To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to provide additional training to support the wider delivery of parenting interventions, and to maintain the quality of those interventions. [HL710]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): A well trained workforce is critical to the delivery of effective parenting interventions.
In 2010-11 the Government funded training (through the Children's Workforce Development Council) to deliver evidence-based parenting programmes for 1,000 practitioners. Building on this, the Government are supporting a range of measures to assist local areas in ensuring that the workforce is appropriately trained, including:
making available on the Department for Education website a range of regularly updated training resources for local areas and organisations to deliver the level 3 and level 4 work with parents qualifications. These are the qualifications for the parents and families' workforce. In 2011-12 the Children's Workforce Development Council was funded by the Government to train 80 new local authority trainers in the delivery and assessment of the new level 4 award;working with City and Guilds to enable them to develop new units in the work with parents qualification, ensuring they have access to up-to-date policy information particularly in relation to troubled families. New units have just been made available at level 3 (relating to support for families with complex and multiple needs; and support for parents in their couple relationship) and a range of further units are being developed at level 4;in June 2012 the Government announced an expansion of the scheme under which local authorities get financial incentives to tackle the most troubled families. The Government are diverting £448 million from existing departmental budgets over four years to help identify families in need of help, make sure they get access to the right services and ensure that action is taken. Local areas will decide how this money is used, but it is anticipated that some of it will be spent on training to support the delivery of parenting interventions; andthe Department for Education website also provides local commissioners with information about evidence-based parenting interventions including details of the training requirements for successful delivery of the programme. All those featured have recently been independently reviewed to ensure they have a rigorous evidence base.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what training previously provided to Ministers and to senior civil servants by the National School of Government is not provided by Civil Service Learning.[HL421]
Baroness Verma: The National School of Government (NSG) provided a wide range of training courses for civil servants, including senior civil servants. Their bias was often towards longer residential courses, which is now out of step with best practice in training and constraints on departmental budgets.
Civil Service Learning (CSL) is not a replacement for NSG. It was established prior to NSG's closure and provided courses that contributed towards the new common curriculum for the Civil Service. The curriculum includes a suite of programmes for senior civil servants to address their current and future needs. While some of the content of these programmes is new and the style of delivery is different, with a greater choice and variety of learning solutions, the relevant learning needs of senior civil servants continue to be met.
CSL will continue the provision of professional development opportunities for Ministers in support of their departmental roles, and to enable them better to perform their ministerial duties in line with the Ministerial Code. This provision mirrors what was available previously through the NSG.
Asked by Lord Norton of Louth
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many civil servants of permanent secretary or equivalent presently in post have received dedicated training on the constitutional significance of Parliament and the conventions governing the relationship between Parliament and Government; and whether it is a requirement that those appointed as Permanent Secretaries have received such training.[HL523]
Baroness Verma: Information on the training which civil servants currently at Permanent Secretary or equivalent level have received in the past is not held centrally.
All civil servants can attend training provided by Civil Service Learning covering the role of Parliament, understanding the parliamentary process, and the relationship between Parliament and Government.
The Civil Service Reform plan published last week made clear that all civil servants will receive five days training in the future.
Asked by Lord Donoughue
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has spent on activities related to climate change since May 2010.[HL1041]
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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Taylor of Holbeach): Expenditure figures on activities related to climate change since May 2012 are not yet available.
Disabled People: Personal Independence Payments
Asked by Baroness Thomas of Winchester
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will ensure that members of the House of Lords can view and comment on the third version of the assessment criteria for personal independence payments before the final draft of the instrument is laid before the House for approval, and if so, how. [HL985]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud): The department's consultation on the assessment criteria closed on 30 April. We are now analysing the over 1,000 responses received, considering the changes we may wish to make to the assessment criteria to take account of those responses and to ensure the criteria allow effective assessment of the needs of disabled people. We intend to publish a response to the consultation and a final draft of the assessment criteria later this year, with regulations laid before Parliament thereafter.
An exact timetable has yet to be agreed but we are not intending to have a formal period of pre-legislative scrutiny on the assessment regulations, which have already been subject to extensive consultation and co-production with disabled people and disability organisations. The regulations will be made available to the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments for its scrutiny and will be laid under an affirmative resolution, providing both Houses with the opportunity to debate and approve them before they can be made.
Education: Modern Languages
Asked by Baroness Coussins
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they expect to reach a decision on whether to accept the recommendation of the Expert Panel that modern foreign languages should be restored to the compulsory part of the national curriculum until the end of Key Stage 4.[HL533]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): My right honourable friend the Secretary of State has now written to Tim Oates, the chair of the expert panel, with his response to the panel's recommendations for the primary curriculum. The letter states his intention to add breadth to the primary curriculum by requiring all schools to teach a foreign language at key stage 2, from year 3 to year 6. He is currently considering the recommendations of the expert panel in relation to subject coverage at key stage 4 and will be making an announcement soon.
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Employment: Under 25s
Asked by Lord Adonis
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much of the youth contract funding for subsidised jobs for under 24 year-olds on the Work Programme has been dispersed since the launch of the contract in April.[HL883]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud): The wage incentive element of the youth contract was launched in April 2012. To date no payments have been made. Employers make their first claim for the wage incentive when the young person has been in employment for a minimum of eight weeks. Therefore, we expect to make the first payments in late June 2012.
Asked by Lord Roberts of Llandudno
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many job vacancies for those aged between 16 and 25 were available in each parliamentary constituency in May 2012.[HL1033]
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many jobseekers aged between 16 and 25 there were in the United Kingdom in May 2012.[HL1034]
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many job vacancies for those aged 26 and over were available in each parliamentary constituency in May 2012.[HL1035]
Lord Wallace of Saltaire: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.
Letter from Stephen Penneck, Director General for ONS, to Lord Roberts of Llandudno, dated June 2012.
As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Questions asking how many job vacancies for those aged between 16 and 25 were available in each parliamentary constituency in May 2012 (HL1033); how many jobseekers aged between 16 and 25 there were in the United Kingdom in May 2012 (HL1034); how many job vacancies for those aged 26 and over were available in each parliamentary constituency in May 2012(HL1035).
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimates the number of vacancies from the ONS Vacancy Survey, however estimates for geographic areas below UK are not available from this source.
An alternative source of information on job vacancies is administrative data from Jobcentre Plus. This data only includes job vacancies notified to Jobcentre Plus and consequently is inconsistent with the UK estimates from the Vacancy Survey, however geographical area breakdowns of this data are available. Currently Jobcentre Plus vacancies account for around half of the total number of vacancies as reported by the Vacancy Survey.
Vacancies are not provided on the basis of the age of people they are available for. Therefore no age breakdown is possible.
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In Table 1, we have provided the number of live unfilled Jobcentre Plus vacancies for May 2012, the most recent for which figures are available for each parliamentary constituency within the UK. We have also provided a figure excluding vacancies which advertise self employment opportunities.
Figures on the number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) are available from Jobcentre Plus administrative data. The number of people aged 16 to 24 claiming JSA resident in the UK in May 2012 was 456k.
National and local area estimates for many labour market statistics, including employment, unemployment and claimant count are available on the NOMIS website at http://www.nomisweb.co.uk.
Table 1: Number of live unfilled Jobcentre Plus vacancies by Parliamentary Constituency, May 2012