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To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what his policy is on its payment of wage contributions to
workers in the automotive industry on short-time working who are undertaking retraining in their own time. 
While we are supporting a range of automotive support initiatives, we do not believe that introducing a general wage subsidy for all employers is a feasible, cost effective and sustainable option for the UK. Past experience in the UK when running a wage subsidy programme in the 1970s was that wage subsidies acted to create distortions and perverse incentives for other sectors and companies to bargain for subsidies.
We believe that the future success of British industry will be based on a highly skilled workforce, and where production is being reduced we are helping business train their workforces to ensure they emerge from the economic downturn in the best possible shape to compete in the future.
Automotive companies can access funding for training from Government and the Sector Skills Council for Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies. Following demand from the automotive industry for this support, funding under the Train To Gain scheme for the sector has been increased substantially up to £100 million from the original budget of £65 million.
Mr. Sanders: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what steps his Department takes to monitor the effectiveness of spending by regional development agencies on the development of the tourism industry. 
Mr. McFadden: BERR and other Government Departments are involved in development of each RDAs Regional Economic Strategy (RES) and in approving each regions Corporate Plan. The plans are reviewed to ensure that the RDAs deliver against ministerial priorities and priorities identified in the RES.
The RDAs took on strategic responsibility for tourism development in the regions in 2003, and have developed tourism strategies and delivery structures in line with their RES. DCMS works with the RDAs in advancing and assessing progress on key strategic objectives through:
the 2012 Ministerial Advisory Group, which guides the delivery of the national tourism strategy (Winning: A tourism strategy for 2012 and beyond);
the Ministerial Monitoring and Implementation Group, which guides the delivery of the national skills strategy;
the Welcome to Britain Group, which is working to improve the overall visitor welcome and experience;
Partners for England, which focuses on improved resource and policy co-ordination at national, regional and local levels;
the RDA Tourism Leads group, which provides a forum for cross-regional co-operation, collaboration and leadership.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what estimate he has made of the average (a) infant, (b) primary and (c) secondary class sizes in the 20 local authority areas of (i) highest and (ii) lowest deprivation in the last period for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. 
|Average class sizes( 1 ) as at January 2008 in England, by local authority|
|Key s tage( 1,2)||Maintained p rimary( 3)||State-funded s econdary( 3,4)|
|n/a=. Not Applicable|
(1) Classes taught by 1 teacher.
(2) Includes reception classes.
(3) Includes middle schools as deemed.
(4) Includes Academies and City Technology Colleges.
(5) Ranked according to the indices of multiple deprivation.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how much funding his Department plans to allocate to each local authority for discharging responsibilities which were formerly those of the Learning and Skills Council in each of the next five years. 
Jim Knight: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given on 5 May 2009, Official Report, columns 150-54W. This set out the number of posts we expect to transfer to each local authority from the Learning and Skills Council, subject to the passage of the Apprenticeships, Learning and Skills Bill. We are currently working with the LSC to determine how much funding will transfer to local authorities with each post from April 2010.
Michael Gove: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what the cost to his Department of examination fees for each type of examination in maintained schools was in each of the last 10 years. 
Jim Knight: The Department began collecting information in sufficient detail to answer this question in 2002-03. No comparable data are available for previous years. The information in the table covers the combined costs of all relevant examination entry fees, including GCSEs, A/AS-levels and GNVQs, and any accreditation costs related to pupils. We do not collect separate data on each type of exam.
|Financial year||Examination fees (E21)( 1) (£)( 2)|
|(1) Includes expenditure by local authority maintained schools in England on the costs of examination entry fees, and costs of accreditation related to pupils (the payments centres make to awarding bodies to register with them to take their qualification). This includes GCSEs, A/AS-levels and GNVQs and covers administrative costs e.g. external marking; it excludes the cost of exam resources, such as the test papers themselves.|
(2) Figures are rounded to the nearest £000.
(3) 2007-08 data remain provisional and subject to change.
(Budget Data Archive)
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