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9 Feb 2009 : Column 1652W—continued


Departmental Languages

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many (a) Ministers and (b) civil servants in his Department received coaching in a foreign language in the last 12 months; what expenditure his Department incurred in providing such coaching; and in what languages such coaching was provided. [248079]


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Mr. Simon: Since 1 January 2008, one Minister in the Department has taken foreign language lessons.

For employees in the Department, the Professional Skills for Government framework sets out the skills and expertise needed in their job including the flexibility to specify foreign language skills where that is relevant. Costs for individual training are arranged locally for employees as part of their learning and development, and are not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Departmental Publicity

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how much is planned to be spent by (a) the Learning and Skills Council and (b) his Department on advertising apprenticeships in (i) 2008-09 and (ii) 2009-10. [254375]

Mr. Simon: The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) has been responsible for promoting apprenticeships since it came into existence in April 2001.

Since 1997 we have witnessed a renaissance in apprenticeships from a low point of 64,000 with only 27 per cent. completions to last year's record high of 225,000 with 64 per cent. completions, a remarkable achievement This shows the huge demand for apprenticeships which is why we are examining every possible opportunity to create more apprenticeships which offer hope and real career opportunities for young people and adults.

The LSC plan to spend £2,845,439 nationally in 2008-09 on media advertising (excluding VAT and Central Office of Information fees). Planned advertising spend at regional level is not readily available. The national advertising campaign fronted by Sir Alan Sugar will run throughout February and March. I am pleased that Sir Alan has offered his time free of charge to support the Apprenticeships campaign. Planned advertising spend for 2009-10 has not yet been confirmed.

The Department and the Department of Children, Schools and Families have allocated funds to the LSC for marketing. The Department has no plans to spend money directly on advertising apprenticeships in 2008-09 and 2009-10.

Economic Situation

Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what recent discussions his Department has had with outside organisations to discuss policy on reducing the effect of the recession on matters within his Department's responsibility. [254058]

Mr. Simon: DIUS immediate priority is to provide real help to support individuals and businesses through these challenging economic times.

Ministers and officials have regular and frequent engagements with outside organisations including relevant Government Departments, our delivery partners, businesses and other stakeholders on a wide range of issues relating to the current economic situation.


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Educational Institutions: Construction

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what capital budget for rebuilding colleges has been allocated for (a) 2008-09, (b) 2009-10 and (c) 2010-11; and if he will make a statement. [255281]

Mr. Simon: In “Our Statement of Priorities—Better skills, Better jobs, Better Lives”, published in November 2007, it was stated that we will invest £2.3 billion between 2008-09 and 2010-11 to ensure that colleges have world-class buildings.

The original annual capital grant allocations to the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) were set out as follows:

£ million

2008-09

694

2009-10

820

2010-11

850


These figures include the total LSC capital budget which includes funding for both 16 to 19-year-olds and adults.

However, as announced in the last pre-Budget report, investment of £110 million for 2009-10 has been brought forward into 2008-09, and a further £110 million for 2010-11 has been brought forward into 2009-10. This is in support of this Government’s actions to help beat the current global economic downturn.

The revised annual capital grant allocations to the LSC are subsequently as follows:

£ million

2008-09

804

2009-10

820

2010-11

740


Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what plans he has to bring forward capital expenditure on colleges to the year 2009-10; and if he will make a statement. [255282]

Mr. Simon: As announced in the last pre-Budget report, investment of £110 million for 2009-10 has been brought forward into 2008-09, and a further £110 million for 2010-11 has been brought forward into 2009-10.

This accelerated funding will be spent to bring forward building works, benefiting learners and regenerating communities, and will help us beat the current global economic downturn.

Employment: Young People

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what proportion of parents aged between 16 and 19 years in (a) Southampton, (b) Test Valley borough, (c) the ceremonial county of Hampshire and (d) England were in education, employment or training at the latest date for which figures are available. [254020]


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Mr. Simon: The proportion of mothers aged between 16 and 19 years in education, employment or training in England in 2006-08 was 32.9 per cent. (source: Labour Force Survey sample, 2008). Data are averaged over three years because of small sample sizes and do not include information on the proportion of fathers aged between 16 and 19 participating in education, employment or training.

The proportion of parents aged 16 to 19 in education, employment or training in December 2008 in the ceremonial county of Hampshire was 33.7 per cent. and in the three authorities, comprising the ceremonial county, as follows: the administrative county of Hampshire 34.6 per cent.; Portsmouth 42.5 per cent.; Southampton 29.2 per cent. (source: Connexions Client Information System—CCIS). This information is not reported for borough council areas in county authorities.

Further Education

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills which further education colleges were required to halt their building programmes as a result of decisions taken at the Learning and Skills Council's December 2008 board meeting. [254342]

Mr. Simon: In 1997 the total capital expenditure in further education colleges in England was nil.

In total since that time, this Government have invested £2.4 billion and will be investing a record further £2.3 billion across the next three years.

But the pace of demand for capital funding has increased. Projects and the scale of Government funding they require are becoming increasingly ambitious. In addition there are signs that the ability of colleges to raise their own funds for proposed projects is being affected by the downturn.

It is for this reason that over the next few weeks the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) is working closely with colleges that have submitted or are working on bids, to look at the individual current positions before making future funding decisions. As a result of this the consideration of a small number of applications that were due for decision—both in principle and in detail—have been deferred from December to March.

However, the 253 colleges that have been given approval in detail and either have work already under way or have been previously been given the final go ahead for works to begin will not be affected, although the LSC will be in touch in due course to check progress.

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what estimate his Department has made of the indirect costs potentially payable by each further education college as a result of the Learning and Skills Council's decision to halt building programmes between December 2008 and March 2009. [254385]

Mr. Simon: In 1997 the total capital expenditure in further education colleges in England was nil.

Since 1997, this Government have invested £2.4 billion in redeveloping and modernising further education colleges. In addition we have plans to invest a further £2.3 billion in the next three years. Currently more than 250 projects
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are under way and funded by the Learning and Skills Council (LSC)—helped by the recent decision to accelerate £110 million in 2008-09 from future budgets to help beat the downturn.

The Learning and Skills Council is responsible for the administration of the further education capital budget. While the LSC does provide some support to colleges for the costs associated with developing their projects, as independent providers, colleges themselves are responsible for the management and financing of their capital projects. As a result, the Department does not collect information regarding any potential indirect costs colleges may or may not incur during the life of a capital project. However, the LSC is currently working closely with colleges that have submitted or are working on bids, to look at the individual current positions.

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what processes are in place to enable the Learning and Skills Council to prevent the halting of a further education college building project from resulting in significantly higher long-term costs. [254969]

Mr. Simon: The total capital expenditure in further education colleges in England in the financial year 1997-98 was nil.

In total since that time, this Government have invested £2.4 billion and will be investing a record further £2.3 billion across the next three years.

Currently more than 250 projects are under way and funded by the LSC—helped by the recent decision to accelerate £110 million in 2008-09 from future budgets to help beat the downturn.

But the pace of demand for capital funding has increased. Projects and the scale of Government funding they require are becoming increasingly ambitious.

It is for this reason that over the next few weeks the LSC will be working closely with colleges that have submitted or are working on bids to assess the whole programme before making further funding decisions. The LSC have yet to provide a full analysis of all of those schemes but this will include the impact of the current position on all affected projects.

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what discussions he has had with the Learning and Skills Council on whether building projects halted as a result of decisions taken at the Learning and Skills Council's December 2008 board meeting are expected to restart following the March board meeting. [254970]

Mr. Simon: In 1997-98, the total capital expenditure in further education colleges in England in the financial year 1997-98 was nil.

In total since that time, this Government have invested £2.4 billion and will be investing a record further £2.3 billion across the next three years.

In total, since the programme began under this Government, nearly 700 projects, at 330 colleges have been agreed. Only 42 colleges have not yet benefited from investment. The programme has therefore been a huge success.


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But the pace of demand for capital funding has increased. Projects and the scale of Government funding they require are becoming increasingly ambitious.

It is for this reason that over the next few weeks the LSC will be working closely with colleges that have submitted or are working on bids to look at the individual current positions before making future funding decisions. As a result, consideration of a small number of applications that were due for decision by the LSC National Council where deferred from December to March.

At the March meeting of the LSC National Council it will decide when it can make a decision on the small number of applications that were deferred from December to March. It will also advise on when and on what basis it will consider other capital applications.

Further Education: Finance

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills if he will bring forward proposals to reimburse further education colleges for the interest they pay on money borrowed to finance their capital programmes; and if he will make a statement. [254013]

Mr. Simon: Since 1997, this Government has invested £2.4 billion in redeveloping and modernising further education colleges. In addition we have plans to invest a further £2.3 billion in the next three years. In total, since the programme began, nearly 700 projects at 330 colleges have been agreed.

The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) administers the further education capital budget on behalf of the Department.

The LSC, through its approval process, agrees an appropriate level of capital grant support based upon a range of factors including the affordability of the proposal to the college.

Further Education: Overseas Students

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what percentage of Learning and Skills Council-funded further education provision in the academic years (a) 2007-08 and (b) 2008-09 has been allocated to non-UK nationals. [254169]

Mr. Simon [holding answer 3 February 2009]: Table 1 shows the number of Learning and Skills Council (LSC) funded learners undertaking further education provision (further education colleges, University for Industry and work-based learning) in 2007-08, split by whether the learner is UK or non-UK domiciled.

To be eligible for LSC funding an individual needs to satisfy the residency criteria set out in LSC Learner Eligibility Guidance. In general, this means that they need to have been lawfully living in the UK, European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) for the three years prior to the start of their course.

2007/08 is the latest year for which we have fully-audited information across all learning routes. We do not currently hold information on country of domicile for adult safeguarded learning or Train to Gain.


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Around 1 per cent. of learners in further education (FE, University for Industry, WBL) were non-UK domiciled in 2007/08. Non-UK domiciled learners will include those from the EU and EEA.

Table 1: LSC-funded further education (further education colleges, University for Industry, work-based learning) in 2007/08, by whether the learner is UK or non-UK domiciled.

Number of learners

UK domiciled learners

3,093,000

Non-UK domiciled learners

34,000

Not known

3,000

Notes:
1. Volumes are rounded to the nearest thousand.
2. This information is based on country of domicile—institutions are advised that the country of domicile field should be treated as a self-assessment field and reflect the country where the learner was ordinarily resident for the three years preceding the start of their programme.
3. These figures include FE colleges, University for Industry and WBL (including apprenticeships and entry to employment).
4. Information on country of domicile is not currently available for Train to Gain and Adult Safeguarded Learning.
5. Final 2007/08 data will be published in March 2009.
6. This table uses learner volumes as a measure for comparative purposes. Full-year numbers are a count of the number of learners that participated at any point during the year.
7. Learners that are included in different data collections e.g. a learner undertaking an apprenticeship and a Train to Gain qualification, will be counted twice in this table.


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