marine sectors. Four FE colleges£720,000.
Innovation in Sustainable Construction: led by West Nottinghamshire College, will encourage sustainable development in construction sector. 10 FE colleges£513,000.
Knowledge Transfer Leadership: led by Barnfield College, will develop a corporate college model and build capacity to offer business innovation services to a number of sectors, including engineering. Four FE colleges£585,000.
£ink to FSXchange: led by the National Skills Academy (NSA) for Financial Services, will develop new business services for the financial services industry. 14 FE colleges£720,000.
Mr. Lammy: Several Coventry institutions provide undergraduate courses, including the Universities of Coventry and of Warwick, and colleges such as City College and Henley College Coventry. No data are held centrally on the number of part-time undergraduate courses offered by all of these, but between them the two universities have some 14,035 part-time undergraduate students. Coventry University offer many of their undergraduate courses on a part-time basis, plus some part-time-only ones, and work-based learning programmes designed to enable students to fit study around work, with an additional 750 employer co-funded places for 2009-10 and (through the Economic Challenge Investment Fund) activities such as more short courses offered to help with the current economic climate.
Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what discussions he has had with the Chief Executive of the National Weights and Measures Laboratory on his proposed guidance on prosecutions of persons selling goods in non-metric measures; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Lammy: The National Measurement Office (formerly the National Weights and Measures Laboratory) is an Executive agency of the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills. Among a number of other functions the NMO has responsibility for advising the Secretary of State and his ministerial colleagues on policy affecting all aspects of the national measurement system.
The chief executive and other National Measurement Office officials report regularly to the Secretary of State on all aspects of weights and measures policy, including on the development of revised guidance for trading standards departments on enforcement of units of measurement legislation.
Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many staff will transfer from the Learning and Skills Council in 2010 to work for the Skills Funding Agency in each region of England. 
Mr. Simon: As we informed the hon. Member in December 2008 there will be some 3,300 full time equivalents in the new structures in 2010, which is in line with existing LSC staffing levels. The Skills Funding Agency (SFA) will be an agency of DIUS and will have approximately 1,800 posts, including the 400 posts in the National Apprenticeship Service.
Of these 1,800 posts a significant number are forecast to be based in the regions, around 1,300 in total. These staff will work across a range of functions, including national functions such as the National Apprenticeship Service. Current planning assumptions are that each region will have a minimum of 120 posts. The LSC is managing a transition programme that will establish shadow structures by September 2009, at this point we will be able to provide further detail on the staffing levels in each region.
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much is outstanding in child support payments under the (a) former and (b) new child support scheme; over how many years such outstanding monies have been accumulated; and how many individuals are due payments in each category. 
Kitty Ussher [holding answer 20 April 2009]: The Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission is responsible for the child maintenance system. I have therefore asked the Child Maintenance Commissioner to write to the hon. Member with the information requested.
In reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the Child Support Agency, the Secretary of State promised a substantive reply from the Child Maintenance Commissioner as the Child Support Agency is now the responsibility of the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission.
You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how much is outstanding in child support payments under the (a) former and (b) new child support scheme; over how many years such outstanding monies have been accumulated; and how many individuals are due payments in each category. 
The information that the Child Support Agency holds on outstanding child support payments relates to cases rather than individuals. It should be noted that an individual may have more than one case. The latest information available shows that at the end of December 2008, £3.8 billion was owed in child maintenance by non-resident parents in a total of 1.1 million cases. Of this, almost £800 million of arrears was recorded on 555,000 cases administered under the current scheme, accruing each year since the 2003 and over £3 billion of arrears was recorded on 543,000 cases administered under the old scheme, accruing each year since 1993.
The Child Support Agency routinely publishes information relating to the amount of child maintenance arrears outstanding at the end of each financial year in Table 22 of the December 2008 Child Support Agency Quarterly Summary of Statistics (QSS). The latest copy of which is available in the House of Commons library, or via the internet at:
I hope you find this answer helpful.
Derek Twigg: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people have had refunds from the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission for overpayments made to it and its predecessor during the last 12 months. 
Kitty Ussher: The Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission is responsible for the child maintenance system. I have therefore asked the Child Maintenance Commissioner to write to the hon. Member with the information requested.
In reply to your recent Parliamentary Questions about child maintenance, the Secretary of State promised a substantive reply from the Child Maintenance Commissioner.
You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people have had refunds from the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission (CMEC) for overpayments made to it and its predecessor during the last 12 months. 
The Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission does not collate information on the number of people who have received a refund of maintenance. However I am able to tell you that in the 12 months to the end on March 2009, around £6.5m was refunded, less than 1% of the total collected. A refund may be appropriate in cases where a change of circumstances or additional information has resulted in a reduction to the maintenance assessment/calculation and maintenance has already been received for the period in question. A refund is only made where there are no outstanding child maintenance arrears.
I am sorry that I could not be more helpful on this occasion.
Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 3 March 2009, Official Report, columns 1446-7W, on civil servants: pensions, how many civil servants have pension funds invested in (a) Standard Life and (b) Scottish Widows with-profits funds according to records held by the Pensions Regulator. 
The Pension Regulator does not hold this information. The most recent information provided to the managers of the Civil Service Additional Voluntary Contributions Scheme indicates that, as at 31 December 2008, 475 civil servants had with-profits investments with Standard Life and 4,445 with Scottish Widows.
Mr. Vara: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps his Department has taken to address the issues of maladministration raised in the Parliamentary Ombudsman's report, Putting Things Right: complaints and learning from DWP of 30 March 2009; and if he will make a statement. 
DWP is the biggest delivery department in the UK, serving over 20 million customers at any one time and, as the Public Accounts Committee recently noted, the overall level of complaints which the Department receives is small compared with the number of customers it serves and the number of contacts which it has every working day with those customers. Every opportunity is taken to ensure that the Departments customers receive excellent service but, as the ombudsman has said, an organisation of the size and complexity of DWP will
always receive complaints. Where mistakes happen, the Department seeks to ensure that these are handled and resolved as quickly and as satisfactorily as possible.
The ombudsmans reports, together with those from the independent case examiner, are used as an important source of information on where systems improvements are required. The content of these reports is shared both within the Agencies and, where appropriate, more widely within the Department to ensure that lessons are learned and that changes are made where necessary.
The learning for the future section of the ombudsmans report outlines a number of the actions already taken to address the specific issues raised in her investigations, and how the Department has taken a number of steps that go beyond simply implementing the recommendations made. For example, the Department has reviewed its guidance to staff about making redress for the consequences of maladministration and discussed this with the ombudsman and her staff. As a result, a new guide is being developed which will reflect more closely the ombudsmans principles for remedy.
The Department will continue to work constructively with the ombudsman in seeking to improve the service it provides to customers and in ensuring that changes are made to policies, procedures, systems or staff training as necessary to ensure that where maladministration is identified it is not repeated and that lessons learnt are put into practice.
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