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ONS recently conducted a review of gender pay statistics and found that no single measure could adequately explain the difference in men's and women's pay. ONS's preferred method is to show the pay difference for three measures: all employees, full-time employees and part-time employees.
The figures provided below come from the 2008 Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings and show the median hourly earnings, excluding overtime, for female and male employees and the ratio of female to male hourly earnings. The figures provided are for Great Britain.
|Hourly rate (£)||Ratio|
To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how much was
spent in (a) 2007-08 and (b) 2008-09 on the Enterprise Coaching Scheme; and how many businesses received assistance from the scheme in each of these years. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: Enterprise coaching became available as a service within the Solutions for Business portfolio in March 2009. There are no data on spend for earlier periods or for the month of March 2009. Annual spend data will become available in due course for 2009-10 and subsequent years. The service is aimed at individuals and so future information will refer to individuals rather than businesses who have been assisted.
Mr. Oaten: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills for how long funding for the Enterprise Finance Guarantee Scheme is estimated to last; and whether he plans to provide further assistance to small and medium sized enterprises after that date. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Enterprise Finance Guarantee is a temporary loan guarantee scheme available until the end of March 2010. We are considering the future of the scheme beyond March 2010 in the context of the pre-Budget report.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment his Department has made of the effect on the number of jobs in the economy as a result of regulations on business introduced since May 1997; and if he will make a statement. 
Ian Lucas: There has been no assessment of the overall effect of regulations on employment. Many regulations have net benefits for the economy and may therefore lead to positive impacts on the labour market.
Creating the right conditions for businesses to start up, grow and invest requires many elements including a strong and responsive regulatory framework. With the best business environment in Europe, and fifth best in the world, according to the World Bank, the UK already has an effective regulatory system which helps strengthen our society and our economy.
The Government are committed to, and are delivering, an ambitious programme of improving the way they regulate. We know the costs of regulation are a very real concern to businesses, especially in a challenging economic climate, so when we introduce new rules we need to make sure we maximise the benefits to businesses, the economy and society, and ensure the costs are minimised or reduced where possible.
is an important step in the better regulation agenda, increasing transparency and inviting greater scrutiny that will help improve the credibility and understanding of our regulatory framework further. The fact that the benefit cost ratio is above 1 indicates that there has been no economic loss which could have caused job losses. This publication, showing that benefits are nearly double the costs of regulation, sets an important benchmark for improving the way that Government regulates.
Mr. Maude: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills pursuant to the answer of 9 September 2009, Official Report, column 2072W, on Derek Draper and Charlie Whelan, what the purpose was of the meeting with Mr. Charlie Whelan on 15 January 2009. 
Mr. McFadden: I refer the right hon. Member to the answers I gave to the hon. Member for Huntingdon (Mr. Djanogly) on 15 October 2009, Official Report, column 1047W and 21 October 2009, Official Report, column 1522W.
John Penrose: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what targets Companies House set for the time taken to process electronic incorporations in (a) July, (b) August, (c) September and (d) October 2009; how many such incorporations were not dealt with within the target time in each such month; and what steps Companies House has taken to deal with such incorporations not handled within target times. 
Ian Lucas: The target Companies House has for the processing of electronic incorporations is 95 per cent. within three working days. This was set out in my statement to the House on 18 May 2009, Official Report, column 69WS.
The increase in numbers of incorporations failing to meet the target in October was due to the implementation of the Companies Act 2006 and a variety of factors including: data processing issues; customer and staff lack of familiarity with new requirements; and initial issues with system performance.
Steps taken include: assigning resources; identifying and fixing data validation issues; clarifying and communicating policy issues. These steps resulted in incorporations targets being met from 9 October onwards.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many first-class flights were taken by each Minister in his Department in 2008-09; and what the (a) origin, (b) destination and (c) cost was of each such flight. 
John Penrose: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how much his Department (a) has spent since its inception and (b) plans to spend in 2010-11 on market research to improve the usability of its website. 
Mr. McFadden: Since its inception in June, the Department has spent £30,474 (ex VAT) on market research to improve the usability of its website. There are no firm plans for such spending in 2010-11 beyond the annual quality and usage measurements mandated by the Central Office of Information.
John Penrose: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how much his Department (a) has spent since its inception and (b) plans to spend in 2010-11 on (i) the design of its website and (ii) other market research for promotional purposes. 
Mr. Heald: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many full-time equivalent press officers (a) work for and (b) provide assistance to his Department. 
Mr. McFadden: The number of press officers currently at BIS is 28. This combines the Press Offices from the former BERR and former DIUS. The Press Office coordinates all the media handling for the Department's current 10 Ministers.
Mr. McFadden: The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills was created on 5 June 2009 by the merger of the former Departments BERR and DIUS. These figures relate to the main websites of the former Departments.
In 2008-09 the DIUS website received 3,182,772 page views and 1,538,348 visitors. The DIUS website proper was not launched until March. Prior to that date DIUS content was split between an interim DIUS website and the BERR website.
Jenny Willott: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills pursuant to the answer of 3 July 2009, Official Report, columns 436-7W, on departmental reorganisation, what his most recent estimate is of the cost to the public purse of merging the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills and the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform to form his Department; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Todd: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps his Department is taking to implement the efficiency recommendations of the Operational Efficiency programme relating to his Department. 
Mr. McFadden: BIS is fully committed to the Operational Efficiency Programme (OEP) and to support this I have accepted the role of Value for Money Minister to ensure the recommendations are implemented.
BIS is well placed to meet the implementation plan milestones across the OEP areas which support strongly the work the Department already has in place. For example, with collaborative procurement, of the £450 million savings that the Research Councils' Shared Service Centre predicts that it will generate over the first 10 years of its operation, £400 million will come from
procurement savings. The Shareholder Executive is leading the asset management strand across Government, and options for the sale of the student loans portfolio are being developed. We are continuing to work with the further and higher education sectors to improve their procurement practices.
We have recently undertaken an initial benchmarking back office costs exercise. BIS has a large network of partner organisations included in this exercise and has worked hard to collect the relevant data. We will be working with partner organisations and colleagues across Whitehall to develop the benefits from this work.
Mr. Maude: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills pursuant to the answer of 9 September 2009, Official Report, column 2072W, on Derek Draper and Charlie Whelan, on what date the Secretary of State most recently spoke to Mr. Derek Draper in the course of his official duties. 
Ian Lucas: The UK's electronics sector, and ICT more widely, is increasingly the enabler most likely to give companies in many other sectors their competitive edge, which is why the Government strongly supports it. Most recently, our package of measures to support Advanced Manufacturing announced in July, as part of our "New Industry, New Jobs" initiative, included the expansion of the Printable Electronics Technology centre in Sedgefield through an additional £12 million of investment, seeking to create up to 1,500 jobs by 2014, and an investment of £0.5 million towards the development of a Centre of Excellence for Silicon Design in the South West.
The Government provide extensive support for the sector via the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). This has included support for the ARTEMIS and ENIAC European Joint Technology initiatives, the Innovative Electronics Manufacturing Research Centre, and the Electronics Knowledge Transfer Network.
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