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Kevin Brennan: Table 1 shows the total number of people who have completed a full apprenticeship framework. Framework completion data were not published in the pre-LSC era, so figures are not available prior to 2001/02.
|Table 1: Apprenticeship framework achievements|
|Academic year||Framework achievements|
| Note: Volumes are rounded to the nearest hundred. Source: WBL/ERILR|
Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent steps his Department has taken to increase the number of apprenticeships in (a) Staffordshire and (b) the West Midlands. 
Kevin Brennan: We are taking a wide range of measures to increase the number of people taking up an apprenticeship and to encourage more employers to offer high quality places. We have increased spending to over £1 billion in 2009-10. Apprenticeship starts in Staffordshire increased from 3,800 in 2003/04, to 4,600 in 2008/09 and in the west midlands increased from 22,200 to 27,800 over the same period. Nationally, apprenticeship starts increased from 65,000 in 1996/97 to a record 240,000 in 2008/09.
The National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) has responsibility for the delivery of apprenticeships and provides a single point of contact for employers and apprentices, and across the west midlands is working with employers to increase the number of people starting and completing apprenticeships.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what modifications there have been to skills courses relating to financial services funded by his Department as a result of the economic situation. 
Kevin Brennan: Awarding organisations and sector skills councils work closely together to determine the content of vocational qualifications, and any modifications to them, based on agreed national occupational standards reflecting employers' views and labour market intelligence.
We are currently building more flexibility into the vocational qualifications system through the new Qualifications and Credit Framework, and through strengthening employers' say in what qualifications are developed, to ensure greater responsiveness to changes in employers' skills needs.
The Financial Services Skills Council is working on reforms to all vocational qualifications in its footprint so that they can be accredited to the Qualifications and Credit Framework. This includes developing new national occupational standards for financial advisers and using the expertise of established awarding organisations together with input from sector professional bodies to ensure that the skills needs of the financial industry are met.
Mr. Hendrick: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what funding his Department and its predecessors have made available to improve adult (a) literacy and (b) numeracy in Preston since 1997. 
Kevin Brennan: The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) provides funding to further education (FE) colleges and training providers to support adults (aged 19 and older) undertaking courses in literacy, numeracy and English for speakers of other languages (ESOL).
Since the launch of the Skills for Life Strategy in 2001, it is estimated that £5 billion has been invested in Skills for Life provision (for those aged 16 and older) up until 2008. Nearly 6 million adults (aged 19 and older) across England have taken courses to improve their literacy, language and numeracy skills since 2001.
LSC funding is not allocated at the local authority level. Planned investment in Skills for Life at a national level is based on estimated levels of activity for an academic year. The amount of funding routed through Adult Learner Responsive and Train to Gain routes for Skills for Life is estimated at nearly £600 million for 2008-09 financial year and around £630 million for 2009-10 financial year, as set out in the Skills Investment Strategy 2010-11 (November 2009). The actual amount spent on Skills for Life literacy and numeracy provision will depend on learner and employer demand.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills when he plans to announce which further education colleges will receive the £300 million for capital projects in the next spending review period, as referred to in the letter from the then Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills to the Chair of the Learning and Skills Council on 3 June 2009. 
Kevin Brennan: Budget 2009 announced an additional £300 million of capital investment in further education as part of a fiscal stimulus package which has enabled a number of projects to be funded this year. Following an open and transparent prioritisation exercise the Learning and Skills Council announced on 26 June 2009 that 13 projects had been successful. All of these projects have now received final approval and are underway. For those colleges that have not been selected to proceed this round, the next steps have already started with the LSC undertaking a process to determine how future funds will be allocated to achieve the best value for money while keeping bureaucracy to a minimum. The size and scope of the programme will depend on the outcome of the next spending review.
Greg Mulholland: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many businesses in Leeds North West constituency have received a health check from Business Link. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: Business Link 'Health Check' figures are not routinely collated by constituency. However, between 23 October 2008 (when the Health Check was launched) and 30 November 2009 (the date of the most recent figures) over 10,500 individual businesses have benefited from the national Business Link 'Health Check' in the Yorkshire and Humber region, of which more than 1,580 were delivered in the Leeds area.
In December 2008 Business Link Yorkshire also introduced an intensive financial health check for businesses, funded through Yorkshire Forward and working closely with Yorkshire's accountants. By 31 December 2009, 1,368 businesses in the Yorkshire and Humber region had taken up this service, of which 192 were in Leeds.
Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many businesses in Tamworth constituency have received a health check from Business Link to date. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: In the year to date, 95 businesses in Tamworth have received a health check from Business Link. In the same period health checks have been provided to 1,759 businesses in Staffordshire and 9,806 businesses across the west midlands.
Greg Mulholland: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps his Department is taking to encourage young people to obtain support from small business start-up schemes in Leeds North West constituency. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) is taking proactive steps to promote small business start-up schemes to young people across the UK. BIS has recently funded initiatives, such as, "Flying Start"-Make It Happen (MIH) aimed at unemployed graduates, Enterprise UK; "Make Your Mark" campaign aimed at young people between 14 and 19 years, and supports the work of the Prince's Trust, aimed at unemployed young people-particularly in the most deprived areas.
With local chambers and further education colleges, Yorkshire Forward has run a range of enterprise initiatives for young people, such as The Young Peoples' Enterprise Forum and their Graduate Enterprise Programme. In addition, Business Link-BIS's main gateway to support for new and established businesses run by people of all ages-works closely with Yorkshire Forward, the Prince's Trust and Young Enterprise to ensure young people get the support they need to start their own business.
Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps his Department is taking to encourage young people to obtain support from small business start-up schemes in Tamworth constituency. 
(1) As part of a contract with BLWM, Business Enterprise Support (BES) has held an awareness event with Connexions in Tamworth and delivered training on self employment to students at Tamworth college.
(2) Business Link also sub-contract business start up support activity to the Princes Trust. The funding enables outreach workers in south Staffordshire to build relationships with young people in order to introduce them to start up support schemes and encourage them to make full use of the support available.
(3) Business Link works very closely with Job Centre Plus (JCP) who refer young people on benefits who are interested in exploring self-employment. Business Link speaks to each young person to discuss the realities of running a business and to encourage them to join a scheme designed for young people considering setting up a business.
Out of 23 businesses started in Tamworth with assistance from BLWM since April 2009 12 were established by individuals who are under 25-years-old.
Justine Greening: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many applications for grants under the Community Learning Champions Support Programme Development Fund have been received from (a) local partnerships and (b) national, regional or cross-regional organisations; how many such applications (i) related to each local authority area and (ii) were for amounts (A) up to £1,000, (B) from £1,001 to £2,000, (C) from £2,000 to £5,000, D) from £5,000 to £10,000, (E) from £10,000 to £20,000, (F) from £20,001 to £30,000 and (G) over £30,000; and what proportion of these applications have been granted. 
Kevin Brennan: Applications for Development Funding under the Community Learning Champions Support Programme were received between 29 September and 26 October 2009. In answer to point (a), 157 applications for grants were received form local partnerships and on point (b), 14 applications were received from national, regional or cross-regional organisations. Details of the applications relating to local authority areas and funding amounts are set out in the following tables.
|Community Learning Champions Support Programme Development Fund -a applications received|
|Local partnerships - 157 applications received|
|Funding band||Proportion successful|
|Eligible LA districts||Number of applications to work in this area received( 1)||A||B||C||D||E||F||G||Number||Percentage|
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