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Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what steps he is taking to ensure that those with student loans taken out before 1998 receive a reduction in interest rates. 
Mr. Lammy: The interest rate applicable to pre-1998 student loans is governed by the Education (Student Loans) Act 1990 and the Student Loans (Regulations) 1998 which set out that for the period between 1 September and the following 31 August the interest rate is the daily rate which results in an APR equal to the RPI (retail price index). The interest rate used is the RPI for the preceding March. Setting the interest rate in this way ensures that borrowers, over time, repay in real terms only as much as they borrowed. Moreover, if a borrower's income falls below £25,936 per annum, they can apply for their repayments to be deferred.
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how much his Department has spent under the Train to Gain initiative on advertising in each month of the last 12 months; and how much he estimates will be so spent in the next six months.  [Official Report, 19 March 2009, Vol. 489, c. 13MC.]
Mr. Simon: National marketing and communications for Train to Gain is delivered by the national Learning and Skills Council (LSC) on behalf of the Department. Records indicate that during the period January to December 2008 total advertising expenditure excluding VAT was £4,092,266. There are no media costs for Jan 2009 and no projected media costs for February to March 2009. We are currently working with the LSC to develop a dedicated marketing and communications strategy for the financial year 2009-10.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what the eligibility criteria regarding past academic achievement for individuals accessing the Train to Gain programme are; and if he will make a statement. 
For those without qualifications at level 2, full funding is available for a level 2 qualification. At Level 3, first full qualifications are fully funded for adult employees between 19-15 years of age and those who have not done a previous level 2. At Level 4, first full qualifications are fully funded for adults between the ages of 19-25 who have not done a previous Level 3. For others who already have a full level 2 and want to do another qualification above that level, some funding is available depending on individual circumstances. There are additional funding flexibilities available for SME employees and for employees in particular sectors through sector compacts.
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what steps his Department is taking to improve the level of skills and training of journalists, with particular reference to local journalists. 
Publishing joined Skillset's sector coverage in April 2008 and work was undertaken in the year to research the skills needs of the industry. This included a survey of the supply of training and educational provision. Further work is in progress on the development of the national occupational standards. There will be consultation with the industry this year on how to support skill levels, and agreement on a training strategy.
Skillset provide information on the providers offering courses and the skills needed to work across a variety of media, such as newspapers, journals and online content. For local journalists who are directly employed by local newspapers there are options for their employer to access training through Train to Gain.
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many organisations provided skills brokerage services to employers under contracts with the Learning and Skills Council in 2007-08. 
From April 2009 the Train to Gain skills brokerage service will be integrated with Business Link to provide an all-in-one service for employers as part of the Government's Business Support Simplification Programme.
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills (a) how many and (b) what proportion of people who undertook Skills for Life training while on employer training pilot-funded provision have achieved qualifications. 
Mr. Lammy [holding answer 5 February 2009]: The employer-training pilot ran from 2002 to 2006. In total, there were 45,300 Skills for Life learners on employer-training pilots (ETP). Of those learners, 32,500 (72 per cent.) achieved their qualification. This information is provided by the ETP database administered by the Learning and Skills Council.
Literacy and numeracy support at all levels;
First full level 2 qualifications (equivalent to five GCSEs(;
First full level 3 (equivalent to 2 A-levels) for 19-25 year olds and for people without a first level 2;
First level 4 for 19-25 year olds who do not already have a level 3;
Repeat level 2 qualifications in certain sector specific areas, through the sector compact.
English for Speakers of Other Languages qualifications at all levels;
Level 3 qualifications in certain sector specific areas, through the sector compact;
In addition to quality-assured, impartial and independent advice from skills brokers which is available to those businesses who want help to identify skills needs at all levels, and to identify and source high quality, vocational skills training.
Fully funded level 2 qualifications and subsidised level 3 qualifications, regardless of whether the employee already has a qualification at this level;
Bite sized courses in subjects demanded by businesses including: business improvement, business systems and processes, team working and communications, sales and marketing, IT User, IT support, customer service, new product design, finance and credit, cash flow and profit management, and risk management;
Funding for leadership and management training for businesses with five to 250 employees.
Those who have been given notice of redundancy or who are coming back into work after unemployment can access full funding for level 2 qualifications and part funding for level 3 qualifications, regardless of whether they already have a qualification at this level, and irrespective of the size of employer they join. This is part of a wider Government package to help those made redundant during the economic downturn.
To support the industry further we have agreed to boost the funding available through the sector compact from £65 million to £100 million. We will work with the sector to ensure this additional resource meets employers' priority skill needs.
Mr. Alan Campbell: A key indicator of the effectiveness of measures to combat drug-related crime is the Drug Harm Index; since 2002 this has fallen 28 per cent., representing a substantial fall in drug-related crime types.
Mr. Alan Campbell: The Government require Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships/and Community Safety Partnership in Wales to identify local crime problems and to work in partnership to prioritise them. While DEFRA leads on dangerous dogs legislation, the police have a range of powers under this and other legislation to take action if dogs are being used in a criminal manner.
Mr. Alan Campbell: The Government require crime and disorder reduction partnerships and community safety partnerships in Wales to identify local crime problems and to work in partnership to prioritise them. While DEFRA leads on dangerous dogs legislation, the police have a range of powers under this and other legislation to take action if dogs are being used in a criminal manner.
Mr. Coaker: The Home Office receives a regular flow of representations on the operations of the IPCC on particular cases and occasionally, on general issues. The Home Office works closely with the IPCC to enable it to make a vital contribution to building public confidence and improving the police complaints system.
19. Mr. Lilley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many non-UK nationals convicted of murder in their countries of origin have been granted leave to remain in the UK in the last three years. 
The UK Border Agency works hand in hand with other Agencies, including the Serious and
Organised Crime Agency, to ensure that the information required to prevent foreign criminals from entering or remaining in the UK is made available to those that need it.
Meg Hillier: Although there is no ministerial involvement in the EAW process, my officials and those agencies and services responsible for its operation continually review its effectiveness. Additionally, member states operation of the EAW is subject to peer evaluation at EU level.
In 2007 (the last year for which figures are available), the UK extradited 320 people to other EU member states under the EAW. In the same period, 96 people were returned to the UK to stand trial or serve custodial sentences.
Mr. Coaker: We have worked with Association of Chief Police Officers and west midlands police since 2004-05 to establish the Counter Terrorism Unit in Birmingham. It is one of three strategically located national assets that enhance the work of forces by providing co-ordination and specialist support to deliver our counter-terrorism strategy.
23. Mr. Russell Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many convictions for serious crimes resulted from prosecutions which utilised DNA samples from the national DNA database in the last 12 months. 
Mr. Alan Campbell: Data are available on the number of detections with DNA, but not the number of prosecutions or convictions, by financial year. In 2007-08, 83 homicides and 184 rapes were detected in which a DNA match was available. Convictions are achieved through integrated criminal investigation so it is not possible to say whether the DNA match was the key factor in solving the crime.
24. Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent discussions she has had with the Information Commissioner on the length of time for which samples are held on the national DNA database. 
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