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Mr. Wallace: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills whether he has received representations from (a) the CBI, (b) British Chambers of Commerce and (c) other business organisations on the potential effects of the implementation of the Calman Commission proposals on business costs. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has not received any representations from the CBI, the British Chambers of Commerce or any other business organisations on the potential effects of the implementation of the Calman Commission proposals on business costs.
Lorely Burt: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many customers of Companies House (a) were contacted for the purposes of and (b) responded to its customer satisfaction survey in each of the last four years. 
(a) Prior to January 2008 Companies House issued paper customer surveys covering Companies House Direct, E-Filing, the Contact Centre and also a general survey (which was also available on the Companies House website). Approximately 25,000 were sent each year.
Since January 2008 the customer surveys have been completely electronic and the paper survey is no longer issued. Approximately 60,000 were sent out each year to our WebFiling, Software Filing, Companies House Direct and WebCHeck customers. A customer survey is also available to complete on our website and the Contact Centre survey is included as a link on every e-mail sent out by the Contact Centre.
Lorely Burt: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many letters from hon. Members the Chief Executive of Companies House received in each of the last four years. 
2005: 38 letters
2006: 55 letters
2007: 54 letters
2008: 60 letters.
Lorely Burt: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many employees of Companies House were absent from work for (a) no, (b) one to five, (c) six to 10, (d) 11 to 15 and (e) more than 15 days in each of the last four years. 
Ian Lucas: The total absence figures of employees of Companies House from work from 2006 to 2008 are listed as follows and have been calculated by adding individual employees absence for each year. The figures for 2005 are not available due to a systems problem.
|Number of employees|
|Number of days||2006||2007||2008|
Mr. Crabb: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what estimate he has made of the monetary value of engineering construction contracts lost to UK companies as a result of (a) low productivity levels and (b) industrial action in the last five years. 
Ian Lucas: Information relating to the securing of individual contracts in a particular sector, including engineering construction, is not collected by Government. The award of engineering construction contracts is a business matter for the parties concerned, and the various award criteria are commercial issues for the private sector clients involved.
Lorely Burt: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (1) pursuant to the answer of 13 July 2009, Official Report, column 191W, on the Construction Clearing House, what steps the Construction Clearing House has taken to ensure that construction apprenticeship places which are at risk of redundancy are not lost; and if he will make a statement; 
Kevin Brennan: The service operated by Construction Skills provides a helpline offering advice and support for employers, apprentices and parents to help redundant apprentices find alternative employment and help support those whose job is at risk. Construction Skills also actively seek new employers for displaced apprentices to complete their Apprenticeship framework. This service is now available to all training providers delivering Apprenticeships in construction. Additional funding has recently been made available to Construction Skills to provide employers with a £1,000 grant to help with the costs of employing a displaced apprentice. These arrangements are in addition to the contractual requirement on all training providers to help apprentices find alternative employment if they lose their job. The National Apprenticeships Service (NAS) introduced new flexibilities earlier in the year to help ensure apprentices can continue in training to complete their Apprenticeship.
Lorely Burt: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills pursuant to the answer of 13 July 2009, Official Report, column 191W, on Construction Task Force, (1) if he will list the membership of the Construction Task Force, and on how many occasions the Construction Task Force has met since its inception; 
|Construction apprenticeships task force|
Representatives from the Department, the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Homes and Communities Agency also attended by invitation. The Task Force met four times between November 2008 and April 2009. The group considered the impact of the
economic downturn and its effect on the Construction labour market and agreed actions on a number of issues affecting Apprenticeships in the industry. Key recommendations were on public sector procurement and support for displaced construction apprentices. On procurement we continue to work across Government and in the industry to implement the specific construction commitment set out in the pre-Budget report, 2008 and the task force provided structured input into this process. Progress includes commitments to create new apprenticeship places through the Department of Children's Schools and Families' Building Schools for the Future programme, from the Olympic Delivery Authority on the Olympic Park and Village site, and through the Homes and Communities Agency's £5 billion annual investment budget. For displaced apprentices the Construction Matching Service has sought new jobs for apprentices, and offered advice and support for employers, apprentices and parents through a national helpline. The Task Force also looked at the role of trade unions and medium-to-long term strategies for expanding apprenticeships in the sector, these wider issues will be taken forward through the Cross-Industry Construction Apprenticeship Task Force which advises Government on Apprenticeship issues affecting the sector.
Mr. Crabb: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent discussions he has had with (a) the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families and (b) representatives of the engineering construction industry on increasing the number of young people pursuing careers in that sector. 
Ian Lucas: Like other engineering-related sectors, the engineering construction industry offers attractive career opportunities, but shares challenges in attracting employees for the future. In this regard, there are ongoing discussions at ministerial, and official levels on issues that directly impact on engineering construction. A programme of actions is being taken forward by Government, in conjunction with the sector skills councils and the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board, to address these matters. The Diploma in Construction and the Built Environment, and the Diploma in Engineering, were launched in September 2008, with the aim of introducing young people to the world of working in these industries. This Government are also committed to a significant growth in apprenticeships. That is why funding for apprentices has been increased by almost a quarter since 2007/08 to over £1 billion in 2009/10.
Mr. Crabb: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent assessment he has made of trends in industrial action in relation to the engineering construction sector. 
Mr. Crabb: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what timetable he has set for completion of his Department's review of productivity and skills in the engineering construction sector. 
Mr. Prisk: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills whether the £5 million loan to Corus announced on 25 June 2009 has been (a) partially or (b) fully drawn down by Corus; and whether any assurances relating to jobs in the UK have been received in return. 
Mr. McFadden: On 25 June, my noble Friend the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills offered a £5 million training package to Corus. The offer was also discussed when the Prime Minister met with Kirby Adams, Chief Executive Officer of Corus on 16 July.
At present officials in BIS and the Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) are working with Corus to take forward the offer of assistance which will contribute to training the workforce, retain capacity in the UK and help the company through the downturn and to recover more strongly as economic conditions improve.
The training package will benefit Corus operations in the regions covered by Yorkshire Forward and ONE North East RDAs and will support apprenticeship and graduate training programmes and a range of training packages focused on Corus' shop floor workers.
Corus has provided assurances relating to the future of 3,000 employees and 1,000 contractors in the Yorkshire and Humber region and in excess of 1,200 employees and 500 contractors within the Tees Valley up to the end of 2010. It is planned that a significant proportion of the training support funding will be drawn down before the end of December 2009.
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