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Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will commission research on the likely numbers of Greek Cypriots who would return to live under the Turkish Cypriot administration in northern Cyprus in the event of a settlement. 
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assistance the EU has provided to the Kenyan government to improve its naval capacity in relation to the suppression of piracy off the coast of Somalia. 
Chris Bryant: The EU and its member states are eager to support capacity building in Kenya, and the Kenyan Government have been engaged in dialogue to ascertain priority needs, including regarding naval capacity. The UK, as chair of Working Group 1 of the international Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS), led a needs assessment mission to the Horn of Africa in September 2009, involving the European Commission as well as other partners. The assessment identified a number of priority Kenyan naval requirements, and these will be discussed shortly among CGPCS partners.
On wider counter-piracy activity, the European Commission is supporting the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in the implementation of a jointly developed programme for support for the trial and related treatment of piracy suspects in Kenya. The programme budget is €1.75 million. This programme began on 15 May 2009 and will run for 18 months, with other countries also contributing to this project.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to other EU member states on the renewal of Generalised System of Preferences plans in respect of Sri Lanka; and if he will make a statement. 
The issue of the renewal of Generalised System of Preferences (GSP+) in respect of Sri Lanka has been raised in several meetings with my EU counterparts. Along with other EU member states the United Kingdom supported the EU Commission's decision to initiate an investigation into Sri Lanka's effective implementation of the GSP+ conventions.
The UK Government are committed to ensuring that the GSP+ scheme is robust and effectively implemented. It is important that we treat all countries objectively and fairly, according to the GSP+ regulation. We have consistently encouraged the Government of Sri Lanka to engage constructively with the European Commission in its investigation.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when the Government plans to ratify the amendment to the UN Convention on Physical Protection of Nuclear Material; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis:
The Explanatory Memorandum and Command Paper concerning the convention on the physical protection of nuclear material was laid before Parliament on 16 July 2009 for the required 21 sitting
days, ending on 4 November 2009. After 4 November 2009 the instrument of ratification will be prepared by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and signed by my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary. We expect to be in a position to ratify the convention by early January 2010.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the US administration on methods by which the international stockpile of nuclear weapons may be reduced. 
My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton regularly discuss these issues, in particular the Iran nuclear case which requires regular close high-level engagement. The US values the UK's contribution.
President Obama warmly welcomed the UK's "Road to 2010" blueprint on nuclear non-proliferation launched by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 16 July 2009 and Secretary of State Clinton gave strong praise to the UK's ideas leadership in the run-up to last month's historic UN Security Council Summit chaired by President Bill Clinton.
Mr. Brady: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what his Department's estimates are for the number of apprenticeship places available in each financial year from 2009-10 to 2013-14; and what the target number of apprenticeship places for each of these years was in 2007. 
Kevin Brennan [holding answer 16 September 2009]: The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills do not create estimates for the number of apprenticeships places that will be available each year but produce trajectories based on available funding. The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) Grant Letter 2009-10 published in November 2008 set out the planned number of LSC funded apprenticeships starts for academic years 2008/09 and 2009/10 (Table 1.1 as follows).
|Table 1.1: Funded apprenticeship starts (academic years)|
Agreed funding from the LSC Grant Letter 2009-10 published in November 2008.
Mr. Evennett: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many people (a) started and (b) completed a higher apprenticeship in the last 12 month period for which figures are available. 
In 2007-08, there were 60 higher-level apprenticeship starts, the latest full-year for which we have data. In the first nine months of 2008-09 (provisional), there were 90 higher-level apprenticeship starts.
The Department will shortly publish the Specification of Apprenticeship Standards For England (SASE), which will for the first time set out the essential components and standards for all apprenticeship frameworks. The SASE will require that all apprenticeship frameworks include clear career progression routes, including those through higher and further education. Over time, as we encourage the development of more higher-level apprenticeship frameworks, we would expect that more people will progress from an advanced apprenticeship, to develop these higher level skills.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many people completing apprenticeships remained unemployed two years after the apprenticeship ended in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Kevin Brennan: An apprenticeship is a work-based programme and an apprentice must have a job or a work placement as a condition of completing their apprenticeship framework. Many will already be in permanent employment prior to the end of their apprenticeship. Management information on the subsequent employment of apprentices is not available.
We collect information about the destinations of learners in to learning and employment through the Framework for Excellence. We expect to review the quality and relevance of this data in the future, including the feasibility of how it can be used to identify the employment status of those learners who have completed apprenticeships.
To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how much funding has been distributed to companies from his Department's Aspire Fund since 19 November 2008; how many companies have received such funding; and how many awards from that fund have been (a) below £100,000, (b) between £100,000 and £299,000, (c) between £300,000 and £499,000, (d) between £500,000 and £749,000,
(e) between £750,000 and £999,000, (f) between £1 million and £1.49 million, (g) between £1.5 million and £2 million and (h) over £2 million. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: On 7 July 2009 a first investment was completed worth £700,000 which included funding of £350,000 from the Aspire Fund. On 11 August 2009, a second offer totalling £1 million and including £400,000 Aspire funding was also completed.
There are two further deals in legal stages, one of which totals £1.5 million of funding with the Aspire Fund providing £400,000 towards that investment. The second totals £1.3 million of funding with the Aspire Fund providing £350,000 towards investment. These two deals are expected to complete in early September.
To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent steps
his Department has taken to assist (a) small, (b) medium-sized and (c) large businesses in Essex; and if he will make a statement. 
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (1) how many (a) start-up and (b) established businesses in each region had received assistance from each participating bank under the Enterprise Finance Guarantee Scheme on the latest date for which figures are available; 
|Number of loans offered|
|Region||Not known||0 to 3 months||3 months to 1 year||1 to 2 years||2 to 3 years||3 to 4 years||4 to 5 years||Over 5 years||Total|
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