Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions with reference to the answer of 19 March 2012, Official Report, column 495W, on employment schemes, whether he has issued the

15 May 2012 : Column 105W

provider guidance on publishing Work programme data; and if he will place a copy of any such guidance in the Library. [107432]

Chris Grayling: The guidance to providers on releasing Work programme performance data has not yet been finalised. DWP are still in discussions with ERSA, the trade body for employment related services, to agree the extent to which data can be shared in advance of the publication of Official Statistics in autumn 2012.

Foreign Workers

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions with reference to the answer of 24 April 2012, Official Report, column 789W, on foreign workers, what the nature and value was of each of the five contracts; and what the value of the outsourced portion was in each case. [107433]

Chris Grayling: The previous answer referred to states there were five suppliers, not five contracts.

Jobseeker’s Allowance: Ashfield

Gloria De Piero: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people in Ashfield constituency claim jobseeker's allowance; and how many former claimants in Ashfield constituency have found employment through the Access to Work scheme since its introduction. [107438]

Maria Miller: At March 2012 there were 2,946 claimants of jobseeker's allowance in Ashfield constituency. Since 1 April 2007(1) and up to 29 February 2012, 30 former claimants of jobseeker's allowance in Ashfield constituency have started the Access to Work scheme(2).

(1) Access to work data are only available from 1 April 2007 onwards.

(2) Source:

Access to work database, 100% WPLS and NOMIS claimant count. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10.

Materials Handling Equipment

Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate his Department has made of the number of deaths as a result of crane accidents in each year from 2008 and in 2012 to date. [107508]

Chris Grayling: The numbers of fatalities in all industries resulting from crane accidents are shown in the following table:

  Number of fatalities

2007/08

2

2008/09

10

2009/10

3

2010/11 (provisional)

2

The fatality statistics for 2010/11 will be finalised on 5 July 2012.

Provisional fatality statistics for 2011/12 will be published on 5 July 2012. However, the detailed analysis required to produce specific data about fatalities involving tower cranes is not expected to be completed until November 2012.

15 May 2012 : Column 106W

Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate his Department has made of the cost to (a) the Health and Safety Executive and (b) crane users of compiling the tower crane register in (i) 2010, (ii) 2011 and (iii) 2012. [107509]

Chris Grayling: The cost to Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in 2010/11 of setting up and administering the tower crane register was £175,000. The total cost to industry in the same period was estimated to be £78,000.

The estimated cost to HSE in 2011/12 of administering the register is £21,000. The total cost to industry in 2011/12 is estimated to be £51,000.

Occupational Pensions

Brandon Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) whether representatives of the agency sector will be involved in the workplace pension reforms evaluation strategy; [106633]

(2) what format the workplace pension reform strategy will take; and what steps he plans to take to involve stakeholders. [106634]

Steve Webb: We are committed to a full evaluation of the impact of the workplace pension reforms. A copy of the workplace pension reform evaluation strategy can be found at:

http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd5/rports2011-2012/rrep764.pdf

The first report based on this strategy will be published summer 2012. This will reflect the views of a range of stakeholders on the scope and approach of the evaluation strategy. These views were gathered during workshops held in March 2012, which were attended by national bodies representing the agency sector, alongside other key stakeholders including industry providers, academics and research organisations. A full list of organisations consulted will be published in the report.

Stakeholder views will continue to be taken into account over the course of the evaluation programme.

Social Fund: Scotland

Dr Whiteford: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much his Department spent on (a) community care grants, (b) budgeting loans, (c) crisis loans items, (d) crisis loan living expenses and (e) crisis loan alignments in each region of Scotland in (i) 2009-10 and (ii) 2010-11; and how much he expects to allocate for each purpose in each region of Scotland in (A) 2012-13 and (B) 2013-14. [107024]

Steve Webb: The following tables provide details of the amount spent in each region of Scotland in 2009-10 and 2010-11 on each element of the discretionary social fund.

The current scheme will continue for 2012-13. However, under the localisation agenda approximately £25 million will be allocated to Scotland in 2013-14 for the local provision that will replace community care grants and non-alignment crisis loans.

15 May 2012 : Column 107W

15 May 2012 : Column 108W

Table 1: Discretionary social fund spend in Scotland 2010-11 by local authority
£
  CCGs BLs CL items CL alignment CL living expenses

Aberdeen City

426,000

1,238,000

240,000

250,000

368,000

Aberdeenshire

273,000

644,000

134,000

141,000

154,000

Angus

260,000

635,000

95,000

138,000

123,000

Argyll and Bute

282,000

433,000

129,000

86,000

93,000

Clackmannanshire

201,000

567,000

116,000

90,000

119,000

Dumfries and Galloway

444,000

847,000

209,000

162,000

157,000

Dundee City

756,000

1,816,000

273,000

327,000

301,000

East Ayrshire

548,000

1,396,000

343,000

229,000

205,000

East Dunbartonshire

166,000

428,000

92,000

77,000

80,000

East Lothian

222,000

515,000

90,000

117,000

97,000

East Renfrewshire

144,000

373,000

67,000

50,000

61,000

Edinburgh, City of

1,294,000

3,202,000

495,000

718,000

657,000

Eilean Siar

33,000

60,000

18,000

12,000

12,000

Falkirk

585,000

1,179,000

236,000

219,000

260,000

Fife

1,053,000

3,167,000

449,000

516,000

500,000

Glasgow City

5,337,000

10,769,000

1,841,000

1,692,000

1,707,000

Highland

484,000

1,040,000

236,000

241,000

260,000

Inverclyde

435,000

874,000

287,000

160,000

206,000

Midlothian

252,000

662,000

100,000

98,000

117,000

Moray

207,000

326,000

69,000

89,000

96,000

North Ayrshire

683,000

1,785,000

402,000

288,000

284,000

North Lanarkshire

1,934,000

4,055,000

944,000

697,000

704,000

Orkney Islands

28,000

29,000

15,000

12,000

6,000

Perth and Kinross

347,000

585,000

109,000

156,000

156,000

Renfrewshire

577,000

1,849,000

461,000

323,000

403,000

Scottish Borders

297,000

509,000

118,000

102,000

111,000

Shetland Islands

41,000

35,000

7,000

19,000

18,000

South Ayrshire

429,000

885,000

209,000

178,000

147,000

South Lanarkshire

1,297,000

2,835,000

562,000

493,000

497,000

Stirling

249,000

465,000

93,000

106,000

108,000

West Dunbartonshire

524,000

1,326,000

264,000

198,000

235,000

West Lothian

644,000

1,344,000

290,000

326,000

356,000

Notes: 1. Applications and awards are rounded to the nearest 10. 2. Total expenditure is rounded to the nearest 100. 3. Percentages may not sum to 100% due to rounding. 4. Figures are different from the annual report as a different source has been used. 5. There are up to 15% of cases missing when the SF data source is merged with the National Benefit Database to obtain local authority the person lived in at the time of application.
Table 2: Discretionary social fund spend in Scotland 2009-10 by local authority
£
  CCGs BLs CL items CL alignment CL living expenses

Aberdeen City

415,000

1,324,000

256,000

262,000

369,000

Aberdeenshire

272,000

680,000

142,000

139,000

159,000

Angus

237,000

685,000

121,000

136,000

154,000

Argyll and Bute

268,000

471,000

115,000

109,000

119,000

Clackmannanshire

176,000

595,000

113,000

101,000

133,000

Dumfries and Galloway

385,000

963,000

178,000

179,000

179,000

Dundee City

809,000

2,044,000

342,000

367,000

387,000

East Ayrshire

565,000

1,609,000

363,000

248,000

271,000

East Dunbartonshire

155,000

471,000

84,000

76,000

80,000

East Lothian

218,000

598,000

103,000

133,000

136,000

East Renfrewshire

141,000

427,000

77,000

57,000

71,000

Edinburgh, City of

1,282,000

3,595,000

591,000

800,000

801,000

Eilean Siar

54,000

84,000

21,000

15,000

10,000

Falkirk

505,000

1,278,000

260,000

220,000

280,000

Fife

1,037,000

3,517,000

519,000

534,000

542,000

Glasgow City

5,372,000

12,073,000

2,095,000

1,795,000

1,900,000

Highland

451,000

1,148,000

202,000

255,000

276,000

Inverclyde

457,000

1,002,000

295,000

180,000

288,000

Midlothian

237,000

659,000

118,000

124,000

137,000

Moray

152,000

345,000

61,000

83,000

100,000

North Ayrshire

695,000

2,058,000

392,000

290,000

368,000

North Lanarkshire

1,865,000

4,467,000

1,084,000

663,000

868,000

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15 May 2012 : Column 110W

Orkney Islands

27,000

41,000

6,000

7,000

6,000

Perth and Kinross

366,000

627,000

123,000

144,000

168,000

Renfrewshire

582,000

2,063,000

494,000

334,000

485,000

Scottish Borders

270,000

517,000

107,000

100,000

109,000

Shetland Islands

47,000

37,000

10,000

16,000

18,000

South Ayrshire

449,000

1,024,000

211,000

174,000

168,000

South Lanarkshire

1,249,000

3,092,000

654,000

510,000

572,000

Stirling

241,000

533,000

100,000

108,000

126,000

West Dunbartonshire

484,000

1,513,000

247,000

212,000

284,000

West Lothian

719,000

1,522,010

350,000

379,000

433,000

Notes: 1. Applications and awards are rounded to the nearest 10. 2. Total expenditure is rounded to the nearest 100. 3. Percentages may not sum to 100% due to rounding. 4. Figures are different from the annual report as a different source has been used.

Social Security Benefits

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions for what reasons warning letters sent to benefit claimants who may be affected by the introduction of the benefit cap do not state how much the household is likely to lose as a result of the cap; and if he will make it his policy that such information should be included. [107435]

Chris Grayling: The intention of the direct mail letters is to give all claimants, who may be affected by the cap, as much notice and support as possible to help them change their circumstances before the cap is implemented. The letters will not state the actual financial impact for the household as their circumstances could change before the cap is implemented in April 2013. A benefit cap helpline has been set up to provide claimants with information and signpost them to support, based on their individual need.

State Retirement Pensions: British Nationals Abroad

Michael Connarty: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of pensioners that would leave the UK each year if pensions were unfrozen for pensioners living abroad permanently. [106539]

Steve Webb: There is insufficient evidence on which to base a reliable estimate.

Michael Connarty: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the findings of the report by Oxford Economics entitled “Uprating Frozen-Rate Pensions”. [106540]

Steve Webb: I note that the report concludes that uprating all pensions paid overseas would incur additional costs, which would need to be borne by the UK taxpayer.

Universal Credit

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will make it his policy that all telephone numbers which claimants have to call to claim universal credit or to discuss their claim are free to call from a landline and cheap or free to call from a mobile telephone; and if he will make a statement. [107434]

Chris Grayling: The Department is currently reviewing its telephony numbering policy in conjunction with Ofcom, and this includes the use of 0845 telephone numbers.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) current strategy is that calls to claim benefit or request emergency payments should be free, so it uses 0800 free phone numbers for these calls.

The Department currently uses 0845 telephone numbers when claimants call for other reasons, and these are calls that typically take less time to resolve. The charges that apply to these calls will be set by the customer's telephone or mobile operator.

DWP currently has an agreement with eight of the UK's main mobile phone operators that calls to DWP 0800 numbers are free. If we migrated all of our 0845 telephone numbers over to 0800, it is unlikely that mobile phone operators would agree to extend the agreement to cover the increase.

We are aware of the financial difficulties that this can cause some people and so, when someone asks us or raises concern over the cost of a call, we will offer to call them back. The Department also provides “Customer Access Phones” in a large number of its Jobcentre Plus offices, where people can make benefit claims or pursue job applications, and they do not have to pay when using these facilities.

We also encourage claimants to use online facilities as an alternative to calling our 0800 and 0845 services.

Energy and Climate Change

Biofuels

Dan Byles: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what legal advice his Department has received on the compliance with GATT rules of differentiating subsidy support for biomass feedstocks sourced domestically and internationally. [106888]

Charles Hendry: The Wood Panel Industries Federation (WPIF) provided the Department with a copy of a legal opinion they had commissioned on this issue. The Department's own legal advice is confidential and the subject of legal professional privilege.

15 May 2012 : Column 111W

Carbon Emissions: Public Buildings

Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate he has made of the level of carbon emissions from publicly owned buildings in (a) 2010, (b) 2011 and (c) January to April 2012. [107510]

Gregory Barker: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 22 November 2011, Official Report, column 312W.

Departmental Staff: Political Affiliation

Mrs Hodgson: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what the (a) job title and (b) pay band was of each official, excluding special advisers, recruited by his Department since May 2010 who previously held an elected position as a member of the (i) Conservative party and (ii) Liberal Democrat party; and whether their position was advertised publicly. [107274]

Gregory Barker: The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) does not hold details of the previous employment of its staff on a central database. Searching individual records to find this information would incur disproportionate costs.

Environment Protection: International Assistance

Thomas Docherty: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what steps he plans to take to ensure that the UN initiative on Sustainable Energy for All is a priority for the G20 Clean Energy Ministerial. [107079]

Gregory Barker: The Department hosted the third Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) on 25-26 April 2012, which included a number of important links with the United Nations Secretary-General's initiative on Sustainable Energy for All (SE4A11).

With UK support the SE4A11 High Level Group met on 24 April, the day before the CEM, allowing a number of participants to attend both meetings.

The UN Secretary-General participated by audio link at the CEM. The Co-Chairs of the SE4A11 High Level Group also attended the CEM and they and the Secretary of State for International Development, my right hon. Friend the Member for Sutton Coldfield (Mr Mitchell), who is the UK Government lead for SE4A11, participated in a joint CEM-SE4A11 press conference, which included announcements of a number of initiatives focusing on energy access and clean energy deployment in developing countries.

Green Deal Scheme

Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change with reference to the answer of 30 April 2012, Official Report, column 1221W, on the Green Deal scheme, what the salary band is of each employee working on the Green Deal. [107250]

15 May 2012 : Column 112W

Gregory Barker: The salary ranges of staff working on the Green Deal can be found through the following link:

http://reference.data.gov.uk/gov-structure/organogram/?dept=decc&post=1

These staff numbers are correct as of 30 September 2011.

Pets

Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change whether his Department provides food and facilities for animals owned by Ministers in a personal capacity; and if he will make a statement. [106800]

Gregory Barker: The Department of Energy and Climate Change does not provide food or facilities for animals owned by Ministers in a personal capacity.

Sick Leave

Mr Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many days of sick leave were taken by staff in his Department in each of the last three years. [106441]

Gregory Barker: The number of days of sick leave taken by staff in the Department of Energy and Climate Change in each of the last three years is shown in the following table:

Period Number of days

1 April 2009 to 31 March 2010

3,667

1 April 2010 to 31 March 2011

4,263

1 April 2011 to 31 March 2012

4,786

This reflects an increase in the number of staff over the period. The average working days lost (AWDL) per member of staff employed has decreased as shown in the following table:

Period AWDL

1 April 2009 to 31 March 2010

4.4

1 April 2010 to 31 March 2011

3.6

1 April 2011 to 31 March 2012

3.6

Business, Innovation and Skills

Apprentices

Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many black people aged 16 to 24 years gained a place on an apprenticeship scheme for each occupation type in (a) 2010 and (b) 2011; and how many of those people secured a permanent job after completing the apprenticeship. [106420]

Mr Hayes: Final data showing the number of apprenticeship programme starts by ethnicity, age and sector subject area in the 2010/11 academic year, the latest period for which final data are available, will be placed in the Libraries of the House.

15 May 2012 : Column 113W

Information on the employment status of ethnic minority learners after completing an apprenticeship framework is not available.

The Department (with the National Apprenticeship Service) undertakes surveys of apprentices which ask about their employment outcomes. A recent survey (May 2012) shows that 85% of apprenticeship completers (those who completed their apprenticeship in the last 12 months) were employed by an employer at the time of the survey with a further 4% being self-employed. This gives a total of 89% in employment at the time of the survey.

A previous survey commissioned by the former Learning and Skills Council(1 )looked at the employment status of individuals at the time of the interview (December 2008/January 2009), by when they completed their apprenticeship, going back to 2003/04. The results are very similar.

(1) The Benefits of Completing an Apprenticeship LSC 2009.

Apprentices: Reading (Berkshire)

Alok Sharma: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many businesses in Reading West constituency employ at least one apprentice. [106673]

Mr Hayes: Information is not available on the number of businesses employing apprentices at the constituency level. In West Berkshire local authority there were 530 workplaces with at least one apprentice in-learning in the 2010/11 academic year.

The number of employers is recorded at the site (workplace) level which means some large organisations can be counted more than once.

Information on the number of apprenticeship starts is published in a quarterly Statistical First Release (SFR). The latest SFR was published on 29 March 2012:

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

Further breakdowns are available in SFR supplementary tables:

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

BRIC Countries

Alok Sharma: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many meetings (a) Ministers and (b) officials in his Department have had with officials in the Government of (i) India, (ii) China and (iii) Brazil in the last 12 months. [106677]

Mr Prisk: Ministers from the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) meet their counterparts in India, China and Brazil during regular high level meetings under initiatives such as the Joint Economic and Trade Committee, and during inward and outward visits. BIS officials based in the UK and overseas meet representatives of these countries on a daily basis. These interactions occur in a wide variety of circumstances and it is therefore not possible accurately to assess the number of meetings that have taken place in the last 12 months.

15 May 2012 : Column 114W

An overview of BIS ministerial interactions can be found at:

http://www.bis.gov.uk/transparency/staff

Alok Sharma: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many meetings officials in his Department have had with businesses from (a) India, (b) China and (c) Brazil seeking to invest in the UK in the last 12 months. [106680]

Mr Prisk: Officials from the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) regularly meet representatives from businesses in India, China and Brazil, seeking to invest in the UK. One of the key functions of UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) is to meet, and provide assistance to, companies looking to invest in the UK. Given the frequency of these meetings it is not possible to accurately assess their number over a 12-month period.

Alok Sharma: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many meetings officials in his Department have had with businesses seeking to export to (a) India, (b) China and (c) Brazil in the last 12 months. [106681]

Mr Prisk: Officials from the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) meet representatives from UK business seeking to do business in India, China and Brazil regularly. One of the key functions of UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) is to meet, and provide assistance to, UK companies looking to expand into overseas markets. Given the frequency of these meetings it is not possible to accurately assess their number over a 12 month period.

Alok Sharma: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many visits have been made to (a) India, (b) China and (c) Brazil by Ministers in his Department in each of the last 10 years. [106796]

Mr Prisk: Ministers from the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills make regular visits to India, Chain and Brazil given these markets’ increasing importance to the global economy. Full records are not available for the 10-year period in question.

An overview of BIS ministerial interactions can be found at:

http://www.bis.gov.uk/transparency/staff

Certification Officer

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what the total cost was of the Certification Office in each of the last five years; and what the total remuneration was of the Certification Officer in each such year. [106960]

Norman Lamb: The total cost of the Certification Office and the total remuneration for the Certification Officer in each of the last five years is available in the Certification Officer's Annual report for those years. The reports can be accessed from the Certification Officer's website at:

http://www.certoffice.org/Publications/Annual-Reports.aspx

15 May 2012 : Column 115W

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many complaints were received by the Certification Officer about trade unions in each of the last five years. [106961]

Norman Lamb: The total number of complaints received by the Certification Officer about trade unions in each of the last five years is available in the Certification Officer's annual report for those years. The reports can be accessed from the Certification Officer's website at:

http://www.certoffice.org/Publications/Annual-Reports.aspx

Community Interest Companies: Lancashire

Paul Maynard: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will place in the Library a list of current community interest companies registered in Lancashire. [106686]

Norman Lamb: Companies House has prepared a list of 270 companies which it believes are registered in Lancashire and this will be placed in the Libraries of the House. However, this list is not definitive as Companies House's data are extracted primarily from postcode areas, which can cross county boundaries.

Conservative Party and Liberal Democrats

Mrs Hodgson: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what (a) grants and (b) contracts his Department has awarded to companies or organisations run by individuals who previously held an elected position as a member of the (i) Conservative party and (ii) Liberal Democrat party since May 2010; what the (A) value and (B) nature was of these contracts; and whether they were publicly advertised. [107105]

Norman Lamb: We do not request this type of information as part of our (a) grant award and (b) contract award processes and as a consequence the Department does not hold this information.

Exports

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what the value of British exports was in (a) 2009-10, (b) 2010-11 and (c) 2011-12; and what estimate he has made of the value of such exports in 2012-13. [106437]

Mr Prisk: Figures for the UK's exports of goods and services (in current prices) by financial year are shown in the following table:

  £ billion

2009-10

401

2010-11

457

2011-12(1)

490

(1) Based on actual figures for Q2-4 2011 and OBR estimates for Q1 2012 Source: ONS Monthly Review of External Trade Statistics OBR Economic and Fiscal Outlook March 2012

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has estimated that the UK's exports of goods and services in 2012-13 will amount to £515 billion.

15 May 2012 : Column 116W

Fisheries: Compensation

Alan Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how much has been paid under all compensation schemes for distant water trawlermen; and how much has been paid to trawlermen from Hull. [106484]

Norman Lamb: Over £60 million has been paid under all compensation schemes for distant water trawlermen. The information on how much has been paid to trawlermen from Hull is held on separate databases and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Green Investment Bank

Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills with reference to the answer of 30 April 2012, Official Report, column 1254W, on the Green Investment Bank, which stages remain to be completed in the state aid application for the Green Investment Bank; and when his Department expects these stages to be completed. [107249]

Mr Prisk: Officials in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills remain engaged in detailed discussions with the European Commission about our proposal to create the Green Investment Bank. The Commission has examined the UK's proposals, as outlined in draft notification documents provided on 30 November 2011, and is providing ongoing feedback which should enable the state aid submission to be formally notified shortly. Once the proposals are formally notified, the Commission will have two months in which to decide whether to approve the proposed state aid as compatible with the EU treaty or to open a full investigation procedure.

Green Investment Bank: Wales

Jonathan Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what discussions he has had with Ministers in the Welsh Government on locating in Wales any functions of the Green Investment Bank. [106840]

Mr Prisk: The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, the right hon. Member for Twickenham (Vince Cable), has not had any discussions with Ministers in the Welsh Government on locating functions of the Green Investment Bank in Wales.

Higher Education: Finance

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will list the meetings (a) Ministers and (b) officials in his Department have had with (i) RBS, (ii) Santander, (iii) Lloyds Banking Group, (iv) other banks and (v) hedge funds on changes in university funding since May 2010; and if he will make a statement. [106999]

Mr Willetts: I have attended a number of events with banking groups relating to our higher education reforms. A list of Ministers' meetings can be found on the website of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills:

http://www.bis.gov.uk/transparency/staff

15 May 2012 : Column 117W

I met Barclays in November 2010 to discuss professional and career development loans and on 24 May 2011 I met Santander Universities representatives to discuss student loans.

Officials from Student Finance met with Santander on 13 June and Citibank on 24 November 2011.

Officials from Student Finance and Research held discussions with Barclays Bank in February 2012 about postgraduate finance.

Higher Education: Mathematics

Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what information his Department holds on the proportion of science, technology, engineering and mathematics degrees that require further mathematics for entry. [107518]

Mr Willetts: The information is not held centrally.

Higher Education: Private Sector

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will list the meetings (a) Ministers and (b) officials in his Department have had with commercial universities (i) in total and (ii) in each of the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. [107001]

Mr Willetts: I meet regularly with providers of higher education including for-profit institutions. A quarterly-updated list of all Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) ministerial meetings with external organisations is available at:

http://data.gov.uk/dataset/disclosure-ministerial-hospitality-received-department-for-business

BIS officials will also have had meetings with a range of higher education providers, but a comprehensive record of these is not maintained.

Higher Education: Standards

Shabana Mahmood: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how often performance indicators of designated higher education providers will be assessed as part of his Department's recently introduced due diligence checks. [106790]

Mr Willetts: The Government are currently considering how best to monitor higher education providers with specifically designated courses in the future.

The Higher Education White Paper and the associated Technical Consultation document set out the Government's intention that all providers that access student support funding will, in future, be subject to the same standards for financial sustainability.

Further details on how these proposals will be taken forward, including possible legislative options, will be announced shortly.

Higher Education: Student Numbers

Shabana Mahmood: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills with reference to the answer of 19 March 2012, Official Report, column

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518W, on higher education: student numbers, for what reason he collects such data for institutions that are subject to the student numbers cap but not for those that can recruit without the constraints of a quota. [107536]

Mr Willetts: Institutions in receipt of grant funding from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) are required to submit data to the Higher Education Statistical Agency (HESA) as a condition of that funding. These arrangements have been in place since HESA was established in 1993. The condition to submit data to HESA is not placed on institutions not funded by HEFCE. It is one of the anomalies that our regulatory reforms, announced in the Higher Education White Paper “Students at the Heart of the System”, are intended to address.

Departmental Staff

Frank Dobson: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many jobs formerly in his Department and its agencies and non-departmental bodies were transferred to the private sector in 2011-12. [107080]

Norman Lamb: The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has not transferred any jobs to the private sector in 2011/12. I have asked chief executives of the Executive agencies to respond directly to the right hon. Member. This information is not held by BIS in respect of non-departmental public bodies.

Letter from Tim Knighton, dated 11 May 2012:

I am replying on behalf of Companies House to your Parliamentary Question tabled 10 May 2012, UIN 107080 to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills.

Companies House did not transfer any jobs to the private sector in 2010/11.

Letter from Stephen Speed, dated 11 May 2012:

The Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has asked me to reply to your question, how many jobs formerly in his Department and its agencies and non-departmental bodies were transferred to the private sector in 2011-12.

The Insolvency Service has not transferred any jobs to the private sector in 2011-12.

Letter from John Alty, dated 10 May 2012:

I am responding in respect of the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) to your Parliamentary Question tabled on 10 May 2012, to the Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

The IPO has not transferred any jobs to the private sector in 2011-12.

Letter from Peter Mason, dated 11 May 2012:

I am responding in respect of the National Measurement Office (NMO) to your Parliamentary Question tabled on 10 May 2012, asking the Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many jobs formerly in his Department and its agencies and non-departmental public bodies were transferred to the private sector in 2011-12.

NMO did not transfer any jobs to the private sector in 2011-12.

Letter from Francis Twambley, dated 11 May 2012:

I write in response to the Parliamentary Question which you tabled on 10 May 2012.

Land Registry is an executive agency of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and I can confirm that no posts were transferred from our agency to the private sector during 2011-12.

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Letter from John Hirst, dated 14 May 2012:

I am replying on behalf of the Met Office to your Parliamentary Question tabled on 10 May 2012, UIN 107080 to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills.

During 2011-12, no jobs were transferred from the Met Office to the private sector.

I hope this helps.

Letter from Vanessa Lawrence, dated 11 May 2012:

As Director General and Chief Executive of Ordnance Survey, I have been asked to contact you in response to your parliamentary question asking how many jobs in the Department for Business, innovation and Skills (BIS) and its agencies and non-departmental bodies for which BIS are responsible were transferred to the private sector in 2011-12.

Ordnance Survey constantly reviews its operations in order to ensure it is delivering best value for money for the taxpayer. This includes considering outsourcing operations to the private sector where doing so would deliver clear benefits. In 2011-12 15 jobs were transferred to the private sector, however, this figure was also included in the 53 jobs transferred to the private sector in 2010-11, referred to in my response of 30 January 2012 to your Parliamentary Question 2010/8686.

Letter from Geoff Russell, dated 15 May 2012:

Thank you for your question asking the Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, how many jobs formerly in his Department and its agencies and non-departmental bodies were transferred to the private sector in 2011-12.

Please be advised that the Skills Funding Agency (the Agency) only had one transfer to the Private Sector in 2011/12 involving a member of staff working in St Albans on office maintenance who transferred to the Agency's new provider of the Total Facilities Management Contract.

Letter from David Williams, dated 11 May 2012:

Thank you for your question addressed to the Secretary of State for the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills asking how many jobs formerly in his Department and its agencies and non-departmental public bodies were transferred to the private sector in 2011-12. (107080)

The UK Space Agency, an executive agency of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, has not transferred any jobs to the private sector during the period 2011-12.

New Businesses: Graduates

Shabana Mahmood: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps his Department is taking to support graduate entrepreneurship (a) in Birmingham, Ladywood constituency, (b) in the west midlands and (c) nationally. [107567]

Mr Prisk: The Government are funding the National Association of College and University Entrepreneurs to build a self-sustainable business model that will support the creation of student enterprise societies in every university and most colleges by 2015. The societies work to drive the growth of entrepreneurship in higher and further education, raising awareness of enterprise as a potential career choice and providing advice and support to students and graduates as they start up in business. Within the west midlands, societies have been established, or are planned, within a number of universities and colleges, including those in the Birmingham area.

Government funding is also being provided to the National Centre for Entrepreneurship in Education as it builds a sustainable infrastructure to enable higher and further education institutions to better support entrepreneurship. Activities include the provision of an

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Entrepreneurial University Leadership programme to improve the capability of university leaders to deliver entrepreneurial training, thereby encouraging more graduates into self-employment.

Those graduates entering into self-employment will also be encouraged through support under the Budget 2012 announcement, which made available £10 million in 2012/13 for a programme of enterprise loans to help young people set up and grow their own businesses.

Parental Leave

Kate Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Health on maternal and infant health effects of the proposals to change maternity, paternity and parental leave and pay contained in the Modern Workplaces consultation. [106455]

Norman Lamb: BIS officials spoke with the Department of Health before the publication of the Modern Workplaces consultation. The main focus of their discussions was based on the impact on maternal health and breast feeding issues. Department of Health were content with proposals in the consultation.

Patents: EU Action

Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what the status is of negotiations on the European Unitary Patent; and if he will make a statement. [107517]

Norman Lamb: The Government support the creation of a European patent system that will bring real benefits for businesses, consumers and the economy. The current proposals include creating a single unitary patent and a unified patent court which would deal with the unitary patent and existing European patents.

The regulations establishing the unitary patent are currently under consideration by the European Parliament and we understand that a date for a plenary debate has not yet been set.

Negotiations on the intergovernmental agreement creating the patent court are still ongoing. The Government have put forward a strong case for the UK to host the seat of the central division of the patent court and we are working hard to ensure that the details of the proposals deliver the most effective arrangements for UK business and their representatives who will use the courts.

Regional Growth Fund

Mr Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills whether the Independent Advisory Panel on the Regional Growth Fund provides recommendations of funding levels to be approved and conditionality that should be applied when presenting its advice to Ministers. [107512]

Mr Prisk: The Independent Advisory Panel's (IAP) remit is to advise Ministers on which Regional Growth Fund (RGF) bids to support. There are some cases where the IAP has advised the ministerial group on

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projects where the same benefits could be provided with reduced RGF funding or specific conditions.

The recent National Audit Office report identified that the right projects were chosen that offer better returns, in the right places and there was no bias in the Ministers' decision making.

Mr Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills with reference to paragraph 3.15 page 34 of the National Audit Office report on the Regional Growth Fund, whether he expects to retain the £10 million expected underspend on the Regional Growth Fund in 2011-12 for use in 2012-13. [107513]

Mr Prisk: Yes, the £10 million underspend will be managed through budget exchange by the funding Departments.

Students: Loans

Alex Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills with reference to the

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answer of 18 April 2012,

Official Report,

column 386W, on loans for further education, what provisions will be included in the regulations required to introduce loans for further education students. [106644]

Mr Hayes: The regulations to introduce loans in further education for those aged 24 and over undertaking courses at Level 3 and above are currently being drafted, and will be laid in Parliament in the summer.

It is intended that the regulations will contain provisions relating to the eligibility of both people and courses for loans as well as provisions relating to loan applications and payments.

Alex Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills under what legislation he plans to introduce the regulations providing for loans for further education students. [106651]

Mr Hayes: The regulations will be made under the Teaching and Higher Education Act 1998.