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Mr. Willetts: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many apprenticeships in each industry have been (a) advertised and (b) filled through the National Apprenticeship Vacancy Matching Service. 
Kevin Brennan [holding answer 11 May 2009]: The National Apprenticeship Service online vacancy matching system has been developed to provide a high quality service to employers wishing to recruit apprentices, and to young people and adults considering an apprenticeship. This will help deliver the objective outlined in World-class Apprenticeships to expand and improve the quality of our apprenticeship programme.
At the end of April 2009, 4,157 vacancies were live on the system; a total of 8,051 vacancies have been posted since 12 January 2009 when the system went live. 93 vacancies have been filled through the service with 2,445 vacancies having current applications. The figures at this stage provide provisional data on apprenticeship applications. Feedback from a number of employers suggest that the recruitment process can take up to four months. In addition, the system was built to allow employers flexibility to integrate the advertising of apprenticeship opportunities on the system, with their own HR systems. In these instances candidates click through the Vacancy Matching System to the employers' own recruitment website. The National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) is looking at how feedback can be obtained from these employers, mainly national companies, without putting undue bureaucracy on them.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what work the Council for Science and Technology (a) has undertaken and (b) plans to undertake on energy and climate-related matters. 
Mr. Lammy: The Council for Science and Technology (CST) produced a report in 2005 entitled An electricity supply strategy for the UK, and a report in 2007 entitled Strategic decision making for technology policy which included energy technologies.
This project is taking a cross-cutting view of the water, energy, transport and communications infrastructures and will make high level recommendations to Government on interventions needed to ensure a national infrastructure that continues to support economic growth and social wellbeing.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent assessment he has made of the merits of designating electric vehicle charging points as regulated assets. 
Norman Baker: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment he has made of likely future trends in the pump prices of (a) unleaded petrol and (b) diesel. 
Assumptions about a weighted average of road fuel prices, based DECCs oil price projections, are also used in our Updated Energy Projections. These assumptions are available through the following links:
Mr. Lammy: I have no plans to bring forward specific proposals for increasing the number of students from the United States studying at higher education institutions in the United Kingdom. However, through the second phase of the Prime Minister's initiative for international education (PMI2), the Government are working with the education sector to increase the number of international students studying in this country. The United States is one of the priority countries for PMI2. The numbers of students from the United States choosing to study in the UK has increased from 8,735 in 2000-01 to 13,900 students in 2007-08, the latest date for which data are available, an increase of 59 per cent.
Richard Burden: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will request the inspectors investigating MG Rover to produce a progress report setting out (a) the estimated length of time required to complete the inquiry, (b) the estimated additional cost to complete the inquiry and (c) an explanation of the time taken to complete the inquiry. 
Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many people (a) started and (b) completed a training course under the Train to Gain scheme in the last 12 months. 
Kevin Brennan [holding answer 23 April 2009]: Train to Gain is the Governments flagship service providing advice, support and funding to employers in England, of all sizes and in all sectors. It gives employers better access to a wider range of opportunities for improving the skills of their employees, and the productivity of their business.
Learner participation in Train to Gain is recorded in the Statistical First Release, which was issued on 26 March 2009 by the national Data Service. The Statistical First Release provides data by academic year, and shows that 346,200 people started a training course through Train to Gain between 1 August 2007 and 31 July 2008 and 386,200 started between 1 August 2008 and 31 January 2009.
Steve Webb: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills with reference to his Departments press release of 17 December 2008, on funding for advice to people who have lost their jobs, over what time period the additional 40,000 pre-employment training places will be put in place; and how many additional training places have been established at the most recent date for which information is available. 
Kevin Brennan: The Governments announcement covered a £100 million package of funding to support people who are under notice of redundancy, newly redundant or close to the labour market. The unit cost will vary according to the type and duration of training that individual does undertake. We have reassessed the capacity of the funding, and estimate that we will now support around 70,000 learners through this provision. This was announced as an important part of the wider package of support being made available to help those facing redundancy. The additional places are funded through the Learning and Skills Council and will help people improve their employability skills and find work.
Steve Webb: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many pre-employment training places have been funded by his Department in each month since June 2007; and if he will make a statement. 
Kevin Brennan: It is vitally important that people seeking employment are able to get the help they need to overcome the skills barriers they face and improve their chances of finding sustainable work.
DIUS and DWP are working together to develop a comprehensive package of advice and training support, delivered through an integrated service supported by Job Centre Plus and the Learning and Skills Council.
Places funded by the Adult Learner Responsive are available to learners claiming benefits. The LSC also funds training places for those with identified skills development needs. Figures for the number of places on specific programmes are broken down by academic year.
|Employability Skills Programme (ESP)||Skills for Jobs|
|(1 )To end February 2009. (2 )To end March 2009 when this programme ended.|
Steve Webb: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what proportion of pre-employment training offered by Jobcentre Plus is funded by (a) his Department and (b) the Learning and Skills Council; and how much such funding was allocated in each quarter of the last three years. 
Kevin Brennan: We are not able to give the full answer to this question because the cost of training can not be distinguished from the Department of Work and Pensions wider investment in employment provision.
Through the Learning and Skills Council, my Department funds specific pre-employment programmes aimed at helping people overcome skills barriers to employment. Those programmes are the Employability Skills Programme and Skills for Jobs and both are delivered in partnership with Jobcentre Plus.
|Employability Skills Programme|
Two new programmes worth £183 million have recently been introduced to support more people who are newly unemployed and unemployed for six months to train and gain sustainable employment. Data on participation is not yet available.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many former employees of Woolworths have undertaken government retraining courses; and how many of these have since been employed in the role for which they were retrained. 
Kevin Brennan [holding answer 8 May 2009]: Jobcentre Plus do not record outcomes for former employees of particular employers who have found work or taken part in Government funded training. The costs of this would be prohibitive.
DWPs rapid response service to support people facing redundancy; part of which offers focused training for those requiring training or certification; was provided to almost all Woolworths staff before store closure, in conjunction with on site benefits advice and support on job search.
Mr. Straw: The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) does not have a set overall budget for external consultancy. The Department recorded a full year spend for 2008-09 on consultancy of £54 million. This is a reduction from £56 million in 2007-09. Through a programme of efficiency savings the Department is aiming to further reduce its dependency on consultancy spend which will result in an anticipated further reduction in cost.
Mr. Blunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many laptop computers belonging to (a) his Department and its predecessor and (b) its agencies have been lost or stolen in the last five years. 
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