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22 Nov 2000 : Column WA73

Written Answers

Wednesday, 22nd November 2000.

Young People in Employment

Lord Hardy of Wath asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many young people have secured employment during the last three years; and by what percentage this differs from the number recorded in the preceding three years.[HL4580]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician, who has been asked to reply.

Letter from the National Statistician, Len Cook, dated 22 November 2000.

As National Statistician I have been asked to reply to your recent question on the number of young people who have secured employment during the last three years; and by what percentage this differs from the number recorded in the preceding three years.

Estimates on the number of young people who have secured employment during the last three years are not available. However, the number of young people who were employed in spring (March to May) 1994, 1997 and 2000 and the percentage change in these years have been shown in the attached table.

The Labour Force Survey (LFS) is the main source of labour market data on individuals used by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The measure of employment derived from the LFS is defined as people aged 16 or over (a) who did some paid work in the reference week (whether as an employee or self-employed) (b) who had a job that they were temporarily away from (on holiday, for example) (c) on Government-supported training and employment programmes and (d) those doing unpaid family work.

Young people aged 16-24 years in employment, spring each year; United Kingdom

Total (thousands)
Spring 19943,990
Spring 19973,899
Spring 20003,919
Spring 1994--Spring 1997-91
Spring 1994--Spring 1997(%)-2.3
Spring 1997--Spring 200020
Spring 1997--Spring 2000(%)0.5


ONS--Labour Force Survey.

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Sentencing Advisory Panel

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What work is currently being done by the Sentencing Advisory Panel; when the panel last made a proposal to the Court of Appeal about guidelines for specific offences; and when it is likely to do so again.[HL4632]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Bassam of Brighton): The Sentencing Advisory Panel is currently looking at the offences of handling stolen goods, manslaughter by reason of provocation and rape. The panel has also commissioned a public attitude survey on sentencing in domestic burglary cases which has now been completed. Its findings will be published in due course. The panel's most recent proposal to the Court of Appeal--that the court should frame a sentencing guideline on racially aggravated offences--was sent to the court on 19 July 2000 and published on 29 August. It is hoped that the advice on handling stolen goods will be submitted to the Court of Appeal in the new year.

Abnormal Loads: Police Escorts

Earl Attlee asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the answer by Lord Bassam of Brighton on 7 November (H.L. Deb., col. 1361), why he would be "extremely surprised" if there was no direct radio link between a police car escorting an abnormal load and the load itself.[HL4638]

Lord Bassam of Brighton: I have now been informed that mobile phones are the normal mode of communication between the police and the abnormal load's "second man". It would have been extremely surprising had there been no verbal communication at all between them.

Science Budget

Baroness Howells of St Davids asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What progress they have to report on the allocation of the Science Budget.[HL4776]

The Minister for Science, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Sainsbury of Turville): As a result of the spending review, the Science Budget has been increased by £725 million over the next three years. This represents an increase in the Government's investment in science of an average of 7 per cent per year in real terms over the next three years. Once again the Government are making it clear that they regard a healthy science and engineering base as critical to the nation's well-being.

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After taking advice from the Director General of the Research Councils, it has been decided that the Science Budget should be allocated as follows. A total of £356 million is for investment in science and engineering research; of this, £252 million is to be spent over three years on three high-profile programmes across the research councils. The three programmes are as follows:

    Genomics: a £110 million investment to increase understanding of gene function and related applications. This should lead to the development of new diagnostics, drugs and materials;

    E-science: a £98 million investment to solve key problems of processing, communicating, storing and accessing data across a range of scientific disciplines, with additional investment to develop core generic technologies. This investment is absolutely essential for large scale, modern science, but I expect it to have important industrial implications over the coming decade;

    Basic technology: a £44 million investment to build up the UK's technology capability. This has value in itself but will also act as the springboard for more advanced science.

A £1 billion Science Research Investment Fund (SRIF) will fund renewal and development: £375 million of this will come from the Science Budget, £300 million from the Department for Education and Employment and £225 million from the Wellcome Trust. My department is currently discussing with other interested parties the basis for the allocating of £900 million of this fund to universities.

The remaining £100 million of SRIF will be invested in research council institutes and large science facilities. The allocations I am announcing today to the research councils include £32 million of this. The remainder will be allocated later this year.

There will be a new £140 million Higher Education Innovation Fund to encourage exploitation of knowledge by higher education institutions. This will incorporate the current Higher Education Reach Out to Business and the Community Fund (HEROBC). This total includes around £60 million from the Department for Education and Employment and £80 million from the Science Budget. There is also £20 million from the Science Budget for the University Challenge and Science Enterprise Challenge Schemes.

Thirty-four million pounds is being allocated to the research councils to fund increases in the basic PhD stipends from £6,800 this academic year to £9,000 in 2003-04. This represents an increase of 23 per cent in real terms over the period, following the Comprehensive Spending Review in 1998. It sends another clear signal that the Government believe that postgraduate research should no longer be seen as a Cinderella career choice.

The detailed allocation is as follows. Further details are available in a report I am publishing today The Science Budget 2001-02 to 2003-04, which I have placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

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£ million

Resource and capital, figures include baseline and allocation of new funds
Allocations to cross-council programme:
Basic technology2.00015.00027.00044.000
Allocations to research councils: (excluding cross-council programmes)
Allocations to other areas:
Research council pensions schemes26.97028.45029.74085.160
Royal Society25.94528.74529.24583.935
Royal Academy of Engineering4.2704.7705.27014.310
Joint Infrastructure Fund125.000----125.000
Science Research Investment Fund--125.000250.000375.000
Joint Research Equipment Initiative10.00010.00010.00030.000
Capital yet to be allocated--34.00034.00068.000
Higher Education Innovation Fund20.00020.00040.00080.000
University Challenge--5.000--5.000
Science Enterprise Challenge--5.00010.00015.000
Exploitation of discoveries at public sector research establishment10.000----10.000
Foresight Challenge--3.0005.0008.000
Cambridge--MIT Institute14.00014.00014.00042.000
OST initiatives3.0003.1003.3509.450
OST administration costs11.19211.19211.19233.576
Exchange rate and contingency reserve15.26415.46418.01446.742

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