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Alan Johnson: The Government's Strategy for Manufacturing, published on 16 May this year sets a strategic framework for action, in partnership with key stakeholders, to help UK manufacturing companies fulfil
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their potential and move up the value chain to high- skilled, knowledge-intensive, highly productive operations. The strategy identifies seven pillars with objectives and actions for Government and industry to develop:
Raising skills and education levels
The right market framework.
An example of practical measures to build manufacturing excellence, the MAS will provide free information to all UK manufacturers and practical help for smaller and medium sized firms in England and Wales who want to introduce world class manufacturing practices and technologies but who can find it difficult to access the information they need.
The Government are determined to raise skills and education levels with vocational GCSEs and modern apprenticeships offering high quality vocational training to young people. We are establishing a network of employer-led Sector Skills Councils to drive up demand and give employers a voice in skills supply.
Through regional selective assistance, through the Small Firms Loan Guarantee Scheme and inward investment through Invest UK. The Government are promoting more investment in basic science and have introduced R&D tax credits for SMEs and recently for larger companies to encourage innovation.
The DTI has set up a number of Innovation and Growth teams in key sectors, drawing upon the expertise of their major stakeholders to identify key issues which will shape their future and help the UK to respond to competitive challenges. The first of these teams, covering the automotive sector reported on 16 May.
To drive up national competitiveness and productivity. Best Practice, enables innovation and investment to be turned into profitable products. The Government's policies include support for the new manufacturing advisory service, expansion of the business-led Industry Forum schemes and promotion of partnership in the work place by people focused programmes such as the Partnership Fund. At the manufacturing summit last December, an additional £20 million was earmarked for Best Practice activity.
To encourage a vibrant flow of skills and ideas into manufacturing from our science base. The Chancellor's announcement on the spending review, included an increase in resources for knowledge transfer from £84 million in 200304 to £114 million in 200506.
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DTI manufacturing policy team.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when the EU Committee for the Adaptation to Technical Progress of Directives on the Removal of Technical Barriers to Trade in the Sector of Measuring Instruments and Methods of Metrological Control is next due to meet; whether representatives of the Scottish Executive (a) have been and (b) are members of it; and if she will make a statement. 
No date has yet been fixed for the next meeting of this committee. Officials from the Health and Safety Executive, which is sponsored by my Department, represent the UK on the committee as policy responsibility for health and safety is a reserved matter. However, officials would consult the Scottish Executive in the event that there were agenda items in which it has an interest, in accordance with our concordat with the devolved Administrations.
Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many open individual export licence applications relating to exports to India have been (a) not renewed, (b) not extended on a temporary basis and (c) refused since 1 May; and if she will make a statement. 
Nigel Griffiths [holding answer 2 July 2002]: Information on the number of open individual export licences (OIELs) relating to exports to India, that have not been renewed or extended on a temporary basis since 1 May 2002, is not readily available, and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
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Nigel Griffiths [holding answer 2 July 2002]: Between 1 May 2002 and 1 July 2002 no extant open individual export licences (OIELs) have been amended to exclude India from the coverage of the licence. However, a number of OIELs have been issued in respect of applications, which included India as an end user, where India has for the time being been excluded from the list of permitted end user countries in the issued licence.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when the EU Advisory Committee for cooperation in the field of tourism is next due to meet; whether representatives of the Scottish Executive have been members of it; and if she will make a statement. 
The Tourism Advisory Committee is mandated to facilitate exchange of information, consultation and co-operation on tourism by a Council Decision of 22 December 1986 (86/664/EEC). The Committee meets on an ad-hoc basis, some three or four times yearly, and at the request of the Commission. The next meeting has not yet been scheduled.
There are no representatives of the Scottish Executive on the Committee. The UK is represented by officials from my Department. Under concordats with the devolved administrations, my Department leads on EC tourism issues, consulting with the devolved Administrations.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when the EU Committee on the arrangements for implementing Europe Agreement with the countries of central and eastern Europe and free trade agreements with the Baltic states is next due to meet; whether representatives of the Scottish Executive have been members of it; and if she will make a statement. 
The EU holds annual Association Committees with each candidate, including the three Baltic countries, to review implementation of the Europe Agreements. The next meeting of an Association Committee is expected to be on 4 December this year, with Romania. The Central European Working Group, in which member states prepare for Association Committees and discuss the arrangements for implementing the Europe Agreements, usually meets weekly in Brussels. The most recent meeting was Monday July 15. A UK official always attends and represents the concerns of the UK, including those of its devolved Administrations.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when the EU Committee on the development and consolidation of democracy and the rule of law and on the respect of human rights and
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fundamental freedoms is next due to meet; what the UK representation is on it; whether representatives of the Scottish Executive (a) have been and (b) are members of it; and if she will make a statement. 
The next meeting of the EU Committee on Human Rights and Democracy is provisionally set for October 2002. Officials from the Department for International Development and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office represent the UK Government on the Committee which allocates EU budget resources to human rights and democracy projects in third countries. Scottish Executive officials have never attended this Committee. But consultation is made on issues of interest arising from the Committee's work and Scottish Executive officials can make their views known, in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding between the UK Government and the devolved Administrations.
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