Mike Freer: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how much his Department spent on (a) recruitment agency fees, (b) outplacement agency fees for displaced or redundant staff and (c) staff training in each of the last 12 months. [162613]

Gregory Barker: The Department spent £553,000 in the 12 months period ending March 2013 with recruitment agencies. The majority of this expenditure represents payment to the individuals employed. We are unable to separately identify the element retained by the recruitment agency as fees. This varies from case to case and the Department contracts on the basis of a total hourly or daily fee.

2 July 2013 : Column 620W

The Department made no fees to outplacement agencies and we use the Civil Service Transition Service to provide our redeployment support.

£1.3 million was spent on staff training and development in the 12 months period ending March 2013.


Mike Freer: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what his Department's vacancy rate was in 2012-13; and what vacancy rate has been assumed for 2013-14. [162667]

Gregory Barker: The vacancy rate for the Department in 2012-13 was 14.03% and the assumed rate for 2013-14 is 5%.

Church Commissioners

World War I: Anniversaries

Mr Keith Simpson: To ask the honourable Member for Banbury, representing the Church Commissioners, what plans the Church of England has to commemorate the First World War and the role of military chaplains. [162917]

Sir Tony Baldry: The Church of England is represented on the Government’s First World War Commemorations Advisory Group by the Dean of Salisbury. The Dean and the Church of England have been in contact with the Assistant Chaplain-General and Archdeacon for the army to discuss commemorations. It is our understanding that specific commemorations relating to the role of military chaplains will be managed by regiments and corps rather than centrally by the Church of England. Military Chaplains will of course be remembered and commemorated alongside all those who gave their lives and service during the great war.

The Church of England and Westminster Abbey are planning alongside the Government and other partners a number of commemorations the first of which will be a number of candlelit vigils across the country with the participation of the other faith communities, ending at 11.00 pm on 4 August 2014–100 years after war was declared and reflecting Sir Edward Grey’s famous remark that “the lamps are going out all over Europe”.

The Liturgical Commission of the Church of England has assembled resources to assist parish churches both in sharing in the planned vigil and also for use throughout the several years of commemoration. The Church Buildings Council of the Church of England is working with the Imperial War Museum on a number of initiatives to help congregations and the wider community engage with war memorial heritage in churches.