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Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills pursuant to the answer of 15 October 2009, Official Report, column 1047W, on Charlie Whelan, whether the EU Agency Workers Directive was discussed at the meeting between the Secretary of State and Charlie Whelan on 15 January 2009. 
Mr. Doran: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what research his Department has (a) undertaken and (b) commissioned on the extent to which pension matters are included in collective bargaining negotiations; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. McFadden: Officials in BIS and DWP have undertaken several case studies examining the way particular organisations and their trade unions have addressed pension matters within the context of collective bargaining. No external research has been commissioned on this topic.
Mr. Oaten: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how much of the £250 million Low Carbon Industrial Strategy Fund has been (a) allocated and (b) spent to date on each project which has received funding. 
Mr. McFadden: The first investments from the £250 million of funding for low carbon economic development in the Strategic Investment Fund were set out in the UK Low Carbon Industrial Strategy on 15 July and further investments have since also been announced. The funding that has been committed, or earmarked for specific projects and investments, includes:
Up to £120 million to support development of a British based offshore wind industry.
Up to £30 million to capitalise on Britain's wave and tidal sector strengths
Up to £10 million for the accelerated deployment of electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
A £4 million expansion of the Manufacturing Advisory Service.
£45 million to support research and technology into low carbon aeroengine projects.
£2.5 million to a Carbon Trust technology investment joint venture to help UK companies develop new low carbon technologies in China.
By way of example, specific projects supported include Wave Hub-a groundbreaking project in the south west of England creating the UK's first offshore facility for the demonstration of wave energy generation devices; and marine energy testing facilities at the New and Renewable Energy Centre (NaREC). Offshore wind investments include funding for new offshore wind manufacturing facilities in the UK and investment in the development of next generation and near-market offshore wind technologies through large scale demonstration.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many further education colleges in Hampshire have delayed building projects because of problems with funding from the Learning and Skills Council; and what the estimated cost of each of these projects is. 
Kevin Brennan: Capital funding for Further Education colleges is administered by the Learning and Skills Council (LSC). As the information requested is with regard to an operational matter for the Council, I have asked Geoffrey Russell, the acting LSC Chief Executive, to write to the hon. Member with the further information requested.
Stephen Williams: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what the undergraduate completion rate in higher education was in each higher education institution in each year since 2003. 
Table 5 covers projected outcomes of full-time first degree starters. The completion rate covers starters who are expected to gain a degree. However, the more frequently used rate is the non completion rate (projected to neither gain an award nor transfer to another institution) which accounts for starters who obtain another award, or transfer.
The completion rate tables lag behind the widening participation indicators by one year due to the need for an extra year's data to determine which students are still in HE. Therefore, the most recent figures refer to the 2006/07 academic year. Projected outcomes for the 2007/08 academic year will be available in 2010.
The UK is maintaining very good completion rates for first degrees with the latest statistics from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development showing that the UK ranks 3(rd) of the 27 countries reporting data in this area. This has been achieved and maintained during a period when higher education has been opened up to both increased numbers and a greater diversity of students.
Mr. Evennett: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what estimate he has made of the number of applicants from Bexleyheath and Crayford constituency who achieved the required grades but did not secure a place at a university in (a) 2008-09 and (b) 2009-10. 
Greg Mulholland: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many students who had obtained A-Levels or an equivalent qualification in Leeds North West went on to higher education during the latest period for which figures are available. 
Mr. Lammy: The latest information from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) shows that in the 2007-08 academic year there were 565 all-aged undergraduate entrants to higher education from the Leeds North West constituency, who had obtained A-Levels or an equivalent qualification as their highest qualification on entry.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent assessment the Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service has made of the effect of no-win no-fee lawyers in employment tribunals. 
Mr. Drew: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will publish the protocol on how the Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service responds to the intervention of no-win no-fee lawyers in employment tribunals. 
Mr. McFadden: The Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) has no specific protocol on dealing with no-win no-fee lawyers in employment tribunal claims. Where parties have appointed representatives in relation to such proceedings, and wish ACAS to communicate with them through their representatives, the conciliator will do so. This applies in the same way regardless of what arrangements the party and their representative may have entered into over fees for the provision of advice and/or representation.
Ian Lucas: The advanced manufacturing package announced on 28 July 2009 provides £151.5 million of support to British manufacturers. Key projects include £45 million funding to Rolls-Royce to support four new advanced manufacturing facilities built in the UK, £45 million to support Rolls-Royce led research and technology critical to the development of low-carbon aircraft engines, £40 million investment in SAMULET research and technology programme, a £12 million expansion of the Printable Electronics Centre in Sedgefield, an additional £5 million investment from the Technology Strategy Board in collaborative R&D projects as part of its high value manufacturing competition, and a £0.5 million investment to support the development of a centre of excellence for silicon design in the south west.
Sir Menzies Campbell: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment he has made of the extent to which Post Office services in North East Fife constituency comply with the access criteria set out in the Network Change Programme. 
I understand from Post Office Ltd. that Post Office services in North East Fife constituency comply with the access criteria as set out in the Network
Change Programme. All of the local postcode districts meet the local access criteria and have done so since the criteria were introduced.
Mr. Weir: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment the Government have made of the effect on businesses of an increase in the price of first and second class stamps. 
Mr. McFadden: Postcomm's price control proposals are subject to a current public consultation. The Government would encourage all interested or concerned parties to respond to the consultation which is due to close on October 26, 2009. More details can be found on the Regulator's website at:
Mr. Weir: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent discussions his Department has had with Royal Mail on plans to increase the price of first and second class stamps. 
Mr. McFadden: Ministers and BIS officials meet with representatives from Royal Mail on a regular basis to discuss a wide range of issues, including regulatory issues. No specific meetings have been held to discuss the current price control proposals.
Gordon Banks: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills whether his Department has undertaken an analysis of skills needs in the publishing industry; what assessment he has made of digital skills needs in the industry; and if he will make a statement. 
Kevin Brennan: The Department supports the work of the Sector Skills Council Skillset which covers the publishing industry. Skillset began working with the publishing industry in April 2008. Since then, they have completed primary and secondary research into the size, shape and skills needs of the sector. A Publishing Skills Needs Analysis was published by Skillset at the beginning of 2009 and a copy will be placed in the Libraries of the House.
Industry consultation led by Skillset took place in the spring and a skills strategy and action plan has subsequently been produced. This has identified five strategic areas of focus. These are to develop skills for the workforce in a digital context; inform aspiring entrants of the realities of the industry and improve diversity and equality of access; develop marketing, advertising and media sales skills for the work force; identify leadership, management
and business support opportunities; and bridge the gap between education and employment and the relevance of higher and further education. A number of projects are under way to address these goals.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what volume of mail was handled by Royal Mail in (a) 1997, (b) 2005, (c) 2006, (d) 2007, (e) 2008 and (f) 2009. 
|Financial year (April-March)||Volume of mail delivered every working day by Royal Mail (to the nearest million items)|
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many working days at Royal Mail have been lost owing to industrial action in each year since 2000. 
|Financial year (April-March)||Working days lost|
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