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21 Nov 2007 : Column 906W—continued


National Student Programme: Public Appointments

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how the chairperson of the National Student Programme will be selected. [166197]

Bill Rammell: DIUS will appoint a strong and experienced Chair to guide and oversee the work of the National Student Forum. The Chair will be independent of both Government and the higher education sector.

Oxford University: Applications

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many and what percentage of students in England who achieved three A grade A-levels at state funded schools or colleges applied for Oxford and Cambridge universities in each year since 1997. [165531]

Bill Rammell: The information is not held centrally.

Students: Loans

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what rate of interest has been charged on student loans in each year since their introduction. [166345]

Bill Rammell: The annual rates of interest charged on student loans are set out in the table. The rate of interest is adjusted annually using the Retail Price Index.

Student loans are not like commercial loans. Interest is only charged to maintain the value of the loan in real terms so after adjusting for inflation students only pay back the same amount as they borrowed.


21 Nov 2007 : Column 907W

For the vast majority of borrowers with income-contingent loans the prevailing rate of interest makes no difference to the level of their monthly repayments, which continue to be deducted from salary at the rate of 9 per cent. of any income over £15,000 per annum.

Academic year commencing September Interest rates taken from RPI at the previous March (percentage)

1990

8.1

1991

8.2

1992

4.0

1993

1.9

1994

2.3

1995

3.5

1996

2.7

1997

2.6

1998

3.5

1999

2.1

2000

2.6

2001

2.3

2002

1.3

2003

3.1

2004

2.6

2005

3.2

2006

2.4

2007

4.8


Interest rates apply to both Income Contingent and Mortgage Style loans.

Young People: Employment

Stephen Hesford: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what his Department’s policy is on improving the employment prospects of non-graduates. [166369]

Bill Rammell: The Department is committed to helping low skilled and unemployed people to acquire the platform of skills they need to support them in finding sustainable employment and progress in employment and in learning—represented by basic literacy, numeracy, and full level 2 qualifications. Over the next three years more than £11 billion a year will be invested in education, employment and training
21 Nov 2007 : Column 908W
initiatives for young people and adults to help boost their job prospects. We are committed to progressively spend more on responsive and flexible training tailored to the needs of the individual and local job opportunities. Key interventions include:

Young People: Income

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what the average gross earnings of 25-year-olds who had (a) no post-16 qualifications, (b) A-levels, (c) higher educational qualification and (d) a further educational qualification were in each year since 1995; and what the most recent estimate is in each category. [166889]

Bill Rammell: The exact information requested could not be derived as a time series. Instead, the Labour Force Survey (LFS) was used to produce a time series with a broader age range and slightly different qualification categories to those requested. The following table shows the estimates of mean hourly earnings (in £s) by qualifications held for full-time employees aged 23-27(1) in England, using LFS spring quarter results from 1995-2007. More rigorous research by the Centre for the Economics of Education on the wage returns to qualifications is available in the House of Commons Library.

£
1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 Average 1995-2007

Higher education qualifications

7.41

8.54

8.11

7.99

8.95

9.16

9.48

10.28

10.67

10.02

10.66

11.17

11.35

9.52

1 or more A levels(1)

6.51

8.80

7.44

7.76

7.57

8.07

8.47

8.40

7.82

8.85

9.06

10.66

9.38

8.37

A level equivalents including apprenticeships(2)

6.06

5.89

6.22

6.77

7.08

6.85

7.12

7.85

8.15

8.11

8.24

8.81

8.86

7.38

1 or more GCSE A*-C or equiv/other

5.65

5.79

5.78

6.09

6.21

6.73

6.92

7.31

7.33

7.88

7.69

7.95

8.30

6.89

No qualifications

4.96

4.91

4.97

4.79

4.94

5.26

5.91

5.70

6.79

5.69

7.11

6.96

6.14

5.70

All

6.32

6.88

6.66

6.92

7.48

7.78

8.15

8.64

8.86

8.89

9.20

9.66

9.72

8.09

(1) The “A levels” category includes all ‘A’ levels attained at all institutions (including Further Education institutions).
(2) “Further Education qualifications” can be attained at a variety of levels. In this analysis the “A level equivalents” category largely consists of vocational level 3 qualifications, but will also include some with AS levels and also apprenticeships which may be at level 2. Vocational level 3 qualifications are often but not always obtained at FE colleges.

21 Nov 2007 : Column 909W

Northern Ireland

Antisocial Behaviour

Mr. McGrady: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what discussions he has had with the Police Service of Northern Ireland on tackling antisocial behaviour in Northern Ireland. [164397]

Paul Goggins: The Northern Ireland Office Community Safety Unit liaises with both the PSNI Community Safety Branch and local operational officers on tackling antisocial behaviour.

Tackling antisocial behaviour is one of the key themes in the Northern Ireland community safety strategy and has been identified by each of the 26 local community safety partnerships as a key priority in their area. The Police Service of Northern Ireland is represented on each of the community safety partnerships.

Police Service of Northern Ireland: Telephone Services

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what plans he has to introduce a geographical telephone number for the Police Service of Northern Ireland's non-emergency calls. [165135]

Paul Goggins: 0845 600 8000 is the primary number for all non-emergency services. This provides a single contact number regardless of the caller’s location. The calls are routed automatically to the most appropriate answer-point within the PSNI. This provides an effective response for non-emergency calls and there are no current plans to introduce additional geographic telephone numbers.

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many people called the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s non-emergency telephone number in each of the past 12 months for which figures are available; and how much revenue was generated by the use of this number over the same period. [165136]

Paul Goggins: The number of calls made to the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s non-geographic telephone number for non-emergency calls, “0845 600 8000”, in each of the last 12 months is shown in the following table.


21 Nov 2007 : Column 910W
Month Number of calls to 0845 600 8000

2006

November

13,128

December

11,913

2007

January

12,874

February

12,292

March

13,319

April

13,370

May

14,635

June

16,396

July

16,210

August

16,800

September

16,064

October

16,632


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