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26 July 2007 : Column 1252W—continued

Trident

Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects to make the first of the regular reports to Parliament on progress made in the Trident replacement programme, as referred to by the former Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on 14 March 2007, Official Report, column 309. [150280]

Des Browne: In accordance with the usual practice on major procurement projects, the first full progress report on the programme to maintain the UK’s nuclear deterrent will be made after the Initial Gate for the new class of submarines, currently estimated to be in 2009. Interim reports will be provided depending on progress with the programme.


26 July 2007 : Column 1253W

Type 45 Destroyers

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether there has been a change in the intention to build eight Type-45 Destroyers. [151186]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth [holding answer 25 July 2007]: No decision has yet been made to order the seventh and eighth Type 45 destroyers. A number of factors will be taken into account as part of the decision-making process, including affordability, value for money, and the wider context of the defence industrial strategy.

Unmanned Air Vehicles: Costs

Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the projected costs are of the Watchkeeper UAV system programme; and if he will make a statement on progress in delivering the programme. [148568]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The acquisition costs for the Watchkeeper system are expected to be around £840 million. The planned in-service date is 2011.

Innovation, Universities and Skills

Scientific Research

23. David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the level of public funding for scientific research. [152575]

Ian Pearson: Public investment in R and D in 2005 was £7.4 billion. It has grown by almost 30 per cent. in real terms since 1997. The CSR07 period will see the science budget continue to rise above inflation.

Adult Education

24. Mr. Dunne: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what change there has been in the number of adult learning courses in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. [152576]

Mr. Lammy: I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave the hon. Member for South-West Norfolk (Mr. Fraser).

Apprenticeships

25. Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many apprenticeships were (a) started and (b) finished in (i) 1997 and (ii) 2006. [152577]

Mr. Lammy: In the 1996-97 academic year 70,100 apprentices started. Information on framework completions was not collected at that time. In the 2005-06 academic year, 171,300 apprentices started and 99,000 completed the full framework.

John Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what steps he is taking to increase the number of people applying for adult apprenticeships. [152468]


26 July 2007 : Column 1254W

Mr. Lammy: The continuing expansion of apprenticeships provision, for both young people and adults, is a priority for the Government. Currently around one third of apprentices are aged 19 to 24, and evidence from recent trials of 25+ apprenticeships suggests that they can be a useful method of learning for some people. Therefore the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) is making available £16.7 million in 2007-08 to fund 8,000 additional places for this age group.

The Government will naturally encourage and support employers, LSC and sector skills councils (SSCs) in their normal promotion practices to recruit adult apprentices to fill the 8,000 places.

The Government are also supporting the LSC in its new skills campaign ‘Our future. It’s in our hands’ launched on 9 July. This campaign is aimed at improving the skills of the nation and will include the promotion of adult apprenticeships.

Science and Innovation

Dr. Naysmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what progress has been made on the Government’s 10-year strategy on science and innovation published in 2004; and if he will make a statement. [152571]

Ian Pearson: The Government published their third annual report on the Science and Innovation Investment Framework on Monday (23 July). The report shows that over the last year there has been continued, good progress in implementing the Government’s challenging vision for science and innovation.

Apprentices: Cumbria

Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many apprenticeships there were in Westmorland and Lonsdale in (a) 2005-06 and (b) 2006-07. [152894]

Mr. Lammy: Figures for those participating in apprenticeships can be derived from the Learning and Skills Council’s (LSC) Individualised Learner Record (ILR). There were 440 learners on apprenticeships and 250 on advanced apprenticeships in the Westmorland and Lonsdale parliamentary constituency (based on home post code of the learner) in 2005/06. Comparable figures for 2006/07 will not be available until December 2007.

Basic Skills: Training

David Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many organisations have signed up to the Skills Pledge scheme. [152566]

Mr. Denham: More than 150 leading private and public sector employers from across England made the Skills Pledge at its launch on 14 June. This means that
26 July 2007 : Column 1255W
over 1.7 million employees are covered by a Skills Pledge. Since 14 June an additional 146 companies have expressed an interest in the Skills Pledge through the Train to Gain website and helpline. Brokers are currently working with these employers to take their commitment forward.

Unemployment: York

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what percentage of 16 to 19-year-olds in York were registered as unemployed in January 2007. [151627]

Angela Eagle: I have been asked to reply.

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

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 26 July 2007:


26 July 2007 : Column 1256W
Table 1: employment by sex; City of York parliamentary constituency
T housand
Men Women Total
12 months ending Level( 1) Rate( 2) (percentage) Level( 1) Rate( 2) (percentage) Level( 1) Rate( 2) (percentage)

February 1997

22

71

22

65

44

68

February 1998

24

74

21

63

45

69

February 1999

28

81

20

65

48

73

February 2000

25

81

20

72

45

77

February 2001

27

81

24

76

51

79

February 2002

28

81

24

72

51

77

February 2003

29

83

25

72

54

77

February 2004

28

80

25

73

53

77

March 2005

29

80

26

71

55

75

March 2006

27

79

25

73

52

76

(1) Persons aged 16 and over.
(2) Persons of working age—males aged 16 to 64 and females aged 16 to 59.
Note:
Estimates are subject to sampling variability. Changes in the estimates over time should be treated with particular caution.
Source:
Annual local area Labour Force Survey; Annual Population Survey

Table 2: employment by sex; City of York unitary authority
T housand
Men Women Total
12 months ending Level( 1) Rate( 2) (percentage) Level( 1) Rate( 2) (percentage) Level( 1) Rate( 2) (percentage)

February 1997

43

79

39

71

82

75

February 1998

43

79

34

65

77

72

February 1999

45

82

38

71

83

76

February 2000

44

81

39

71

83

76

February 2001

49

84

44

78

93

81

February 2002

49

84

43

75

93

80

February 2003

50

84

43

74

93

79

February 2004

48

82

43

77

92

79

March 2005

49

82

43

76

92

79

March 2006

48

81

45

76

93

79

(1) Persons aged 16 and over.
(2) Persons of working age—males aged 16 to 64 and females aged 16 to 59.
Note:
Estimates are subject to sampling variability. Changes in the estimates over time should be treated with particular caution.
Source:
Annual local area Labour Force Survey; Annual Population Survey

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