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A major factor in the employment of older people is employer behaviour. In addition to providing generic good practice guidance to employers, the UKs Age Positive initiative is working in partnership with business leaders to develop sector-based models of flexible retirement to support the increased employment and retention of older workers and the removal of fixed retirement ages.
Our plans for the future include providing guidance to older workers on their options for working longer, encouraging employers to increase flexible work and phased retirement opportunities, and monitoring the impact of the economic downturn to identify which groups are being most affected and targeting further help where it is most needed.
On 6 April 2009, as part of the Governments response to the economic downturn, the Department for Work and Pensions put in place extra support for newly unemployed customers, including information and advice about the latest job search techniques and coaching on how to make the most of transferable skills. Extra help for those who have been claiming jobseekers allowance for six months was also introduced, including opportunities to volunteer, support to become self-employed, recruitment subsidies and work-focused training.
Since last autumn, the Department has also quadrupled the available funding for the rapid response service, which provides advice and support to customers facing redundancy. It has extended local employment partnerships, the adviser discretion fund and access to work so they are available to customers from the first day of their claim, alongside the support they receive from their Jobcentre Plus personal adviser.
The introduction of the flexible new deal across phase 1 areas from October 2010 will give providers the freedom to offer personalised, tailored support to everyone who has been claiming jobseekers allowance for 12 months, helping them overcome their individual barriers to work.
In addition, the budget announced the future jobs fund and young persons guarantee. Future jobs fund places will be available for older people from disadvantaged areas who are facing significant barriers to employment.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many families received child benefit in each parliamentary constituency in Lancashire in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Latest estimates of the average number of families benefiting from tax credits, as well as the average number of in-work families benefiting from the child care element in each Government office region, local authority and parliamentary constituency, based on final family circumstances and incomes, are available in the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) publication Child and Working Tax Credits Statistics. Finalised annual awards. Geographical analyses 2006-07. This publication is available at:
HMRC do not produce these statistics separately for child tax credit and working tax credit. Information is not yet available for 2007-08 at parliamentary constituency level. Further information can be found at:
Latest estimates of the number of families who were claiming child benefit in the areas requested are provided in the HMRC annual publication Child Benefit geographical statistics. August 2006, available at:
Mr. Kidney: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has regular discussions with his counterparts in the US Administration on US climate and energy policy, including proposals currently before the US Congress to establish a US emissions trading scheme.
Greg Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what recent assessment he has made of progress towards meeting the target of making the central Government estate carbon neutral by 2012. 
The Department for Energy and Climate Change is currently leading work to define what is meant by carbon neutrality for the Government and the private sector. Once this work is complete, the Government will review the target for the central Government office estate to be carbon neutral by 2012 and the implications for departmental delivery.
Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many grant applications were received by the Low Carbon Buildings programme in respect of (a) schools, (b) hospitals and (c) other public buildings in (i) West Chelmsford constituency, (ii) Essex and (iii) England in each year since the inception of the programme. 
Mr. Kidney [holding answer 8 June 2009]: The following grant applications were received by the Low Carbon Buildings programme in respect of (a) schools, (b) hospitals and (c) other public buildings in (i) West Chelmsford constituency, (ii) Essex and (iii) England in each year since the inception of the scheme.
|Low Carbon Buildings Programme: phase 1|
|Number of applications|
|Stream 2A (below £100,000)|
|Number of applications|
|Stream 2B ( Above £100,000)|
|Number of applications|
Some applications were resubmitted so these are not all unique applications.
|Low Carbon Buildings Programme: phase 2|
|Type of organisation||For year||West Chelmsford||Essex||England|
Number of grant applications received (includes accepted, submitted (currently being processed), withdrawn and rejected).
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