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Sand Eels

Dr. Godman: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if industrial fishing for sand eels is prohibited in closed cod-spawning areas; and if he will make a statement. [154588]

Mr. Morley: A derogation is allowed for sand eel fishing in the spawning cod closed areas, subject to strict conditions on monitoring and control, but not for fishing for Norway pout, which involves a higher whitefish bycatch. The estimated bycatch of cod in the sand eel fishery is less than 2 per cent.

GM Crops

Mr. Yeo: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what commercial activities are prescribed by the voluntary agreement with the GM industry on GM crop trials. [144375]

Mr. Meacher [holding answer 8 January 2001]: I have been asked to reply.

The Government and the industry body SCIMAC made a voluntary agreement in November 1999 on the conduct of the farm-scale evaluations of certain GM crops. Under the terms of this agreement:



Mr. Yeo: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) if the voluntary agreement with the GM industry on the conduct of crop trials in the United Kingdom (a) covers trials licensed under a Part C consent and (b) allows the harvesting and storage of GM seed from trial sites before the completion of the crop trials; [144371]

Mr. Meacher [holding answer 8 January 2001]: I have been asked to reply.

The Government and the industry body SCIMAC made a voluntary agreement in November 1999 on the conduct of the farm scale evaluations of certain GM crops.

The agreement covers all GM crops including those with Part C consent under European directive 90/220. At present one of the crops involved in the evaluations, herbicide tolerant maize, has a Part C consent.

The Part B consents permitting the oil seed rape, fodder beet and sugar beet to be grown in the farm scale evaluations require the crops to be destroyed on harvest. The maize in the evaluations, which has a Part C consent, is a forage variety which would be harvested for silage not seeds. The terms of the approval for herbicide use on the maize does not permit it to enter the food or feed chain and the crop is destroyed on harvest.

The agreement does not permit any other field scale plantings of these crops without the approval of the Scientific Steering Committee who will take account of the relevance of the proposals to biodiversity.

21 Mar 2001 : Column: 260W

A number of Part B consents for small scale plantings of other GM crops are currently in force. Each specifies the fate of the crop at the end of the trial and some permit the saving of seed for further research or testing.

EDUCATION AND EMPLOYMENT

Higher Education

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will estimate the participation rate in higher education for 18 to 24-year- olds in each UK nation and Government office region in each of the last five years. [145254]

Mr. Wicks [holding answer 15 January 2001]: Participation rates are not routinely collated below national level. The available figures for the four home countries, showing the proportion of under 21-year-olds who enter higher education for the first time, are given in the table. A higher proportion of young people from Scotland and Northern Ireland enter HE than from England and Wales. This is largely due to high levels of participation in Diplomas, Certificates and other similar undergraduate qualifications in these countries. There was an increase in the Great Britain index in 1997-98 related partly to changes in the funding arrangements for higher education, with students choosing to enter HE rather than wait until 1998-99. There was a corresponding reduction in 1998-99 before the entry rates started to increase again in 1999-2000. Between 1996-97 and 1999-2000, total students rose by 76,000 in England and by 89,000 in Great Britain.

Age participation index (API)(19) by country

1996-971997-981998-991999-2000(20)
Englandn/a322930
Walesn/a323029
Scotlandn/a464443
Northern Irelandn/a444042
Great Britain33333132

(19) The API is defined as the number of GB domiciled initial entrants to full-time and sandwich undergraduate HE aged under 21, expressed as a percentage of the average number of 18 and 19-year-olds in the population

(20) Provisional

Note:

n/a = Not available


Jane Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many students were in higher education in (a) 1996-97 and (b) 2000-01. [154391]

Mr. Wicks: The available data are given in the table. Figures for 2000-01 will be available at the end of April.

Higher education students in England(21)

Thousand
Academic yearNumber
1996-971,534
1999-20001,610

(21) Full-time and part-time, undergraduate and postgraduate, home and overseas, including the Open University


21 Mar 2001 : Column: 261W

Jane Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what the average level of Government funding was per student in higher education in (a) 1996-97 and (b) 2000-01. [154392]

Mr. Wicks: I refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Bolton, West (Ms Kelly) on 6 March 2001, Official Report, columns 164-65W.

University Salaries

Dr. Iddon: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what the average salary increase was for (a) university vice-chancellors and principals and (b) university academic and academic-related staff in (i) 2000-01, (ii) 1999-2000, (iii) 1998-99, (iv) 1997-98 and (v) 1996-97; and if he will make a statement. [149877]

Mr. Wicks: Available figures from the New Earnings Survey for the earnings increases of university teaching professionals, covering lecturers in both pre and post 1992 universities, are:

YearPercentage
1999-20002.9
1998-992.0
1997-983.2
1996-975.6
1995-96-0.1

No data are held centrally on Vice-Chancellors' pay.


New Deal (Wildcat)

Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment, pursuant to his answer of 8 March 2001, Official Report, column 299W, on New Deal, (1) if he will list the companies which have been approached by (a) his Department's, (i) Ministers and (ii) officials and (b) New Deal Taskforce in order to solicit payments to fund Wildcat's services to his Department, indicating the date of each approach; [153686]

Ms Jowell [holding answer 13 March 2001]: The following companies provided funds via the New Deal Taskforce to Wildcat Corporation.

CompanyAmount (£)Date
Microsoft35,0003 July 2000
Credit Suisse First Boston20,00028 July 2000
KPMG20,0003 August 2000
Freshfields20,0003 August 2000
The Rockefeller Foundation6,500September 2000
Morgan Stanley Dean Witter20,000(22)14 September 2000
Prudential20,00012 October 2000
Deloitte and Touche20,00017 October 2000
HSBC20,00013 December 2000
Salomon Brothers20,00015 March 2001

(22) Sent directly to Wildcat


21 Mar 2001 : Column: 262W

New Deal

Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many (a) black and (b) Asian people have taken part in the New Deal employment scheme; what percentages of (i) black, (ii) Asian and (iii) white unemployed people have found employment through it in each borough of Shropshire; and if he will make a statement. [154507]

Ms Jowell: The New Deals have had a valuable impact on many local communities, tackling unemployment, and the long-lasting damage that it can cause, with a new and innovative approach. Latest figures, to the end of December 2000, for Shropshire show the following take-up of New Deal given in the tables:

New Deal for young people statistics--to December 2000

Great BritainStarts
White465,100
Black32,300
Asian36,400

Shropshire unit of deliveryStartsTotal jobsAs a percentage of starts
White2,6791,49256
Black241146
Asian493265

New Deal 25+ statistics--to December 2000

Great BritainStarts
White356,749
Black21,338
Asian11,938

Shropshire unit of deliveryStartsTotal jobsAs a percentage of starts
White1,41021415
Black(23)7(23)2--
Asian(23)10(23)1--

(23) Figures less than 10 make percentages unreliable.


New Deal for lone parents statistics--to December 2000

Great BritainStarts
White129,506
Black8,624
Asian2,343

Shropshire unit of deliveryStartsTotal jobsAs a percentage of starts
White1,17243337
Black16(24)8--
Asian10(24)2--

(24) Figures less than 10 make percentages unreliable.


21 Mar 2001 : Column: 263W

Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many young people in Shrewsbury and Atcham have benefited from the New Deal since last May 1997; and if he will make a statement. [154658]

Ms Jowell: In the period from the start of the New Deal for Young People, April 1998 to December 2000, there have been 478 starts to the programme in Shrewsbury and Atcham. Of these, 240 young people have gained employment from the programme.

Nationally, in addition to the 274,000 young people recorded as gaining jobs, we estimate a further 83,000 young people gained jobs from New Deal.


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