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Question

Asked by Baroness Coussins

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families (Baroness Morgan of Drefelin): We have no plans to do so. We are considering a range of policies for boosting take up at key stage 4. Our focus is on making learning more engaging to encourage increased take up. We made languages optional in 2004 to give young people more choice and flexibility, in particular for work-related and vocational learning. Setting a mandatory target for language learning would make the curriculum at this level less flexible.

Unemployment

Question

Asked by The Earl of Dundee

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Department for Work and Pensions (Lord McKenzie of Luton): People receiving jobseeker's allowance can take part in unlimited volunteering, provided they still meet the requirements for receiving jobseeker's allowance.

In addition to this, Project Scotland and Jobcentre Plus work together to help jobseekers access volunteering opportunities that would enable them to gain valuable work experience and skills.

As part of the Government's support for the unemployed, we introduced the six-month offer, which includes volunteering opportunities to jobseekers who find themselves out of work for six months or more. The lead broker in Scotland for the volunteering option of the six-month offer is Volunteer Development Scotland.

Waste Management: Compost Sites

Questions

Asked by Lord Redesdale

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Davies of Oldham): The Environment Agency accounted for background levels of bioaerosols when it issued its 2001 position and when it revised the position in 2007. The Environment Agency will take this into account during any further review of the position.

Asked by Lord Redesdale



8 Apr 2010 : Column WA471

Lord Davies of Oldham: It is for the operator to decide the best course of action for their business and to meet the cost of fulfilling the regulatory requirements. The Environment Agency does not reimburse operator costs associated with complying with the law. The Environment Agency is reviewing its current position and the way that bioaerosols are monitored and regulated. Should a further revision be required, the need for a financial impact assessment will be considered.

The Environment Agency has a duty to ensure that waste is recovered or disposed of without endangering human health and without using processes or methods which could harm the environment.

Young People's Learning Agency

Question

Asked by Lord De Mauley



8 Apr 2010 : Column WA472

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families (Baroness Morgan of Drefelin): Efficient operation and value for money are clear priorities for the Young People's Learning Agency (YPLA) and the identification of opportunities to improve value for money and excellence of delivery will be an important part of the successful delivery of their remit.

The YPLA came into effect on 1 April 2010, and 2010-11 will therefore be its first year of operation. YPLA budgets will be confirmed annually in a grant letter.

The administration budget contained in the grant letter for 2010-11 will already reflect the level of efficiency at which we want the YPLA to operate in its first year and will form a baseline against which subsequent efficiencies can be determined.


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