Unemployed: Travel

Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment he has made of the benefit to businesses of local authorities providing free transport to 16 to 24-year-olds not in education, employment or training. [159558]

Mr Willetts: Support for this age group is not the sole responsibility of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

BIS has not carried out any such assessment as it is for individual local authorities to assess and introduce relevant approaches to aid those not in education, employment or training.

For 16 to 19-year-olds, local authorities have a duty to publish an annual transport policy statement which sets out the travel arrangements they will make to support young people access further education. Provision is at the local authority's discretion, although this can include free or subsidised travel where appropriate. This duty recognises that supporting young people through subsidised transport costs can give them better access to the courses and institutions of their choice, meaning that they could be less likely to become disengaged and more likely to leave with the qualifications and employability skills sought by businesses.

Free or subsidised travel for unemployed young people could also offer employers access to a wider field of candidates, across a wider geographical area. This benefit

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might be felt more greatly in rural areas, where young people often have to travel significant distances to find and attend work and businesses can struggle to find suitable candidates for their vacancies.

The Government fund a range of support for young people in learning. The Department for Education's 16-19 Bursary Fund can be used by education and training providers to help students with travel costs. The Discretionary Learner Support allowance given to colleges by BIS via the Skills Funding Agency can, at the college's discretion, also be used to support students over the age of 19 with transport costs.

In addition, those aged 18 to 24 and claiming jobseeker’s allowance for more than three but less than nine months are eligible for up to a 50% reduction in train fares and free travel with several major bus companies, providing they have a Jobcentre Plus Travel card.

The positive impacts on business of the provision of such funds should be taken into account by each LA or institution when selecting the support they provide.

Vocational Training

Mr Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills who the successful bidders were for Round 1 of the employer ownership pilots, by English administrative region. [159424]

Mr Willetts: There were 37 successful bids for round 1 of the employer ownership pilots. These are divided by region as follows:




Aria Foods UK

Whitbread Group

Daylight Ltd

Energie Group

Laing O'Rourke

Midland Co-operative Society

Rolls-Royce plc on behalf of LEEAC

Construction Industry Training Board

Doosan Power Systems

Livery Companies Apprenticeship Scheme

Channel 4/BBC

North East


Nissan Manufacturing (UK) Ltd

Jacobs E&C Ltd


North West

Man Diesel Turbo

Contact Company

Manchester Airport

BAE Systems plc

Yorkshire and Humber

Textile Centre of Excellence

British Glass

Fabricom Oil Gas and Power Ltd

West Midlands

Heart of England Attractions Ltd

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DENSO Manufacturing UK Ltd

East Midlands

Goodwin International

East of England

A J Woods Engineering


Greater London

Fix Auto Dagenham


South East

Denne Construction Ltd

Siemens plc

South West

Langdon Industries Ltd

GE Aviation

Spiral Construction

Cascade Drinks (subsequently withdrew from grant negotiations).

Mr Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many bids were received for Round 2 of the employer ownership pilots, by English administrative region. [159425]

Mr Willetts: 315 bids were received requesting £1.5 billion in EOP funding and offering £2.4 billion in total employer investment.

There is a good geographical and sectoral distribution of applications. Half of all projects have nationwide coverage.

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As bids are still being appraised the information available is limited to the areas of activity as declared by applicants.

Regional breakdownNumber

Greater London


Nationwide (ie England)


North West


South West


West Midlands


East Midlands


East of England


Yorkshire and the Humber


South East


North East


It is important to note that some bids might have registered activity in more than one region so the total above is greater than 315.

World Environment Day

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps his Department took to mark World Environment Day on 5 June 2013. [159173]

Michael Fallon: The Department of Business Innovation and Skills did not formally mark World Environment Day. The Department did however organise a number of activities throughout Climate Week from 4 to 8 March to raise awareness among staff of climate and related issues.