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3 Jun 2010 : Column 96Wcontinued
Kelvin Hopkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will bring forward proposals to ensure the Chief Executive of the Skills Funding Agency receives regular advice from students, colleges and employers through a board structure; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Hayes: The Skills Funding Agency became fully operational on 1 April 2010, and is responsible for funding adult education and skills training, including apprenticeships for people aged 16 and over. In fulfilling this role, it is vital that the Skills Funding Agency works closely with learners, employers, and the further education sector more widely. An external advisory board is therefore being established which will consist of representatives from learners, employers and their representative bodies. Separate arrangements for a national advisory group have been agreed with colleges and training organisations, which will provide a forum for sharing information between the Chief Executive of Skills Funding and further education colleges and training organisations.
Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps he plans to take to improve manufacturing and research skill levels in the West Midlands. 
Mr Hayes: The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills is seeking to drive up the skills levels of the workforce by directing public funding where it will bring the clearest benefits.
Following consultation across the region, the following priorities have been identified in the manufacturing sector in the West Midlands: increase the number of apprenticeships and develop new apprenticeship models to engage higher value-added sectors; and support growth points in the regional economy including advanced manufacturing, low carbon and digital sectors through integrated skills offers.
This is supported by the Sector Skills Council for the manufacturing sector, the Science Engineering Manufacturing and Technologies Alliance (SEMTA), which aims to improve skill levels by:
Developing apprenticeship frameworks and ensuring that qualifications meet employers' needs;
Ensuring authoritative labour market information is available for the sector; and
Raising employer engagement, demand and investment in skills.
We need more people with science and engineering skills at all levels to support excellence in our research base and to be successful in the future. As we rebalance the economy, policies to create the environment for a high-performing research base will be a critical factor.
Rachel Reeves: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what plans he has for the future of Yorkshire Forward. 
Mr Prisk: The Government set out their position on the future of Regional Developments Agencies (RDAs) in their programme for Government: "Freedom Fairness Responsibility". We will support the creation of Local Enterprise Partnerships to replace RDAs.
Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change when and in what form he plans to publish a list of all items of expenditure by his Department over £25,000. 
Gregory Barker: My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has written to Cabinet Ministers reiterating transparency commitments made in the Coalition Programme for Government, and setting out a timetable for achieving them. In particular, all new items of central government spending over £25,000 will be published online in an open format from November 2010.
Mr Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what his most recent estimate is of the annual cost to his Department of redundancy payments for (a) front line and (b) other staff. 
Gregory Barker: The Department has made no estimate of any such costs.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what the average national
grid transmission charge in each generation zone is; and what change to the charge in each zone has been in each of the last five years. 
Charles Hendry: The following chart shows the average National Grid Transmission Network Use of System (TNUoS) charges in each generation zone.
As zones and the methodology have evolved over time, National Grid advise that it is difficult to make a direct comparison between published zone tariffs. In order to make a meaningful comparison, therefore, National Grid has made alterations to the data, including:
Removal of Year 1 charges from the average (zones were adjusted between 2006-07 and 2007-08).
An adjustment to lessen the impact of moving to local charging (TNUoS charges were effectively split into two charges-local and wider. The tariffs have been re-combined for the benefit of the comparison).
|Zonal tariff (£/kW)|
|Zone No.||Zone name||2006-07||2007-08||2008-09||2009-10||2010-11||Average Y2-5||% change Y2 to Y5||% change Y2 to Y5 as % of largest tariff||Contracted generation October 2009 (MW)||% change in generation over period|
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