Christmas

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how much his Department spent on (a) Christmas trees and (b) other Christmas decorations in 2011; and if he will make a statement. [91100]

Mr Davey: In 2011 the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills spent £265 plus VAT on a Christmas tree for the reception at the Department’s headquarters building. No other Christmas decorations were purchased.

Copyright: Arts

Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment he has made of the potential effects on the creative industries of the proposals contained in the Government's consultation on copyright to (a) introduce an exception for private copying, (b) introduce an exception for official celebrations and (c) make exceptions override contractual provisions. [90775]

Mr Davey: The Government are currently seeking detailed evidence on the costs and benefits to all parties who could be affected by the proposals to modernise copyright, through public consultation. The Government have published initial impact assessments based on evidence currently available. These are published on the website of the Intellectual Property Office.

Flexible Working

Graeme Morrice: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps he plans to take to ensure that the proposed extension of the right to request flexible working arrangements to all employees does not (a) adversely affect existing flexible working rights and (b) result in employers rejecting requests without proper consideration. [91559]

Mr Davey: On 16 May 2011 the Government published a full impact assessment on the extension to the right to request flexible working to all employees, alongside the consultation document. We will publish a revised impact assessment alongside the Government response later this year.

The impact assessment shows that we believe the extension will benefit parents and carers, who already have the right to request flexible working, as well as employees who do not currently have the right. The extension will help to change employer and employee attitudes towards flexible working and remove the

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perception that an employee only requests flexible working if they are less committed to the work force. Removing this stigma should increase the confidence of parents and carers to make a request, thereby increasing the number of requests.

The changes to the right to request flexible working proposed in the Modern Workplaces consultation will not reduce protections for employees. The proposal is to replace the current rigid process for considering requests with a duty on employers to consider requests reasonably and within a reasonable period of time. We will publish a statutory code of practice to explain what we mean by reasonable. Employees will still be able to appeal to an employment tribunal if they believe their employer did not consider their request for flexible working reasonably or within a reasonable period of time. We have no intention of changing the existing eight business reasons that an employer needs to give if they refuse a request for flexible working.

We believe that this change will enable employers to consider requests in a less bureaucratic way and in a way that fits with their existing procedures, while ensuring that all employees' requests are considered properly.

Graduates: British Nationals Abroad

Mr Raab: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent estimate has been made of the number of UK graduates living abroad. [91368]

Mr Willetts [holding answer 23 January 2012]: The requested data are not held centrally.

Green Investment Bank: Pay

Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what estimate has been made of the annual staffing costs of the green investment bank on the basis of his Department's assumption that it will employ between 50 and 70 members of staff over the period to 2015 in (a) 2012, (b) 2013, (c) 2014 and (d) 2015. [87091]

Mr Prisk: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on the 19 December 2011, Official Report, column 1024W.

Higher Education

Simon Kirby: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps he is taking to bring more UK universities into the top 100 universities in the world. [91290]

Mr Willetts: Our policies for higher education are designed to sustain and improve the sector's world-class reputation. We have put in place reforms which mean a sustainable income stream for universities; a renewed focus on high-quality teaching so that it has the same prestige as research and we have reduced red tape—including enabling universities to collaborate more effectively and so drive up their performance. We have ring-fenced the science and research budget of £4.6 billion in cash terms, focusing investment on research excellence, and we have announced additional capital investment for

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research and innovation infrastructure. Through Higher Education Innovation Funding, universities are able to engage in knowledge exchange with the wider world.

Higher Education: Admissions

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills which 100 schools had the highest proportion of applicants for undergraduate entry to Oxford and Cambridge universities accepted in 2011. [88919]

Mr Gibb: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Department for Education.

The Department does not collect data on university acceptances, but does hold data on participation in higher education linked to the National Pupil Database, which allows progression to HE from schools to be estimated. The latest data relate to young people in higher education in 2009/10.

The table showing the 100 secondary schools with the highest proportion of 2005/06 GCSE entrants progressing to enter either Oxford or Cambridge by 2009/10 has been placed in the House Libraries. The table does not take account of the institution where the student was during key stage 5.

Industrial Development Act 1982

Vernon Coaker: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills when he plans to publish the results of the consultation on changes to the Industrial Development Act 1982. [91486]

Mr Prisk: The Government's consultation covering these proposed changes closed on 2 November 2011 and we are aiming to publish a response in February 2012.

Legal Profession: Regulation

Sir Alan Meale: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment he has made of the effect of the Government's policy on regulation of legal services on access to redress by consumers. [86831]

Mr Djanogly: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Department for Justice.

The Legal Services Act 2007 established the Legal Services Board (LSB) as the oversight regulator for legal services, and the Office for Legal Complaints (OLC) which administers the legal ombudsman scheme. This is an independent body to handle consumer complaints in respect of legal services provided by authorised persons.

The 2007 Act requires the OLC and chief ombudsman to provide an annual report to Ministers and Parliament on the discharge of their functions and the extent to which they have met their regulatory objectives. This report was laid before Parliament on 18 July 2011 and identified areas where accessing redress for non-regulated legal services may be limited for consumers. As the Minister responsible, I welcomed this analysis. The OLC and the LSB have recently published their business plans and three-year strategies for consultation which include proposals to ensure effective redress for consumers.

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Manufacturing Industries: Government Assistance

Lindsay Roy: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps his Department is taking to provide financial support for manufacturing industry. [91522]

Mr Prisk: There are a range of measures in place to support manufacturing industry. For example, on 6 December 2011, the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, the right hon. Member for Twickenham (Vince Cable), announced the Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative. Up to £125 million will be used to improve the global competitiveness of UK advanced manufacturing supply chains by supporting innovative projects where the UK is well placed to take a global lead. The fund will be run on a competitive basis by the Technology Strategy Board. The manufacturing sector also has opportunities to participate in collaborative R and D projects funded by the Technology Strategy Board and the EU Framework Programme.

In March 2011 we announced a new £75 million programme of targeted support to help smaller employers access advanced level and higher apprenticeships. Manufacturing companies, along with companies from other sectors, will benefit from this package. As part of this programme, on 22 July 2011, the Prime Minister announced details of a £25 million fund to support up to 10,000 advanced level and higher apprenticeships.

In addition to this, there are measures in place to help small businesses and start-up companies access the finance they need, including:

The Enterprise Finance Guarantee scheme, which helps small businesses lacking track record or collateral to secure bank finance;

The Enterprise Capital Funds programme, which provides equity funding to high growth potential businesses;

Export Enterprise Finance Guarantee which provides short-term export finance to viable small and medium-sized enterprises unable to secure commercial funding due to lack of available security.

The Government are also providing support to manufacturers and other businesses through the regional growth fund (RGF). The first two RGF rounds have allocated £1.4 billion to bids from industry, and from public private partnerships, which are expected to safeguard or create up to 326,000 jobs. An additional £1 billion for the RGF was set aside in the Autumn Statement of 29 November 2011, Official Report, columns 799-810. Details of how to apply for future rounds of the fund will be published soon.

Retail Trade: Annual Reports

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will introduce measures to encourage large retailers to report on their support for local high streets as part of their corporate reporting. [90920]

Mr Prisk: The Mary Portas review, an independent review into the future of high streets was published in December, setting out a series of recommendations for industry, local and central Government, including one recommendation which referred corporate reporting. The Government have welcomed the report. The

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Department for Business, Innovation and Skills is working closely with the Department for Communities and Local Government, which is leading on the Government response, due to be published in the spring.

Students: Finance

Shabana Mahmood: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of (a) fee waivers, (b) bursaries and (c) other non-financial support packages in assisting students to meet the living costs associated with going to university. [85775]

Mr Willetts: The Government provide a comprehensive package of living costs support for students undertaking higher education courses. For students starting their courses from September 2012, this will include an increased grant for living costs worth £3,250 for all those from households with an income up to £25,000 and increased loans for living costs of up to £5,500 (or up to £7,675 for students living away from home and studying in London). The new grant and loan package will result in most students being better off in terms of overall living costs support than under the current system, with the greatest support being targeted at students on the lowest incomes. No eligible student should be deterred from applying to higher education due to lack of access to finance.

Students: Loans

Michael Fallon: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills when he expects to announce his decision on early repayment mechanisms for student loans. [90649]

Mr Willetts [holding answer 23 January 2012]: The Government published a consultation on potential early repayment mechanisms for student loans alongside the White Paper consultation, “Students at the Heart of the System”, on 28 June 2011.

The Department also published a technical consultation document, “A new fit for purpose regulatory framework for the higher education sector”, on 4 August 2011.

We intend to publish in due course a single response covering the range of issues which were considered in these three consultations. The response will include a list of respondents and a summary of responses for each of the three consultations.

Summertime

George Freeman: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent meetings he has had with (a) the National Farmers Union and (b) other representatives of the farming community to discuss potential changes to daylight savings time; and if he will make a statement. [91247]

Mr Davey: No such meetings have taken place. Rebecca Harris's Daylight Saving Bill, as amended in Committee, would require the Government to prepare a report on the potential costs and benefits of advancing UK time by one hour before taking any action. This report would need to reflect the views of all interested parties, including the farming community.

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Supermarkets: Competition

Mr Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps he plans to take to assess the effectiveness of the voluntary code of practice between producers and supermarkets; and if he will made a statement. [91597]

Mr Davey: The Groceries Supply Code of Practice, which sets out how grocery producers and large grocery retailers should interact, is established on a statutory basis by Order of the Competition Commission. The current form of the Groceries Supply Code of Practice came into effect on 4 February 2010. The Office of Fair Trading has responsibility for keeping remedies such as this under review.

Additionally, the Government plan to introduce a Groceries Code Adjudicator, to ensure that this Code of Practice is adhered to. The draft Groceries Code Adjudicator Bill sets out that this Adjudicator will be reviewed within the first three years after its introduction, and every three years thenceforth.

Third Sector

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps his Department is taking to measure progress on the implementation of policies supporting the big society initiative; and if he will make a statement. [91386]

Mr Davey: The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), leads on promoting, focusing and facilitating the contribution of businesses to the big society under Every Business Commits. I chair a joint BIS and Cabinet Office Steering Group, with Sir Philip Green who has been appointed as our adviser on corporate responsibility and Every Business Commits. The Steering Group provides the leadership for, and oversight of, progress across Government on our priorities.

Existing departmental business planning monitors progress on other BIS policies that contribute to the big society's drive to put individuals and communities in control: for example, empowering consumers, increasing learner choices, and supporting local enterprise partnerships.

Trade Unions: Training

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills pursuant to the answer of 19 December 2011, Official Report, columns 1034-6W, on Trade Unions: Training, how many trade union representatives or officials undertook courses covering each of the learning aim titles. [89740]

Mr Hayes: Data which show the number of trade union representatives or officials who enrolled on trade union representative courses are not available.

Information on further education and skills participation, enrolments and achievements is published in a quarterly Statistical First Release (SFR). The latest SFR was published on 27 October 2011:

http://www.thedataservice.org.uk/statistics/statisticalfirstrelease/sfr_current

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Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what the (a) job titles and (b) pay bands are of trade union officials whose salaries have been funded by (i) the Union Learning Fund, (ii) public funds used to support TUC Education and (iii) other sources of public funding from his Department; and if he will make it his policy to name those individuals. [89741]

Mr Hayes: The information requested is as follows.

(i) The Union Learning Fund (ULF) is only used to pay the salaries of project managers, project workers and finance officers/administrators in the field whose work is solely related to union learning. In addition, costs for TUC staff employed to undertake the work of unionlearn and administer the ULF are funded through the annual Grant Funding Agreement. The tables outline job titles and pay bands.

(ii) The funding of TUC education courses, like all other further education and training courses is used to meet the costs of delivering the training not the salary costs of learners undertaking the training.

(iii) One member of TUC staff is currently employed to lead on their Union Modernisation Fund Vulnerable Workers Project which is due to be completed in May 2012. The aim of the project is to support trade unions to tackle vulnerable employment and raise awareness among union representatives and workers of the Pay and Work Rights Helpline and the role that the enforcement bodies can play in protecting vulnerable workers.

(iv) It is not the intention of BIS to make it policy to name individuals involved in the Union Learning Fund, unionlearn or the Union Modernisation Fund. This information is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Table A: Job titles project/admin workers of ULF funded within ULF
Pay band Job titles

Pay bands will vary across projects

Project Managers

 

Project Workers

 

Finance Officers

 

Administrators

Table B: Job titles pay bands of TUC staff funded within ULF
Pay band Job title

Grade 2

1. Administrative Assistant

   

Grade 4

2. Administrative Assistant

 

3. Union Development Administrator

   

Grade 5

4. Project Assistant

   

Grade 6

5. Assistant Project Support Officer

 

6. Learning Centre Project Worker

 

7. Office Administrator

 

8. Senior Finance Assistant

 

9. Union Support Officer

   

Grade 7

10. Apprenticeships Liaison and Promotions Officer

 

11. Case Study Officer

 

12. Climbing Frame Support Officer

 

13. Development Worker

 

14. E Learning Support Officer

 

15. E-Learning and Communications Officer

 

16. Finance Officer

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17. Management Information Officer

 

18. National Learning Centres Support Officer

 

19. Personnel Assistant

 

20. Project Accountant

 

21. Project Manager

 

22. Projects Finance Officer

 

23. Senior Union Support Officer

 

24. Web Officer

   

Grade 8

25. Apprenticeships Policy and Campaigns Officer

 

26. Bargaining for Skills Officer

 

27. Development Co-ordinator

 

28. Learning Centre Manager

 

29. Management Accountant

 

30. Media Officer

 

31. Projects Coordinator

 

32. Regional and Training Officer

 

33. Regional Education and Training Officer

 

34. Training and Development Officer

 

35. Time to Train Policy Officer

 

36. Unionlearn Strategic Support Officer

 

37. ULF Co-ordinator

 

38. Vulnerable Workers Policy Officer

   

Grade 9

39. Communications and Marketing Manager

 

40. Regional Manager

 

41. Research and Strategy Manager

 

42. Standards and Quality Manager

 

43. Union Development Manager

 

44. ULF Manager

   

Grade 10

45. Unionlearn Director

Table C: Job title and pay band of TUC staff member working on UMF project
Pay band Job title

Grade 8

46. Vulnerable Employment Policy Officer

Working Hours: EU Law

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment he has made of the effects of the introduction of the European working time directive on (a) family life and (b) children's subjective well-being; and whether he plans to make proposals for changes to the directive. [91511]

Mr Davey: The organisation of working time is only one aspect of a broader suite of social and economic policy measures which impact on family life and children's well-being and work. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has published a series of work-life balance surveys which looks at issues relating to work-life balance including working hours, the provision and

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take-up of flexible working arrangements, and employee attitudes to work-life balance issues. The latest published survey is available on the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) website, and the fourth work-life balance survey will be published later this year.

European Social Partners are currently negotiating on the working time directive, an autonomous process independent of the European Commission and member states.

Plastic Surgery: Breasts

Jonathan Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what discussions he has had with surgery companies on ensuring that the cost of (a) removing and (b) replacing implants which may include non-medical grade silicon gel as a result of product defaults is not passed on to their patients. [91258]

Mr Simon Burns: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Department of Health.

Patients who received an implant from Poly Implant Prothèse as part of NHS treatment in England will be contacted and offered a consultation and, if they wish, a scan to determine whether their implants have ruptured or leaked. They will also be given the option, after discussion, with their GP or with the surgical team that carried out the original operation, of having the implants removed and replaced, whether or not there is evidence that the implants have ruptured.

We have made clear that we expect private providers of cosmetic surgery to make the same provision, without cost, for their patients. A number of organisations have already announced that they will do so and we expect the remainder to follow suit. For any patient whose original provider has gone out of business, or refuses to meet its moral and legal obligations, the NHS as provider of last resort will offer a consultation, a scan if desired, and removal (but not replacement) of the implants.

International Development

British Overseas Territories

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many officials in his Department are solely responsible for Overseas Territory affairs; and what the (a) job title is and (b) specific responsibilities are of each such official. [91042]

Mr Duncan: The Department for International Development (DFID) has a dedicated department working on Overseas Territories that qualify for UK assistance. A total of 30 DFID officials work full-time on UK aid programmes providing assistance to St Helena, Montserrat, Tristan da Cunha and Pitcairn. Officials also monitor UK assistance provided to those Caribbean Territories which have required support to strengthen the management of their public finances.

DFID advisers and staff work closely with partners in Overseas Territory Governments in providing this aid. Examples include (i) support provided for health and education programmes; (ii) expert economics, governance, environment, and infrastructure advice; and

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(iii) support with procurement and contracting. Regular monitoring and reviews of this aid ensures that UK assistance to the Overseas Territories is well targeted, provides value for money, and is being managed well. More information on DFID’s work in the Overseas Territories can be found at DFID’s website:

www.dfid.gov.uk

Departmental Manpower

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many and what proportion of full-time equivalent staff in his Department are engaged in delivering (a) frontline and (b) corporate or back office services; and if he will make a statement. [91075]

Mr Duncan: On 1 January 2012 the Department for International Development had 2,480 staff. 467 (18.8%) staff are in UK-based corporate divisions and engaged in corporate or back office services. The remaining 2,013 staff (81.2%) are based in our Policy and International programme delivery divisions based both in the UK and overseas.

Sudan: Debts

Tony Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what consideration he has given to provision of debt relief to the Government of Sudan. [90918]

Mr Andrew Mitchell: Debt relief will be an important element of Sudan's economic development, which in turn will be critical if Sudan is to become a stable and

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peaceful nation. As such we have led international efforts to establish a technical working group on the issue, which is overseeing the necessary technical preparations for debt relief, meeting most recently in September 2011. However, as we have consistently made clear to the Sudanese Government, debt relief remains conditional on the need to see genuine progress towards inclusive peace and justice throughout the country, and resolving the outstanding issues from the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.

Yemen: Overseas Aid

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much aid his Department has provided to Yemen since January 2011. [91119]

Mr Duncan: The amount of bilateral assistance provided to Yemen by the Department for International Development (DFID) is reported in “Statistics on International Development”, which is available in the Library of the House and on DFID's website.

For the financial year 2010-11, total DFID bilateral programme expenditure was £51.1 million. For this financial year, 2011-12, bilateral programme spend to date is nearly £23 million, with significant further expenditure planned before the end of the financial year. A significant deterioration in security in Yemen during 2011 slowed DFID’s programme delivery and led to an increased focus on the provision of humanitarian assistance. Unlike other donors we decided not to suspend our programme. We hope that political transition progresses well and that we are able to scale up our programme in 2012-13.