Seema Malhotra Portrait

Seema Malhotra

Labour (Co-op) - Feltham and Heston

Shadow Minister (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

(since May 2021)
Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions) (Employment)
10th Apr 2020 - 14th May 2021
Committee on the Future Relationship with the European Union
2nd Mar 2020 - 16th Jan 2021
Panel of Chairs
23rd Mar 2020 - 23rd Apr 2020
Committee on Exiting the European Union
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Commons Reference Group on Representation and Inclusion
15th Nov 2016 - 6th Nov 2019
Committee on the Future Relationship with the European Union
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Committee on Exiting the European Union
31st Oct 2016 - 3rd May 2017
Committee on the Future Relationship with the European Union
31st Oct 2016 - 3rd May 2017
Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury
14th Sep 2015 - 26th Jun 2016
Shadow Minister (Home Office)
8th May 2015 - 14th Sep 2015
Opposition Whip (Commons)
7th Oct 2013 - 30th Mar 2015
Justice Committee
6th Feb 2012 - 25th Nov 2013


Department Event
Monday 23rd May 2022
16:30
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
First Delegated Legislation Committee - Debate - General Committee
23 May 2022, 4:30 p.m.
The draft Contracts for Difference (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2022
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Department Event
Tuesday 24th May 2022
14:30
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Second Delegated Legislation Committee - Debate - General Committee
24 May 2022, 2:30 p.m.
The draft Pollution Prevention and Control (Fees) (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2022
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Department Event
Tuesday 7th June 2022
11:30
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Oral questions - Main Chamber
7 Jun 2022, 11:30 a.m.
Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (including Topical Questions)
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Department Event
Tuesday 12th July 2022
11:30
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Oral questions - Main Chamber
12 Jul 2022, 11:30 a.m.
Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (including Topical Questions)
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Division Votes
Wednesday 18th May 2022
Achieving Economic Growth
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 176 Labour Aye votes vs 0 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 229 Noes - 312
Speeches
Wednesday 20th April 2022
Subsidy Control Bill
It is a pleasure to speak in the debate. I start by acknowledging all the efforts in the other place, …
Written Answers
Monday 16th May 2022
Afghanistan: Diplomatic Service
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether she has plans to establish the UK's …
Early Day Motions
Wednesday 3rd March 2021
World Book Day 2021
That this House recognises 4th March 2021 as World Book Day in the UK and Ireland celebrating authors, illustrators, books …
Bills
Wednesday 6th March 2013
Blood, Organ and Bone Marrow Donation (Education) Bill 2012-13
The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will …
MP Financial Interests
Monday 28th March 2022
8. Miscellaneous
From December 2018, member (unpaid) of the Financial Inclusion Commission, a cross-party organisation which supports the principle of increased financial …
EDM signed
Thursday 24th March 2022
P&O Ferries and DP World
That this House condemns in the strongest possible terms the decision of P&O Ferries to fire 800 staff without notice …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Seema Malhotra has voted in 420 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Seema Malhotra Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

Speeches made during Parliamentary debates are recorded in Hansard. For ease of browsing we have grouped debates into individual, departmental and legislative categories.

Sparring Partners
Paul Scully (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
(223 debate interactions)
Kirsty Blackman (Scottish National Party)
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Work and Pensions)
(43 debate interactions)
Guy Opperman (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
(18 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
View all Seema Malhotra's debates

Feltham and Heston Petitions

e-Petitions are administered by Parliament and allow members of the public to express support for a particular issue.

If an e-petition reaches 10,000 signatures the Government will issue a written response.

If an e-petition reaches 100,000 signatures the petition becomes eligible for a Parliamentary debate (usually Monday 4.30pm in Westminster Hall).

Petitions with highest Feltham and Heston signature proportion
Petitions with most Feltham and Heston signatures
Petition Debates Contributed

Undocumented Migrants are suffering in silence, with no access to adequate Financial support, or any help. The Government should grant an urgent Amnesty of 5years to those with no criminal record so that they could live their lives as normal human beings and pay tax to help the UK economy.

The Government must make a public statement on the #kissanprotests & press freedoms.

India is the worlds largest democracy & democratic engagement and freedom of the press are fundamental rights and a positive step towards creating a India that works for all.

Football is a powerful tool of which allows a range of benefits such as employment, and other important aspects of life. Football can be associated with passion, emotion, excitement and dedication across the community. With Fans attending football games a range of economic benefits are there too.


Latest EDMs signed by Seema Malhotra

23rd March 2022
Seema Malhotra signed this EDM on Thursday 24th March 2022

P&O Ferries and DP World

Tabled by: Karl Turner (Labour - Kingston upon Hull East)
That this House condemns in the strongest possible terms the decision of P&O Ferries to fire 800 staff without notice or consultation with their trade unions, the RMT and Nautilus; demands the immediate reinstatement of the sacked workers; condemns their replacement with agency workers earning as little as £1.80 per …
125 signatures
(Most recent: 27 Apr 2022)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 94
Scottish National Party: 12
Liberal Democrat: 7
Independent: 3
Plaid Cymru: 3
Democratic Unionist Party: 3
Alba Party: 2
Green Party: 1
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 1
22nd February 2022
Seema Malhotra signed this EDM on Monday 28th February 2022

Jamal Edwards MBE

Tabled by: Rupa Huq (Labour - Ealing Central and Acton)
That this House remembers the life and achievements of Jamal Edwards MBE, a musical pioneer, entrepreneur, author and philanthropist born in Luton, raised in Acton, who never forgot his roots; recognises that Jamal’s work had a tremendous impact on music in the UK, notably launching SBTV, a ground-breaking platform that …
38 signatures
(Most recent: 8 Mar 2022)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 27
Scottish National Party: 4
Conservative: 3
Independent: 2
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Liberal Democrat: 1
View All Seema Malhotra's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Seema Malhotra, and are more likely to reflect personal policy preferences.

MPs who are act as Ministers or Shadow Ministers are generally restricted from performing Commons initiatives other than Urgent Questions.


Seema Malhotra has not been granted any Urgent Questions

1 Adjournment Debate led by Seema Malhotra

Wednesday 12th May 2021

1 Bill introduced by Seema Malhotra


The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to establish a duty on schools and colleges in England with pupils aged 16 years and over to enable pupils to gain greater understanding of the processes and benefits of blood, organ and bone marrow donation; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 6th March 2013

Seema Malhotra has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


623 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
9 Other Department Questions
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps he plans to take through proposals in the Levelling Up White Paper to assist ethnic minority business owners.

The Government's levelling up missions will spread economic opportunity and support businesses to fulfil their potential through investment in R&D, skills, connectivity, and business finance across the country.

The Levelling Up White Paper drew on the findings of the independent Commission for Race and Ethnic Disparities (CRED), which emphasised that geography is a key factor affecting equality of opportunity and social mobility, and geographical and ethnicity-related factors are closely interrelated. In action 56 of the Government’s response to CRED, the Inclusive Britain report, the Government committed to support HSBC to develop and launch a pilot for a competition-based, entrepreneur support programme in spring 2022


By reducing spatial disparities across the UK, particularly in the places where they are most stark, the plans set out in the Levelling Up White Paper will improve the lives of groups with the worst outcomes, complementing and supporting our wider work to tackle race and ethnic disparities.

Neil O'Brien
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
2nd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, with reference to the Government's Levelling Up White Paper, what assessment his Department has made of the need to tackle poverty as part of that strategy.

The United Kingdom is one of the greatest countries in the world, but not everyone shares in its success. Pockets of inequality and deprivation exist, with differentials both within and between regions. The Government’s central task is to level up the UK by spreading opportunity more equally across the country, addressing inequality and deprivation in those areas that have been left behind.

The Government’s levelling up missions will spread economic opportunity through investment in R&D, skills, connectivity and business finance. The missions and measures on schools and communities announced in the White Paper, including Education Investment Areas and major investment in youth provision, will target areas of highest need, while the missions and actions to make neighbourhoods safer and ensure decent homes, including in the private rented sector, will address key barriers which contribute to and entrench poverty.

Neil O'Brien
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
3rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what estimate he has made of the proportion of people seeking social housing who are (a) single mothers and (b) families who have children with special educational needs.

The proportion of single mothers who acquired a new social housing letting in 2019/2020 was 20.1% of all new lettings. In 2018/19 single mothers made up 19% of all new lettings.

We do not collect information on whether families with children who are seeking social housing have children with special educational needs. The proportion of families who acquired a new social housing letting in 2019/2020 was 10.4% of all new lettings.

This information is published on CORE social housing lettings at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/social-housing-lettings-in-england-april-2019-to-march-2020

Christopher Pincher
Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Commons)
29th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what metrics the Government plans to use to assess the effect of the levelling up agenda on children.

These metrics can be found here: See Spending Review 2021 Priority Outcomes and Metrics

Neil O'Brien
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
28th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, if his Department will make an estimate of the total amount of rent arrears owed by British businesses as at October 2021.

Many businesses have not yet fully recovered from the impact of the pandemic, particularly in vulnerable sectors such as hospitality and retail


Government has committed to ringfencing rent arrears accrued by businesses affected by enforced closures during the pandemic, and introduce a system of binding arbitration to be used as a last resort if landlords and tenants cannot come to a resolution. Full detail will be announced in due course.

Neil O'Brien
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
13th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what recent discussions he had had with Galliard Homes on the reliability and performance of cooling systems installed for air conditioning in flats in former office blocks converted to accommodation under permitted development rules.

We have not had any such discussions.

Air conditioning installations must meet all the relevant requirements of the building regulations, regardless of whether the use of a building was permitted following a planning application or under a nationally set permitted development right.

Christopher Pincher
Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Commons)
9th Sep 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many people received honours in each constituency between August 2016 and August 2020.

Honours recipients are not categorised by constituency. However, the honours lists, as published on GOV.UK, are searchable by county.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, how many people aged (a) 16 and under and (b) over 16 years old undertook work experience in the Government Equalities Office in each of the last three years.

Work experience is considered to be any paid five-day or more placement in a government department.

The Civil Service aims to increase opportunities for people of all backgrounds and create a Civil Service fit for 21st century Britain through work experience, internships and apprenticeship schemes.

For people aged 16 and under there was the following number of work experience placements in the Government Equalities Office:

2017: 0

2018: 0

2019: 0

For people over 16 years old there was the following number of work experience placements in the Government Equalities Office:

2017: 0

2018: 2

2019: 2

Elizabeth Truss
Minister for Women and Equalities
11th Feb 2020
To ask the Attorney General, how many people aged (a) 16 and under and (b) over 16 years old undertook work experience in his Department in each of the last three years.

The Civil Service aims to increase opportunities for people of all backgrounds and create a Civil Service fit for 21st century Britain through work experience, internships and apprenticeship schemes. However, the confidentially of work undertaken at the Attorney General’s Office makes offering work experience opportunities difficult.

For people aged 16 and under there was the following number of work experience placements:

2017: 0

2018: 0

2019: 0

For people over 16 years old there was the following number of work experience placements:

2017: 0

2018: 0

2019: 0

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
28th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and the Minister for Cabinet Office, what recent estimate he has made of the number of 18 to 24 year olds (a) in part time employment, (b) in contracted work and (c) unemployed.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have, therefore, asked the Authority to respond.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
17th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what estimate his Department has made of the number of business deaths that have occurred during the last three recorded quarters.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have, therefore, asked the Authority to respond.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
13th Dec 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what estimate his Department has made of the potential number of business deaths during the first quarter of 2022.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have, therefore, asked the Authority to respond.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
17th Nov 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he is taking to tackle delays in the UK supply chain of (a) raw materials and (b) goods.

HM Government is taking several steps to ease the pressures on supply chains in the UK across different sectors, including raw materials and goods. For example, the Government has expanded and streamlined testing for HGV drivers, increasing capacity by 90% from pre-pandemic levels. The Government has also introduced temporary visas where needed to bolster our food supply chain workers and HGV drivers.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
17th Nov 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many meetings have been held of the Supply Chain Advisory Group announced on the 8 October 2021; what the dates of those meetings were; and if he will publish the minutes of those meetings.

Last month, the Prime Minister appointed Sir Dave Lewis to advise HM Government on supply chains to identify both immediate improvements and any necessary long-term changes. He has spoken with over 100 businesses from across 14 sectors since his appointment. We understand the importance of working closely with businesses to help them solve these issues and to help us understand what more the Government can do to support all sectors of our economy. It is important that these are open conversations and that businesses feel able to provide, often commercially sensitive, information to Government without fear of compromise.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
21st Jul 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what estimate he has made of the level of exports from small and medium sized enterprises (SME) as of 21 July 2021; and what assessment he has made of trends in the level of exports from SMEs in the last five years.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have, therefore, asked the Authority to respond.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of not consulting business or trade union on the Government guidance entitled Coronavirus: how to stay safe and help prevent the spread, updated on 19 March 2021.

Step 4 policy and guidance was developed in collaboration with departments and stakeholders including businesses and unions. The Government continuously reviews and updates the guidance available in light of emerging information and feedback from the public, working to ensure the guidance is clear and accessible.

We discussed the development of guidance with stakeholders, including businesses and unions, however this did not happen under a formal consultation process, largely due to the need to react and make decisions swiftly at Ministerial level, given the circumstances during the pandemic.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
13th Jul 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what target each Department has for the proportion of their spending that is contracted with SMEs.

Government is committed to increasing spend with SMEs.

The latest procurement figures for 2019/20 show that across government, £15.5bn was paid to small and medium sized businesses to help deliver vital public services. This is an increase of £1.3bn on the previous year and the highest since records began in 2013.

Central government departments have dedicated SME action plans setting out specific actions being taken to promote increased spend with SME organisations.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Jul 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what recent estimate his Department has made of the proportion of central government procurement that is spent with SMEs led by minority ethnic groups.

This information is not held centrally.


The government is committed to supporting start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), directly or via the supply chain, through government procurement, including those led by women and minority ethnic groups. Government spending with SMEs is also continuing to rise, with 26.7% of the £58bn spent by the government in 2019/20 going to SMEs.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Jul 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what recent estimate his Department has made of the proportion of central government procurement that is spent with majority women-led SMEs.

This information is not held centrally.


The government is committed to supporting start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), directly or via the supply chain, through government procurement, including those led by women and minority ethnic groups. Government spending with SMEs is also continuing to rise, with 26.7% of the £58bn spent by the government in 2019/20 going to SMEs.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
9th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what progress the Government is making on meeting its target of spending 33 per cent of its procurement budget with SMEs by March 2022.

I refer the hon. Member to my answer to PQ 2999 on 24 May 2021.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
18th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what estimate he has made of the share of Government contracts that are won by SMEs.

The government wants SMEs to benefit from central government procurement spend, either directly or indirectly via the supply chain.

Reports on central government spend with SMEs are published on GOV.UK on an annual basis by the Cabinet Office. The latest procurement figures for 2019/20, published on the 7th of May 2021 show that across central government, £15.5bn was paid to SMEs to help deliver vital public services. The figure is an increase of £1.3bn on the previous year and the highest since records began in 2013. Overall, spending with SMEs represented 26.7 per cent of the £58bn spent by the government in 2019/20 – an increase of 1.1 per cent on the previous year.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he had made of the effect on employment levels in the event that an agreement is not reached on a future relationship with the EU by the end of the transition period.

Any responsible Government has a duty to prepare for all scenarios. Planning for the end of the transition period is well underway and we have already been engaging with businesses and industry, including ensuring our borders are ready by the end of the year, and will continue to do so.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what recent steps his Department has taken to increase diversity on public boards.

Annual reports by the Commissioner for Public Appointments and the Cabinet Office include data on those taking up and holding public appointments. The government has published and is implementing the Public Appointments Diversity Action Plan, available on gov.uk. I will keep this plan under review and the next update will reflect the Government's levelling up agenda, including regional diversity, and diversity of thought.

Michael Gove
Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities
2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps his Department is taking to increase diversity in the (a) nomination for and (b) award of UK honours.

Significant progress has been made in recent years to improve diversity in the honours system. For example, we now consistently see around half of awards overall going to women, and in the New Year 2020 Honours List, 51% of honours went to women. Around 10% of awards go to recipients from a BAME background. The Cabinet Office will consider whether further steps to improve diversity and representation are required. We welcome more nominations from under-represented regions and we are running a programme of regional events to promote the system in those areas most under-represented.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
10th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to help reduce the number of business deaths per quarter.

In a dynamic and competitive economy, a proportion of businesses will cease trading each year, for a range of reasons.

Recognising the impact of the pandemic on businesses across the UK, this government has provided around £400 billion of direct support to the economy since March 2020, which has helped to safeguard jobs, businesses and public services in every region and nation of the UK. This includes a total of over £26bn in business grants.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
10th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Answer of 10 February 2022 to Question 119598, on Business: Coronavirus, whether companies with links to the Russian government have received a covid-19-related grant or loan.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave her on 10th February 2022 to Question 119598.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions officials in his Department have had with representatives of (a) UK Research and Innovation and (b) the Medical Research Council on brain cancer research and innovation.

BEIS officials regularly speak to representatives of UK Research and Innovation and its constituent councils on a range of issues. There have been no recent conversations specifically on brain cancer.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the impact of rising energy prices on energy-intensive industries.

In the UK Energy Security Strategy, the Government announced that the Energy Intensive Industry (EII) Compensation Scheme will be extended for a further 3 years to protect manufacturing sectors from high electricity costs. The Government is also more than doubling the current budget for the EII Compensation Scheme to support Energy Intensive Industries.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department has plans to update the Government's hospitality strategy in the context of the increase in the VAT rate, National Insurance contributions and inflation and challenges facing supply chains.

The Government published its first-ever Hospitality Strategy in July 2021. The Strategy set out twenty-two commitments to support the sector across a range of policy areas, grouped into three themes: Reopening, Recovery, and Resilience.

This Department launched the Hospitality Sector Council to oversee the delivery of the strategy, and I and my officials continue to work with the Council and the sector to deliver the strategy commitments.

The Government engages regularly with hospitality businesses and organisations to understand the pressing issues that they face, including cost pressures and supply chain disruptions.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
25th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the impact of real household disposable incomes per person will fall by 2.2 per cent in 2022-23 on (a) small businesses and (b) high streets.

The Government is providing a range of support to help with the cost of living. As announced on 23 March, the Government is cutting fuel duty for 12 months, raising the Employment Allowance to £5,000, doubling the Household Support Fund with an extra £500m, zero-rating VAT on energy-saving materials, and equalising National Insurance and Income Tax starting thresholds from July 2022 so people will be able to earn £12,570 a year without paying any Income Tax or National Insurance.

This builds on existing support, including business rates relief worth £7 billion over five years and the package of support announced on 3 February to help households with rising energy bills worth £9.1 billion in 2022-23.

The Government’s Plan for Jobs is also helping people into work and giving them the skills they need to progress – the best approach to managing the cost of living in the long term.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what his planned timetable is for bringing forward further guidance or secondary legislation following Royal Assent of the Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act 2022; and what secondary legislation he plans to bring forward.

The Economic Crime (Enforcement and Transparency) Act 2022 contains a number of regulation-making powers which we will use to introduce secondary legislation. Work on drafting secondary legislation and guidance is underway, as is work to implement the new Register of Overseas Entities. The Government has committed to providing Parliament with an update on this work within six weeks. The new Register will be in place as soon as practicably possible and we expect the measures to have an immediate dissuasive effect on those who are intending to buy UK property with illicit funds.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
23rd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many businesses have signed up to the Government's (a) Help to Grow Management and (b) Help to Grow Digital Schemes as of 23 March 2022.

We intend to publish data on take up and completion of the Help to Grow Programmes later this year on the GOV.UK website, and thereafter on a regular basis.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
23rd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many businesses have completed the Help to Grow Digital Scheme as of 23 March 2022.

We intend to publish data on take up and completion of the Help to Grow Programmes later this year on the GOV.UK website, and thereafter on a regular basis.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
23rd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many businesses have completed the Help to Grow Management scheme as of 23 March 2022.

We intend to publish data on take up and completion of the Help to Grow Programmes later this year on the GOV.UK website, and thereafter on a regular basis.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
10th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department has taken to ensure the effective delivery of a ZEV charging infrastructure roadmap for small businesses by 2030; and if he will make a statement.

We will invest over £1.3 billion in accelerating the roll-out of charging infrastructure over the next four years. Government’s forthcoming EV Infrastructure Strategy will define our vision for the continued roll-out of a world-leading charging infrastructure network across the UK. The strategy will focus on how we will unlock the chargepoint rollout needed to enable the transition from early adoption to mass market uptake of EVs.

Small business can access the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles’ Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS) which is expanding from 1 April 2022 to include small accommodation businesses and the charity sector. Businesses can receive grants of up to £350 per socket for installing up to 40 charging sockets.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
10th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what strategies he has put in place with Cabinet colleagues to ensure effective implementation of policies that support small business with the transition to net zero; and if he will make a statement.

The Government continues to support UK businesses in meeting their net zero commitments. The former Net Zero Business Champion, my Hon. Friend the Member for Arundel and South Downs, led the Race to Zero campaign targeting small and medium businesses, which boasts 2,926 UK small business commitments to date, constituting ~80% of global signups. More widely, most departments now have a ministerial environment lead to ensure that the environment is considered in areas not directly linked to net zero, and Cabinet Office has led on the replacement of Single Departmental Plans with Outcome Delivery Plans across Whitehall, which allows for more joined-up planning across different department’s priorities.

Businesses can visit the UK Business Climate Hub to sign up and get advice on how to reduce emissions, including sector-specific guidance. Upon making a climate commitment, businesses gain access to a suite of tools for reducing their emissions, including a carbon calculator tool, a modular, interactive education course and CDP’s new standard reporting framework. All small businesses making a climate commitment receive monthly communications from the Department, which signpost the latest policy and regulatory changes in addition to the “Together For Our Planet” digital toolkit.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
10th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the level of funding reductions for Local Authority Trading Schemes in each of the last 12 years.

Local authorities are independent from central government and are responsible for determining their resourcing priorities in accordance with the needs of the local electorate. In England, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities decides on the local government finance settlement.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
10th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment he has made of the (a) adequacy of levels of funding for Local Authority Trading Schemes and (b) effect of levels of funding for those schemes on their ability to support consumer rights.

Local authorities are independent from central government and are responsible for determining their resourcing priorities in accordance with the needs of the local electorate. In England, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities decides on the local government finance settlement.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
10th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he has had recent discussions with the Secretary of State for Transport on the potential merits of introducing a scrappage scheme to enable small businesses to recycle diesel commercial vehicles and replace them with (a) cleaner hybrid vehicles or (b) zero emission vehicles.

The Government has no plans at this stage to introduce a scrappage scheme.

The Government has committed £2.5 billion since 2020 to support the transition to zero emission vehicles, with funding to offset their higher upfront cost, and to accelerate the rollout of chargepoint infrastructure.

Lee Rowley
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 19 January 2022 to Question 105543, on Business: Closures, what steps he taking to reduce the number of business deaths.

In a dynamic and competitive economy, a proportion of businesses will cease trading each year, for a range of reasons. The government does not view business deaths as a reliable indicator of competitiveness, or economic health.

Recognising the huge impact of the pandemic on businesses across the UK, this government has provided around £400 billion of direct support to the economy during this financial year and last, which has helped to safeguard jobs, businesses and public services in every region and nation of the UK. This includes a total of over £26bn in business grants.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to help businesses facing high inflation.

The Government has provided around £400 billion of direct support for the economy since the start of the pandemic, which has helped to safeguard jobs, businesses and public services in every region and nation of the UK – this includes the £1 billion Omicron package of support announced in December, which was focused on supporting the hospitality, leisure and cultural sectors.

Now that we have returned to Plan A and as individuals and businesses learn to live with Covid-19, it is right that this exceptional support comes to an end as planned. This is vital for a strong economy and to help rebuild the public finances. However, support is being withdrawn gradually, so that businesses can plan and adjust over time.

Government also recognises the role that energy plays in inflation and impact on businesses of all sizes. Higher wholesale gas prices have been seen internationally in 2021. This has been due to multiple international factors in supply and demand.

Ofgem and the Government are in regular contact with business groups and suppliers to understand the challenges they face.

The Government understands the pressure that a higher cost of living places on people. We are working with international partners to tackle global supply chain issues and is providing support worth over around £12 billion this financial year and next to help people with the cost of living, as well as a package of support to help households with rising energy bills, worth £9.1 billion in 2022-23.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what information his Department holds on whether any covid-related grants and loans were given to companies with links to the Russian Government.

The Department does not hold information relating to the relationships between private companies and the Russian Government

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
27th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the total cost is of his Department's SME Climate Hub to date.

The Government has worked closely with the international UN-backed SME Climate Hub, which is part of the global Race to Zero campaign, to embed a UK campaign page known as the UK Business Climate Hub. This campaign page offers free advice to small business on how to be greener and save money, along with inspiring UK case studies. The cost of developing the UK Business Climate Hub was £46,800, including VAT.

Upon making their SME climate commitment to join the Race to Zero, businesses gain free access to a suite of resources to help them measure, reduce and report on emissions.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
27th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the finding of the November 2021 report by the British Business bank on the proportion of SME businesses that have started to measure their carbon footprint and take steps to reduce carbon in their business, what specific steps his Department taking to increase awareness of net zero among SMEs.

The former Net Zero Business Champion led the Race to Zero campaign targeting small and medium businesses, which has attracted 2,730 UK small business commitments to date, constituting approximately 80% of global signups.

The Government has also developed the UK Business Climate Hub, where business can receive sector-specific guidance on how best to reduce their carbon emissions. This page

attracted an average of 3,000 visitors per day, or 90,000 per month in the months leading up to COP26.

The Government has worked with businesses themselves and a wide range of Business Representative Organisations, sector-based trade associations, Devolved Administrations and local and regional organisations to raise awareness of the campaign and the race to net zero.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
27th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what proportion of the 5.6million SME businesses in the UK have signed up to the SME Climate Hub.

To date, over 2700 UK small and medium sized businesses have made the SME Climate Commitment in order to join the UN’s Race to Zero, constituting approximately 80% of global signups.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
27th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the SME Climate Hub at encouraging businesses to sign up to that campaign.

The 2,730 UK businesses who have made SME Climate Commitments and joined the Race to Zero represent ~80% of global signups. We continue to work with the international SME Climate Hub team to improve the platform content with additional tools, and that of the UK Business Climate Hub through case studies and other features.

The UK Business Climate Hub, a UK page developed by the Government which is embedded in the international SME Climate Hub, attracted an average of 3,000 visitors per day, or 90,000 per month in the months leading up to COP26.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
27th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what specific steps his Department is taking to support SMEs to increase their capacity to reach net zero carbon emissions.

The Government continues to support UK SMEs to join the UN’s Race to Zero initiative. To date, over 2,730 small businesses in the UK have made a net zero commitment, constituting ~80% of global signups.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
27th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment he has made of the impact of the removal of the £20 uplift to universal credit on spending patterns on local high streets; and what assessment he has made of any potential effect that has had on (a) SMEs and (b) micro businesses.

No such assessments have been made on spending patterns on local high streets.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
27th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what was the total cost was of his Department's heroes of net zero competition.

The total cost of the Heroes of Net Zero competition was £10,591.09. These were promotional costs as all other costs were met by the competition sponsors.

One of the winners included Design Abled, a micro business from Middlesex that created a face shield for hearing impaired individuals.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
17th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to encourage SMEs to join the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change's Race for Net Zero.

In May 2021, ahead of COP26 the Government launched the Together for Our Planet Business Climate Leaders campaign. The aim of the campaign is to encourage as many small businesses as possible to join the “Race to Zero” by making the SME Climate Commitment on the SME Climate Hub. To date, 2,670 UK small businesses have made the SME Climate Hub, constituting around 80% of global signups.

The Government has also run several initiatives in conjunction with trade associations, local authorities, businesses such as BT, NatWest and Royal Mail. For example, the “Heroes of Net Zero Competition” invited all British businesses with less than 50 employees, who had joined the Race to Zero, to share their innovative green actions. As part of the campaign, a new UK Business Climate Hub has been developed to provide guidance on how to reduce emissions, including sector-specific advice.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
17th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of the availability of vehicle emissions filtration systems for small businesses.

BEIS has not assessed the adequacy of the availability of vehicle emissions filtration systems for small businesses. However, as the global economy has rebounded from the pandemic, we have seen pressures placed on supply chains across sectors and across countries.

Lee Rowley
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
17th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to reduce the number of business deaths.

In a dynamic and competitive economy, a proportion of businesses will cease trading each year for a range of reasons.

Since the start of Covid, business deaths have averaged around 490,000 per year over 2020/21 down from a yearly average of 500,000 in the period 2016-19.

This Government has provided unprecedented support to businesses in the form of grants, the furlough scheme, and the Covid loan schemes, which provided a lifeline to 1.6 million businesses across the UK – facilitating nearly £80 billion of finance to help them survive the pandemic.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
17th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what (a) support and (b) guidance his Department is providing small businesses to help reduce carbon emissions in their supply chains.

The Government continues to support UK businesses in meeting their net zero commitments. The former Net Zero Business Champion, my Hon. Friend the Member for Arundel and South Downs, led the Race to Zero campaign targeting small and medium businesses,

Businesses can visit the UK Business Climate Hub to sign up and get advice on how to reduce emissions, including sector-specific guidance. Upon climate commitment, businesses gain access in reducing their emissions, including a carbon calculator tool, a modular, interactive education course and CDP’s new standard reporting framework. All small businesses making a climate commitment receive monthly communications from the Department, which signpost the latest policy and regulatory changes in addition to the “Together For Our Planet” digital toolkit.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
17th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will provide a list of the support and guidance documents and memoranda that his Department has provided to businesses in the hospitality sector to reduce scope 3 carbon emissions in the last three years.

The Government published the first ever hospitality strategy in July 2021, through which it also outlined its commitment to decarbonise the hospitality sector and its supply chains. The recently formed Hospitality Sector Council was set up to work with the sector, by co-creating solutions and delivering the commitments set out in the strategy, such as developing a greener sector.

The Government also encourages all UK businesses, including those in the hospitality sector, with 500 employees or fewer to visit the UK Business Climate Hub, and sign up to the globally recognised small business climate commitment. Businesses gain access to a range of resources to help them achieve net zero emissions by 2050 at the latest.

In addition, the Government is also working closely with major trade associations in these sectors who have industry-wide net zero strategies. These include the Zero Carbon Forum who have released their Net Zero Roadmap, which is endorsed by UK Hospitality, and WRAP.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
17th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the implications for its policies of the levels of business investment in Q3 of 2021 reported by the Office for National Statistics; and what steps his Department is taking to support business investment.

The ONS data to which the member is referring shows at 2.6% increase in business investment versus the same quarter the previous year, which shows that the Government’s approach is delivering a strong economic recovery.

BEIS works to support business investment through a range of different measures including several sector focused funds, such as the £1.4bn Global Britain Investment Fund, which provides grant support to businesses within the automotive, life sciences and offshore wind sectors. The department has laid out a strategy to deliver Net Zero by 2050, which includes leveraging £90bn in private investment. At the last Budget and Spending Review the Government made a £1.6 billion commitment to a new generation of regional funds via the British Business Bank’s programmes. The Government will also provide funding for 33,000 Start Up Loans over the next three years.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
17th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many businesses have participated in the Help to Grow: Management and the Help to Grow: Digital schemes.

Since courses began in July 2021, 1,270 business leaders have been onboarded and 402 have completed the Help to Grow: Management programme.

The programme is a 12-week course designed to equip businesses with the knowledge and skills they need to boost performance and reach their full growth potential.

Help to Grow: Digital launched on 20 January 2022 and aims to support up to 100,000 small businesses with online advice and a discount for software costs.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
17th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans his Department has to provide support to people seeking to start a new business.

We are committed to providing support to people seeking to start new businesses. We provide access to finance to people who want to start a business through the British Business Bank (BBB). The Start Up Loans Company, part of the BBB, has delivered 89,934 loans across the UK with a value of more than £811.67 million since the Start Up Loans programme’s launch in 2012 to the end of November 2021.

Our network of 38 Growth Hubs across England, provides key services to new businesses offering free information and 1-1 advice, alongside our free Business Support Helpline. Growth Hubs offer triage, diagnostic and signposting services to make sure that all businesses know what support is available and know how to apply.

The Government’s business advice pages on GOV.UK also provide information and guidance relevant to starting, growing and maintaining a business, as well as their statutory rights and obligations, and links to support provided by devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. All details can be found online: www.gov.uk/browse/business.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of new covid-19 restrictions on businesses in the (a) retail, (b) tourism and (c) hospitality sectors.

The Government moved to Plan B in England as it was necessary to control the spread of transmission of the new threat posed by the Omicron variant and the potential impact on businesses. In order to support all businesses across the UK economy throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have provided businesses with an unprecedented support package of £400 billion, including grants, loans, business rates relief, VAT cuts and the job retention scheme. This includes a total of over £26bn in business grants. The Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) fund is open until March 2022.

In order to support businesses through this next phase, the ‘Working Safely’ guidance will continue to provide advice on sensible precautions employers can take to manage risk and support their staff and customers. In other sectors, such as hospitality, the guidance says that businesses are exempt from enforcing customers to wear masks and this assessment has been made from a practical point of view given the nature of hospitality visits is to eat and drink.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of the introduction of Plan B covid-19 restrictions on the (a) hospitality and (b) retail sectors.

The Government moved to Plan B in England as it was necessary to control the spread of transmission of the new threat posed by the Omicron variant and the potential impact on businesses. To support all businesses across the UK economy throughout the COVID-19 pandemic we have provided businesses with an unprecedented support package of £400 billion, including grants, loans, business rates relief, VAT cuts and the job retention scheme. This includes a total of over £26bn in business grants. The Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) fund is open until March 2022.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will publish a list of the number of businesses in the hospitality sector that have signed up to the help to grow scheme in each region of the UK.

The Help to Grow Scheme is open to SMEs that meet the eligibility criteria, from all sectors from across the UK.

Businesses that express an interest in the Help to Grow: Digital programme are not required to identify the sector they are in.

On the Help to Grow: Management programme side, to date, 143 SMEs within the hospitality sector have registered for the programme.

BEIS will continue to analyse the characteristics of businesses as part of the Help to Grow scheme to support monitoring and evaluation.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many businesses in the hospitality sector have signed up to the Help to grow scheme.

The Help to Grow Scheme is open to SMEs that meet the eligibility criteria, from all sectors from across the UK.

Businesses that express an interest in the Help to Grow: Digital programme are not required to identify the sector they are in.

On the Help to Grow: Management programme side, to date, 143 SMEs within the hospitality sector have registered for the programme.

BEIS will continue to analyse the characteristics of businesses as part of the Help to Grow scheme to support monitoring and evaluation.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions his Department has had with UK fuel retailers on the adequacy of consumer prices for fuel.

The Department monitors road fuel prices and publishes the information on a weekly basis.

BEIS analysis is that changes in retail prices of petroleum products such as petrol and diesel are primarily driven by the changes in the global market prices for crude oil and in exchange rates. Both rises and falls in crude oil prices feed through to pump prices over a period of 6-7 weeks.

Recognising that fuel is a major cost for households and businesses, we have kept fuel duty frozen. This is the twelfth consecutive freeze, saving the average UK car driver a cumulative £1,900, compared to the plans the previous Government set out in 2010.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps is he talking to tackle the rising cost of petrol and diesel in the UK.

The Government believes it is vital that consumers get a fair deal on fuel prices and that a competitive market is the best way to achieve this. BEIS analysis is that changes in retail prices of petroleum products such as petrol and diesel are primarily driven by the changes in the global market prices for crude oil and in exchange rates.

Recognising that fuel is a major cost for households and businesses, we have kept fuel duty frozen. This is the twelfth consecutive freeze, saving the average UK car driver a cumulative £1,900, compared to the plans the previous Government set out in 2010.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he has made an assessment of the impact on businesses of any problems at UK ports caused by congestion and delays on roads connected to those ports.

The situation faced by UK businesses and others across the globe is a result of high consumer demand, and the ongoing disruption caused by Covid-19 pressures. This is a global problem, and the UK is experiencing challenges similar to other countries at the current time.

Global capacity at ports regularly fluctuates in response to increased seasonal demand and this has been exacerbated by the ongoing global container and HGV driver shortages. The Government continues to work closely with the freight industry to tackle the challenges faced by some ports this winter.

The Department has ongoing engagement with businesses and organisations across a range of sectors to understand the impact that these pressures are having on the ground. In addition, Sir Dave Lewis, former CEO of Tesco, was appointed in October to act as the UK Government’s supply chain adviser and provide a further link between business and government. We continue to work closely with industry to identify and understand the causes of supply chain issues and pre-empt future issues.

Lee Rowley
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
13th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he has made an assessment of the impact on businesses of any problems at UK ports caused by shortages of storage capacity for imported goods.

The situation faced by UK businesses and others across the globe is a result of high consumer demand, and the ongoing disruption caused by Covid-19 pressures. This is a global problem, and the UK is experiencing challenges similar to other countries at the current time.

Global capacity at ports regularly fluctuates in response to increased seasonal demand and this has been exacerbated by the ongoing global container and HGV driver shortages. The Government continues to work closely with the freight industry to tackle the challenges faced by some ports this winter.

The Department has ongoing engagement with businesses and organisations across a range of sectors to understand the impact that these pressures are having on the ground. In addition, Sir Dave Lewis, former CEO of Tesco, was appointed in October to act as the UK Government’s supply chain adviser and provide a further link between business and government. We continue to work closely with industry to identify and understand the causes of supply chain issues and pre-empt future issues.

Lee Rowley
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
13th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he has made an assessment of the potential impact on businesses of any delays at UK ports caused by delayed customs checks.

The situation faced by UK businesses and others across the globe is a result of high consumer demand, and the ongoing disruption caused by Covid-19 pressures. This is a global problem, and the UK is experiencing challenges similar to other countries at the current time.

Global capacity at ports regularly fluctuates in response to increased seasonal demand and this has been exacerbated by the ongoing global container and HGV driver shortages. The Government continues to work closely with the freight industry to tackle the challenges faced by some ports this winter.

The Department has ongoing engagement with businesses and organisations across a range of sectors to understand the impact that these pressures are having on the ground. In addition, Sir Dave Lewis, former CEO of Tesco, was appointed in October to act as the UK Government’s supply chain adviser and provide a further link between business and government. We continue to work closely with industry to identify and understand the causes of supply chain issues and pre-empt future issues.

Lee Rowley
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
13th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he has met with business groups to discuss the capacity of the UK’s ports and associated storage facilities ahead of Christmas 2021.

The situation faced by UK businesses and others across the globe is a result of high consumer demand, and the ongoing disruption caused by Covid-19 pressures. This is a global problem, and the UK is experiencing challenges similar to other countries at the current time.

Global capacity at ports regularly fluctuates in response to increased seasonal demand and this has been exacerbated by the ongoing global container and HGV driver shortages. The Government continues to work closely with the freight industry to tackle the challenges faced by some ports this winter.

The Department has ongoing engagement with businesses and organisations across a range of sectors to understand the impact that these pressures are having on the ground. In addition, Sir Dave Lewis, former CEO of Tesco, was appointed in October to act as the UK Government’s supply chain adviser and provide a further link between business and government. We continue to work closely with industry to identify and understand the causes of supply chain issues and pre-empt future issues.

Lee Rowley
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
30th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the impact of rising UK fuel prices on consumers.

BEIS analysis is that changes in retail prices of petroleum products such as petrol and diesel are primarily driven by the changes in the global market prices for crude oil and in exchange rates.

Recognising that fuel is a major cost for households and businesses, we have kept fuel duty frozen. This is the twelfth consecutive freeze, saving the average UK car driver a cumulative £1,900, compared to the plans the previous Government set out in 2010.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
30th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment his Department has made of progress being made by businesses in the (a) hospitality, (b) retail and (c) leisure sectors in reducing their carbon emissions.

The Government encourages all UK businesses with 500 employees or fewer to visit the UK Business Climate Hub and sign up to the globally recognised small business climate commitment. Businesses, distinguished by sector including retail, hospitality and entertainment, gain access to a range of resources to help them achieve net zero emissions by 2050 at the latest.

Part of the commitment is disclosing progress on a yearly basis. In order to help businesses to report annually, they are now encouraged to use CDP’s new Climate Disclosure Framework.

The Government is also working closely with major trade associations across these sectors who have industry-wide net zero strategies. These include the British Retail Consortium who have published their Climate Action Roadmap, the Retail Sector Council who have produced an SME Green Guide, and Zero Carbon Forum who have released their Net Zero Roadmap, which is endorsed by UKHospitality.

The Government published the first ever hospitality strategy, which includes the commitment to help hospitality businesses and its supply to decarbonise. The recently formed Hospitality Sector Council was set up to work with the sector, by co-creating solutions while delivering the commitments set out in the strategy, such as developing a greener sector.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
30th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 24 November 2021 to Question 78413, on SME Climate Hub, how many and what proportion of small businesses in the UK have signed up to the SME climate hub.

Currently, 2507 UK SMEs have made the SME Climate Commitment (including 14 in overseas territories, and 17 awaiting approval).

UK has by far the most signups in the world; the total constitutes just under 80% of global SME Climate Commitments, and is an order of magnitude higher than the next best country (US on 121).

Since May 2021, when the UK Business Climate Hub was launched, an average of 65 businesses per week have made the commitment. This number has accelerated to an average of 82 per week over November.

UK commitments span every devolved nation and region in the country, and 26 different sectors.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
30th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent steps his Department has taken to inform SME businesses of how to reduce their carbon emissions.

We continue to support UK businesses to meet their net zero commitments alongside engaging large corporates. The former Net Zero Business Champion, my Hon. Friend the Member for Arundel and South Downs, led the Race to Zero, a campaign targeting small and micro businesses across the UK. To date 2,507 have joined. Through our small business campaign, the Government has taken an important step towards making net zero relevant to SMEs by helping them access the support they need.

Once they have made the small business climate commitment, businesses receive monthly communications directly from BEIS with the latest policy and regulatory changes, and opportunities such as educational events, consultations and competitions as well as the Together For Our Planet digital toolkit.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
19th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 20 October 2021 to Question 56300, on Help to Grow Scheme, what plans the Government has to increase participation in the Help to Grow Management scheme; and what assessment his Department has made of the likelihood of that scheme’s participation target being achieved.

We are working to increase SME participation in the Help to Grow: Management programme through:

– A national communications and marketing campaign to raise awareness of the programme to relevant SMEs.

– Working closely with key stakeholders (such as the Banks, Trade Associations and Business Representative Organisations) to promote to SMEs in their networks and drive them to participate in the programme.

– Optimising the customer journey to ensure SMEs that are interested go onto to sign up for a course.

Help to Grow: Management aims to support up to 30,000 small and medium-sized (SME) businesses leaders over the lifetime of the programme. We ensure we are effectively using all our levers to reach this target and keep our progress towards achieving this under regular review.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
19th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he has made an assessment of the effectiveness of the mediations between Clarks and its employees.

When employment disputes arise, the Government wants to ensure that employers and employees can resolve these quickly and efficiently. It is always better to resolve disputes through dialogue wherever possible. Acas provides collective conciliation and mediation services. My Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State has not assessed the effectiveness of the mediations between Clarks and its employees, and the Government will not get involved whilst mediation talks are progressing with Acas.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
19th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when his Department will publish its spending proposals for the Clean Steel Fund.

The Government recognises the vital role that the steel sector pays across the United Kingdom economy. We will continue to work with the sector to support its decarbonisation. Funds such as the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund (IETF) and the Industrial Decarbonisation and Hydrogen Revenue Support (IDHRS) scheme have been announced to support decarbonisation by the Government. Further proposals, including the approach to the Clean Steel Fund, will be brought forward in due course.

Lee Rowley
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
19th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 2 November to Question 65437, on Morrisons: Takeovers, whether the Government has plans to require the largest private companies to meet higher standards of transparency and oversight.

On 18 March, the Government published a White Paper, ‘Restoring trust in audit and corporate reporting’, setting out comprehensive and ambitious plans to strengthen the UK’s audit, company reporting and corporate governance framework. It included proposals to bring large private businesses in scope of higher standards of transparency and oversight.

Consultation on the proposals closed on 8 July. The Government is considering the responses carefully and will respond in due course.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
19th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the proportion of UK SMEs that have signed up to the SME Climate Hub.

Currently, 2446 UK SMEs have made the SME Climate Commitment (including 14 in overseas territories, and 26 awaiting approval).

The UK has the largest number of companies signed-up. The total constitutes just under 80% of global SME Climate Commitments.

Since May 2021 when the UK Business Climate Hub was launched, an average of 65 businesses per week have made the commitment. This number has accelerated to an average of 95 per week over November.

UK commitments span every devolved nation and region in the country, and 26 different sectors.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent estimate he has made of the number of small to medium-sized enterprises that have closed in Feltham and Heston in each of the last 18 months.

The number of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises1 (SMEs) in Feltham and Heston in March 2021 was 5,1502. The number of SMEs in Feltham and Heston in March 2020 was 5,0103. This suggests there was a net increase of around 140 SMEs between March 2020 to March 2021. Data on business closures is not available at the constituency level. Data on SME size and location and data on business closures is not available on a monthly basis”.

1Business with 0 to 249 employees

2Source: ONS, UK Business: Activity, Size and Location – 2021 (The data contained in this analysis are produced from a snapshot of the Inter Departmental Business Register (IDBR) taken on 12 March 2021. Only VAT and/or PAYE based enterprises are included.) - https://www.ons.gov.uk/businessindustryandtrade/business/activitysizeandlocation/datasets/ukbusinessactivitysizeandlocation

3Source: ONS, UK Business: Activity, Size and Location – 2020 (The data contained in this analysis are produced from a snapshot of the Inter Departmental Business Register (IDBR) taken on 13 March 2020. Only VAT and/or PAYE based enterprises are included.) - https://www.ons.gov.uk/businessindustryandtrade/business/activitysizeandlocation/datasets/ukbusinessactivitysizeandlocation

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the increase in business debt incurred as a result of the covid-19 pandemic (a) by constituency, (b) by region and (c) in England.

BEIS does not hold data on the total debt incurred by all businesses. However, UK Finance (a trade body for the banking and finance industry) does hold end of year loan balances, both private and government-backed, and overdraft balances for SMEs only and by UK regions. SMEs are defined by UK Finance as those businesses with total annual turnover under £25 million.

The total loan and overdraft balances for all UK businesses, including large businesses, was £279bn in 2018, £270bn in 2019, and £290bn in 2020 – a 3.2% decrease between 2018 and 2019, and 7.3% increase between 2019 and 2020.

Tables 1 & 2 below provide end of year breakdowns of loan and overdraft balances for SMEs only by region for 2018, 2019 and 2020; the most recent data available. Data by constituency is not readily available.

Table 1: Total SMEs end of year loan balance (£ billion & percent change from previous year)

Year

2018

2019

2020

London

£18.5bn

£17.5bn
(-5.4%)

£27.7bn (+58.2%)

South East

£10.5bn

£10.2bn
(-2.1%)

£16.4bn (+59.9%)

South West

£9.6bn

£9.5bn (-1.3%)

£13.1bn (+38.1%)

East Midlands

£4.5bn

£4.4bn (-1.9%)

£6.8bn (+53.4%)

West Midlands

£7.3bn

£7.2bn (-2.4%)

£10.7bn (+49.2%)

East of England

£5.7bn

£5.7bn (-1.0%)

£8.4bn (+47.7%)

Yorkshire & Humber

£5.9bn

£5.7bn (-4.2%)

£8.7bn (+54.6%)

North East

£2.7bn

£2.5bn (-4.8%)

£3.8bn (+51.4%)

North West

£7.9bn

£7.6bn (-4.2%)

£12.2bn (+59.0%)

Wales

£3.7bn

£3.6bn (-4.3%)

£4.9bn (+37.7%)

Scotland

£6.8bn

£6.9bn (+1.5%)

£10.4bn (+50.8%)

Northern Ireland

£6.8bn

£6.5bn (-4.3%)

£7.2bn (+10.8%)

Total

£89.9bn

£87.3bn (-3.0%)

£130.3bn (+49.3%)

Source: UK Finance

Table 2: Total SMEs end of year overdrawn balance (£ billion & percent change from previous year)

Year

2018

2019

2020

London

£1.6bn

£1.4bn (-13.1%)

£0.9bn (-35.9%)

South East

£0.9bn

£0.9bn (-0.4%)

£0.6bn (-40.4%)

South West

£1.0bn

£0.9bn (-6.4%)

£0.6bn (-36.8%)

East Midlands

£0.5bn

£0.5bn (-5.4%)

£0.3bn (-35.8%)

West Midlands

£0.9bn

£0.8bn (-2.5%)

£0.6bn (-29.3%)

East of England

£0.7bn

£0.7bn (-3.3%)

£0.5bn (-32.3%)

Yorkshire & Humber

£0.7bn

£0.7bn (-5.5%)

£0.5bn (35.4%)

North East

£0.3bn

£0.3bn (-0.8%)

£0.2bn (-16.6%)

North West

£0.9bn

£0.8bn (-5.2%)

£0.5bn (-36.3%)

Wales

£0.4bn

£0.4bn (-2.6%)

£0.3bn (-34.4%)

Scotland

£0.9bn

£0.8bn (-6.1%)

£0.6bn (-30.8%)

Northern Ireland

£1.0bn

£0.9bn (-9.3%)

£0.8bn (-17.0%)

Total SMEs

£9.9bn

£9.3bn (-6.1%)

£6.3bn (-32.6%)

Source: UK Finance

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
1st Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 6 September 2021 to Question 37473, on New Businesses: Females, how much money his Department has provided to businesses through Start Up Loans; and what proportion of those loans have been provided to (a) women-owned businesses and (b) businesses owned by BAME people.

The number of Start Up Loans provided from March 2012 to the end of September 2021 was 88,253, with a total value of £790,096,004. Of these, 35,156 (40%) with a value of £291,330,446 (37%) were provided to women and 17,914 loans (20%) with a value of £154,023,924 (19%) were provided to entrepreneurs from a Black, Asian or other minority ethnic background.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
1st Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department receive feedback on calls to the Business Support Helpline.

Every contact to the Helpline, be it via telephone, webchat, email or social media channel, is surveyed on their satisfaction and impact of using the service.

Post-interaction with the service, contacts can grade the service from very satisfied to unsatisfied and can provide feedback on any aspect of the Helpline, including the use of www.gov.uk as this provides most of the traffic to the Helpline. They are also asked if they acted based on the advice given and if the advice, guidance, or signposting received have made any impact on their business.

BEIS also conducts customer service mystery shopping exercises and provides feedback to the Helpline.

Satisfaction rates for all levels of services are an average of 91% for this calendar year, above the contracted key performance indicator.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
1st Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department plans to take to support businesses with significant rent debt as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department regularly engages at both Ministerial and official level with businesses and representative organisations from the hospitality and retail sectors on a range of issues affecting these sectors including commercial rent debt.

Following a Call for Evidence launched in April and ongoing engagement with representatives of the hospitality and retail sectors on commercial rent debt, the Government will introduce legislation shortly, to support landlords and tenants resolve disputes relating to rent owed as a result of premises having been closed or having had business restricted during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
1st Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions officials in his Department have had with representatives of the hospitality and retail sectors on outstanding rent debt.

The Department regularly engages at both Ministerial and official level with businesses and representative organisations from the hospitality and retail sectors on a range of issues affecting these sectors including commercial rent debt.

Following a Call for Evidence launched in April and ongoing engagement with representatives of the hospitality and retail sectors on commercial rent debt, the Government will introduce legislation shortly, to support landlords and tenants resolve disputes relating to rent owed as a result of premises having been closed or having had business restricted during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
1st Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the level of regional variation in electric vehicle ownership.

The Government’s plug-in vehicle grants and the majority of funding programmes for charging infrastructure, including funding for chargepoints at homes, workplaces and on residential streets, are available on a UK wide basis. Later this year government will publish our EV Infrastructure Strategy. This will define our vision for the continued roll-out of a world-leading charging infrastructure network across the UK. It will also set out the action plan for charging infrastructure rollout to ensure this is delivered at the pace needed to achieve the 2030/35 phase out successfully across all regions in the UK and to accelerate the transition to a zero-emission car and van fleet.

Lee Rowley
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
28th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 2 July 2021 to Question 21917 on Small Businesses: Advisory Services, what the (a) national and (b) regional breakdown is of people who have completed the Small Business Leadership Programme.

Evaluation on completions is ongoing. [1]Completion data will differ as some participants may not complete the programme.

Region

Count

%

West Midlands

511

17%

South East

427

14%

North West

421

14%

East Midlands

379

13%

South West

369

12%

Yorkshire & Humber

368

12%

London

206

7%

North East

165

5%

East of England

136

5%

No response

23

1%

Total

3005

100%

[1] SBLP Evaluation partner analysis, 2021

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
28th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of July 2021 to Question 21917 on Small Businesses: Advisory Services, how many (a) women, (b) men, and (c) BAME people have completed the Small Business Leadership Programme.

Evaluation on completions is ongoing and is scheduled for the end of December. Across England, 3,005 participants enrolled onto the Small Business Leadership Programme between October 2020 and June 2021: 1170 participants (39%) were women and 1771 (59%) were men. Approximately 15% of participants (456) are considered to be from a BAME background. [1]Completion data will differ as some participants may not complete the programme.

[1]SBLP Evaluation partner analysis, 2020.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
28th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Government’s press release on 16 June 2021 entitled Eviction protection extended for businesses most in need, what plans the Government for a binding arbitration process between commercial tenants and landlords.

The Government will shortly introduce legislation to support landlords and tenants resolve disputes relating to rent owed as a result of premises having been closed or having had business restricted during the COVID-19 pandemic. The legislation will ringfence rent debt accrued during the pandemic by businesses affected by enforced closures and set out a process of binding arbitration to be undertaken between landlords and tenants. This is to be used as a last resort, after bilateral negotiations have been undertaken and only where landlords and tenants cannot otherwise come to a resolution. This will help the economy to return to normal as quickly as possible while protecting viable jobs and businesses.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many people (a) have completed or (b) are undertaking the (i) Help to Grow: Management Scheme and (ii) Help to Grow: Digital Scheme.

Help to Grow: Management will support up to 30,000 UK small and medium-sized businesses leaders over three years - to develop their strategic skills, create jobs and boost their business performance. As of 19 October, 810 business leaders are currently participating in the programme.

Help to Grow: Digital will launch in Autumn 2021 and aims to support 100,000 small businesses with online advice and a voucher for software costs. The voucher is expected to be available to UK businesses that have more than 5 and fewer than 249 employees and that have been trading for more than 12 months.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what role the Government had in the CD&R takeover of Morrisons.

Under the Enterprise Act 2002, the Government has the power to intervene in mergers on public interest grounds covering national security, media plurality, the stability of the UK financial system and the need to maintain in the UK the capability to combat, and to mitigate the effects of, public health emergencies.

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State had a constructive call with the Chief Executive of WM Morrisons and they discussed the company’s plans to protect jobs, pensions and footprint in the UK in any potential acquisition. However, the details of the proposed acquisition are primarily a commercial matter for the parties concerned.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many electric vehicle charging points are available in each (a) nation and (b) region of the UK.

A breakdown on the number of publicly available electric vehicle charging points are detailed below (as at 1 July 2021):

UK

24,374

England

20,563

North East

887

North West

1,620

Yorkshire and the Humber

1,156

East Midlands

1,280

West Midlands

1,591

East of England

1,569

London

7,489

South East

3,254

South West

1,717

Wales

916

Scotland

2,565

Northern Ireland

330

Source: DfT/Zap-Map

Lee Rowley
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what his Department's policy is on giving covid-19 related grants and loans to businesses that engage in fire and rehire tactics.

The Government has provided an unprecedented package of support for UK businesses to help them survive the Covid-19 pandemic, including direct grants and government-backed loans. Grants and loans were offered to businesses in accordance with the eligibility criteria for those schemes

The Government has made clear to all employers that using threats to ‘fire and rehire’ as a tactic to pressure workers during negotiations on changes to terms and conditions is unacceptable. We expect employers to treat their employees fairly and in the spirit of partnership. There are laws around how negotiations must be done, and protections in place when firms are considering redundancies.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
21st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to support women entrepreneurs.

The Government’s business support schemes have been put in place to help eligible businesses to get through the pandemic, including those led by women from all regions and backgrounds. Information on these schemes and other resources is available via the free Business Support Helpline. In 2020, 44% of the Business Support Helpline’s callers were women.

Start-Up Loans, part of the Government-backed British Business Bank, provides loans and intensive support to new entrepreneurs, including a year of free mentoring from industry experts. Since 2012, over 40% of Start Up Loans worth £280m have gone to women (up to June 2021).

The Government asked Alison Rose, CEO of NatWest Group, to carry out a review of female entrepreneurship, which was published in March 2019. In response to her report, we set an ambition to increase the number of female entrepreneurs by half by 2030, equivalent to 600,000 new entrepreneurs.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment has he made of the potential effect of proposed vaccine passports on employment opportunities in the hospitality sector for people aged 16 to 30 who have not received covid-19 vaccinations.

The Department is in regular contact with representatives from the Hospitality sector to discuss how to help the sector recover. So far, in England 65% of 18-30-year-olds have taken up the offer of the vaccine and received at least one dose. For the remainder we would encourage them to take up the offer of a vaccine to protect themselves and others.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment he has made of the level of debt in the (a) hospitality, (b) leisure and (c) culture sectors.

The Department regularly meets with representatives from across the Hospitality sector to discuss how it can recover and build back from the pandemic and we regularly review financial and economic impacts data for sectors. We have provided an unprecedented support package of £352 billion, including grants, loans, business rates relief, VAT cuts and the job retention scheme, which hospitality businesses have access to. We have published a new Hospitality Strategy: Reopening, Recovery, Resilience to ensure England’s pubs, bars, restaurants and other hospitality venues can thrive long-term. We are also working on new rules to ringfence COVID-19 commercial rent arrears and guide tenants and landlords to agree repayment plans.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the average length of time is between his Department receiving and paying invoices; and what that length of time is for (a) SMEs and (b) large businesses.

The average number of working days to pay BEIS invoices each month in the year to date is given below.

Month

Average number of working days to pay

January 2021

5.46

February 2021

3.97

March 2021

3.58

April 2021

4.26

May 2021

3.52

June 2021

4.75

Year to Date

4.26

The Department does not identify the size of business in its invoice payment system, so we are unable to distinguish between SMEs and large businesses.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
13th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to make electric vehicle ownership more affordable.

The Government’s current intervention in the electric vehicle market aims to accelerate upfront price parity between electric and internal combustion engine equivalents, making electric vehicles more affordable for all consumers.

The Government had already committed £1.5 billion to support the early market and remove barriers to zero emission vehicles ownership. Alongside the new phase out dates we have pledged a further £2.8 billion package of measures to support industry and consumers to make the switch to cleaner vehicles.

The Government is providing grants for homeowners, businesses and local authorities to install chargepoints and is also supporting the deployment of rapid chargepoints. The Government will provide £1.3 billion over the next four years to support the continued roll-out of chargepoints on motorways and major A roads, in homes and businesses and on-street.

Since 2011, the Government has provided around £1.3 billion in grant funding to bring ultra-low emission vehicles onto UK roads, reducing the upfront cost of over 300,000 ultra low emission vehicles, of which over 200,000 are zero emission vehicles. The plug-in vehicle grant scheme was renewed last year, with £582 million of funding intended to last until 2022-23.

Drivers of ultra-low emission vehicles also receive other benefits, including lower tax rates and grants towards the installation of chargepoints. For example, all zero emission models will pay 1% company car tax in 2021-22 and a rate of 2% in 2022-23 through to 2024-25. Additionally, all zero emission cars are exempt from vehicle excise duty (VED).

Local authorities may also provide incentives, such as free parking or exemption from the congestion charge.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
13th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to his Department's announcement of 16 June 2021, Eviction protection extended for businesses most in need by the Department, what plans he has to support businesses unable to pay their rents who have received Country Court judgments for rent arrears.

The Government has implemented a range of measures to support commercial property tenants including extending the moratorium on the landlord’s right of forfeiture for non-payment of rent, introducing restrictions on winding-up petitions, including on the basis of a statutory demand, and extending restrictions on the use of the Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (CRAR), which affects the ability of landlords to seize goods owned by the tenant in lieu of rent owed.

Whilst we recognise that landlords are increasingly using Country Court judgments as a means of debt recovery, they have a reduced impact on businesses due to the measures introduced.

The measures that we have put in place are intended to protect otherwise viable businesses from the immediate threat of eviction due to the trading restrictions introduced to combat the spread of Coronavirus. It has never been the Government’s policy intent to restrict all remedies that landlords have available to collect rents and service charges. We are seeking to strike a fair balance between providing ongoing support to tenant businesses and those who own the properties.

In addition, the government will introduce legislation in this Parliamentary session to support the orderly resolution of rental payments accrued by commercial tenants affected by non-pharmaceutical interventions during the pandemic, and the details of the process will be released in due course.

As we develop a long-term solution to these challenges, we urge landlords and tenants to negotiate and reach an agreement which is in the best interests of both parties. In the meantime, we expect businesses that are open and trading as normal to pay their full rent unless otherwise agreed as periods of normal operation will not be covered by further legislation.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
1st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment he has made of the role of Local Enterprise Partnerships in the Plan for Growth.

We are determined to ensure that businesses continue to have clear representation and support as we drive the recovery and build back better. We are working with LEPs and others to review their future role as we set out at the Budget and will be saying more on our plans as soon as possible.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much money has been written off in total from businesses using the (a) Bounce Back Loan Scheme, (b) Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and (c) Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

The Government and the British Business Bank are working with lenders on this issue and will publish data in due course.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many and what proportion of businesses that have borrowed from the Bounce Back Loan Scheme have utilised the Pay as You Grow scheme.

The Government and the British Business Bank are working with lenders on this issue and will publish data in due course.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many Bounce Back Loan Scheme borrowers have taken a repayment holiday for up to six months as part of the Pay as You Grow scheme.

The Government and the British Business Bank are working with lenders on this issue and will publish data in due course.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many Bounce Back Loan Scheme borrowers have requested an extension of their loan term from six to 10 years; and how many and what proportion of those requests have been granted.

The Government and the British Business Bank are working with lenders on this issue and will publish data in due course.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many Bounce Back Loan Scheme borrowers have reduced their monthly repayments for six months by paying interest only.

The Government and the British Business Bank are working with lenders on this issue and will publish data in due course.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the number of businesses that have started repayments on the (a) Bounce Back Loan Scheme, (b) Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and (c) Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

The Government and the British Business Bank are working with lenders on this issue and will publish data in due course.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many businesses have defaulted payments on the (a) Bounce Back Loan Scheme, (b) Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and (c) Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

The Government and the British Business Bank are working with lenders on this issue and will publish data in due course.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
25th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much funding has been allocated under the Restart Grant scheme to support (a) women-led SMEs and (b) minority ethnic group led SMEs.

The £5 billion Restart Grants scheme announced by my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer on 3 March 2021 are one-off grants to businesses in the non-essential retail, hospitality, leisure, personal care and accommodation sectors to support businesses to reopen as covid-19 restrictions are lifted in the coming months.

The Department does not collate details of the gender or ethnicity of any business owners who have received support through any COVID-19 business grant scheme.

All data on Government allocations and Local Authority payments of grant schemes is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-grant-funding-local-authority-payments-to-small-and-medium-businesses.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
25th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much funding has been spent under the Restart Grant scheme in each (a) sector and (b) region.

The £5 billion Restart Grants scheme announced by my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer on 3 March 2021 are one-off grants to businesses in the non-essential retail, hospitality, leisure, personal care, and accommodation sectors to support businesses to reopen as covid-19 restrictions are lifted in the coming months.

The Restart scheme is still open for applications, and we are continuing to gather data on payments. All data published on Government allocations and Local Authority payments of grant schemes is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-grant-funding-local-authority-payments-to-small-and-medium-businesses.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will publish the (a) number and (b) value of convertible loans approved by business size.

A total of 1,190 convertible loans have been issued to companies through the Future Fund, which is administered by the British Business Bank. The value of these loans at the time of issue was £1,136 million. An update on the Future Fund, including information on participating companies, will be published in due course.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will publish the (a) number and (b) value of applications for Future Fund convertible loans received by region.

A total of 1,190 convertible loans have been issued to companies through the Future Fund, which is administered by the British Business Bank. The value of these loans at the time of issue was £1,136 million. An update on the Future Fund, including information on participating companies, will be published in due course.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will publish the (a) number and (b) value of applications for Future Fund convertible loans received by business size.

A total of 1,190 convertible loans have been issued to companies through the Future Fund, which is administered by the British Business Bank. The value of these loans at the time of issue was £1,136 million. An update on the Future Fund, including information on participating companies, will be published in due course.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make a statement on the role of Local Enterprise Partnerships in the Plan for Growth.

We are determined to ensure that businesses continue to have clear representation and support as we drive the recovery and build back better. We are working with LEPs and others to review their future role as we set out at the Budget and will be saying more on our plans as soon as possible.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many small business leaders have been trained under the Small Business Leadership Programme.

2,150 small business leaders completed the Small Business Leadership Programme, exceeding the target of 2,000 participants.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many business owners have participated in the Peer Networks Programme.

4,462 people participated in year 1 (between October 2020 - March 2021) of the Peer Networks Programme.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many Bounce Back Loans businesses have taken up, by business size and what the value is of those loans, by business size.

A breakdown on the number of loans offered through the Bounce Back Loan Scheme as of 21 June 2021 is in the table below.

Business Size

Value (£)

No. of Facilities

Micro

39,737,670,885

1,395,991

Small

6,823,645,704

140,954

Medium

138,154,304

3,245

Mid- Sized

147,613,609

3,429

Large

7,492,775

176

Total

46,854,577,277

1,543,795

The categories are based on turnover and breakdown as follows:

Micro: Turnover > £632k;

Small: Turnover between £632K and £10.19 million;

Medium: Turnover between £10.2 million and £24.9 million;

Mid-Sized: Turnover between £25 million and £500 million;

Large: Turnover > £500 million.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the total GVA contributed by SMEs led by people from minority ethnic backgrounds in each year since 2014.

The Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) does not assess the total GVA contributed by people from women led or minority ethnic group-led SMEs to the UK economy on an annual basis as this could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

BEIS monitors the number and proportion of majority women-led SMEs and minority ethnic group-led SMEs in the UK in the annual Longitudinal Small Business Survey, however the survey does not include information on the GVA contributed by these firms.

Total turnover of SMEs is published in BEIS’s annual Business Population Estimates for the UK, however data on turnover by majority women-led SMEs and minority ethnic group-led SMEs is not available.

It was estimated by BIS in 2015 that in the UK, women-led SMEs contribute about £85 billion to economic output and minority ethnic group-led SMEs contribute about £30 billion[1].

[1] BIS, Contribution of women-led and MEG-led businesses to the UK non-financial economy, 2015, pg. 3.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the total GVA contributed by majority women-led SMEs to the UK economy in each year since 2014.

The Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) does not assess the total GVA contributed by people from women led or minority ethnic group-led SMEs to the UK economy on an annual basis as this could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

BEIS monitors the number and proportion of majority women-led SMEs and minority ethnic group-led SMEs in the UK in the annual Longitudinal Small Business Survey, however the survey does not include information on the GVA contributed by these firms.

Total turnover of SMEs is published in BEIS’s annual Business Population Estimates for the UK, however data on turnover by majority women-led SMEs and minority ethnic group-led SMEs is not available.

It was estimated by BIS in 2015 that in the UK, women-led SMEs contribute about £85 billion to economic output and minority ethnic group-led SMEs contribute about £30 billion[1].

[1] BIS, Contribution of women-led and MEG-led businesses to the UK non-financial economy, 2015, pg. 3.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
21st Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the press release, Eviction protection extended for businesses mot in need, published 16 June 2021, when he plans to set out further details of the new arbitration process for resolving issues in relation to commercial rent debts where tenants and landlords cannot come to an agreement themselves.

The Government has announced that it will introduce legislation to support the orderly resolution of rental payments accrued by commercial tenants affected by non-pharmaceutical interventions during the pandemic, in this Parliamentary session.

The details of the process will be released in due course. We will aim to ensure that this is an impartial and manageable process which should only be used as a last resort when negotiations have failed and providing a faster and easier resolution than through the courts.

In the interim we expect businesses that are open and trading as normal to pay their full rent unless otherwise agreed as periods of normal operation will not be covered by further legislation.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans his Department has to support hydrogen pilots in steel production.

The Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy, published on 17 March, commits to work with the newly constituted Steel Council to consider the implications of the recommendation of the Climate Change Committee to ‘set targets for ore-based steelmaking to reach near-zero emissions by 2035’.

Hydrogen-based steelmaking, CCUS*, and electrification are some of the technological approaches being examined as part of this process. The Steel Council offers the forum for government, industry and trade unions to work in partnership on the shared objective of creating an achievable, long-term plan to support the sector’s transition to a competitive, sustainable and low carbon future.

In order to support these efforts, the Government has announced a £250 million Clean Steel Fund to support the UK steel sector to transition to lower carbon iron and steel production, through investment in new technologies and processes. The decarbonisation of the steel sector and industry more widely will also be supported through the £1 billion CCUS Infrastructure Fund (CIF) and £240m Net-Zero Hydrogen Fund.

*carbon capture, utilisation and storage

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
9th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effect on (a) the steel industry and (b) meeting the UK’s net zero targets of the clean steel fund not starting until 2023.

The Department announced the Clean Steel Fund (CSF) in 2019 and developments are currently underway. This policy will take time to design in order to be delivered effectively.

Based on previous evidence, complex decarbonisation projects have long lead-in times and take time to set up. Due to this and other factors, the steel sector indicated in response to the 2019 Call for Evidence that their preference is for the CSF to be launched in 2023. Other schemes are available to support the sector and are live now, including the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund.

Decarbonising UK industry is a core part of the Government’s ambitious plan for the green industrial revolution. The Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy, published on 17 March, indicated our commitment to work with the Steel Council to consider the implications of the recommendation of the Climate Change Committee to ‘set targets for ore-based steelmaking to reach near-zero emissions by 2035’.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
9th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to support recruitment in the hospitality sector.

The Department regularly meets with representatives from across the sector to discuss how it can recover and build back better from the pandemic.

We offer generous incentives to employers to recruit staff, with hundreds of young people starting work every day through the Kickstart Scheme. We are providing employers with a hiring incentive for each new apprentice they hire and have increased the payment to £3,000 for each newly hired apprentice of any age, helping more people to kick start or upskill their career across a broad range of industries. We are also investing £126 million in additional support to help create 40,000 more traineeships in England, funding high-quality work placements and training for 16-24-year olds in 2021-22.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many have businesses registered for (a) Help to Grow: Management and (b) Help to Grow: Digital programmes to date.

As of 10 June, over 11,000 SMEs have registered their interest in the Help to Grow Digital scheme. Further details on launch will be announced in due course.

As of 10 June, 10,000 SMEs have registered their interest in the Help to Grow Management scheme.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
27th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the impact on the steel industry of not extending the UK’s current steel safeguards beyond the expiry date of 30 June 2021.

BEIS Ministers and officials have regular discussions with their counterparts in the Department for International Trade on a range of issues of mutual interest, including on trade and steel. The Trade Remedies Authority (TRA) will make a recommendation on whether to extend or revoke the UK steel safeguard measures which are due to expire on 30 June 2021. My Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Trade can either accept or reject the recommendation as a whole, but not modify or partially accept it. She cannot extend the measures if the TRA does not recommend this.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
27th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for International Trade on extending the UK’s steel safeguards beyond the expiry date of 30 June 2021.

BEIS Ministers and officials have regular discussions with their counterparts in the Department for International Trade on a range of issues of mutual interest, including on trade and steel. The Trade Remedies Authority (TRA) will make a recommendation on whether to extend or revoke the UK steel safeguard measures which are due to expire on 30 June 2021. My Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Trade can either accept or reject the recommendation as a whole, but not modify or partially accept it. She cannot extend the measures if the TRA does not recommend this.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
27th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for International Trade on the (a) Trade Remedies Investigations Directorate's Statement of Intended Final Determination published on 19 May 2021 and (b) impact of that statement on the economic and public interests of the UK.

BEIS Ministers and officials have regular discussions with their counterparts in the Department for International Trade on a range of issues of mutual interest, including on trade and steel.

The Trade Remedies Authority (TRA) will make a final recommendation before the UK steel safeguard measures are due to expire on 30 June 2021. My Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Trade may only reject a recommendation to impose a measure if she considers that it is not in the public interest or that the economic interest test has not been met. If this happens, the Secretary of State must lay down her reasons to Parliament.

She can accept or reject a TRA recommendation as a whole but not modify or partially accept it. She cannot extend a measure if the TRA does not recommend this.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
27th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the number of employers in receipt of covid-19 loans and grants under the Coronavirus Job Retention Support Scheme who have engaged in fire and rehire tactics.

The Government has taken substantial action to support jobs during the pandemic, most notably through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). The scheme is available to those businesses that have been unable to maintain their workforce because their operations have been affected by COVID-19.

We have consistently condemned the inappropriate use of fire and rehire as a negotiation tactic. We would all agree that the best outcome is for employers and employees to jointly negotiate new terms and conditions, and every effort should be made by all parties to achieve this. There are laws around how this must be done, and legal protections in place when firms are considering redundancies.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
27th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Help to Grow: Management programme announced in Budget 2021, what estimate he has made of the number of expressions of interest by SMEs in that programme to date.

The Help to Grow Management scheme has received 9,299 expressions of interest between the Budget announcement on 3 March 2021 and 28 May 2021.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what proportion of the membership of boards of each of his Department's agencies are (a) women, (b) minority ethnic and (c) disabled people.

BEIS sponsors 43 public bodies, including Arm’s Length Bodies (Executive Agencies, Non-Departmental Bodies and Non-Ministerial Departments), statutory officeholders and Public Corporations.

Any Public Appointments to the Boards of these organisations are made by BEIS and are regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments. The diversity statistics for these appointments are reported on a regular basis via the Cabinet Office Public Appointment Data Report. In the most recent report, the proportion of BEIS Public Appointees who identified as female, minority ethnic or having a disability were as follows:

Female

35%

Ethnic Minority

6%

Declared a disability

9%

You can see the report in more detail here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/public-appointments-data-report-201819.

The Cabinet Office will be publishing the 2019-2020 report in due course.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions he has had with the Competition and Markets Authority on the refund rights of holiday makers for holidays booked with package holiday companies.

BEIS Ministers and officials meet the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) regularly to discuss a wide range of issues, including the CMA’s work to enforce consumer law in cases where consumers have not received refunds they are owed. If the CMA finds evidence that businesses are failing to comply with the law, the CMA will take appropriate enforcement action, which could include taking a firm to court if it does not address its concerns.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions he has had with the Competition and Markets Authority on (a) measuring and (b) tackling the poverty premium.

The Department engages regularly with the Competition and Markets Authority and other regulators on poor business practices such as the loyalty penalty which result in vulnerable and low income consumers paying more. A summary of some of the Competition and Markets Authority’s work is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/consumer-vulnerability-challenges-and-potential-solutions.

I also chair the Consumer Forum which convenes economic regulators and government departments. The Consumer Forum aims to coordinate the support for vulnerable consumers in the economically regulated sectors, including support for consumers struggling to pay their essential service bills.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has to support the UK Steel industry.

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State has reformed and co-chairs the UK Steel Council, an important a forum to work together on transitioning to a competitive, sustainable and low carbon future. My noble Friend the Minister for Investment, Lord Grimstone, has also formed and co-chairs the Steel Procurement Taskforce to help the sector be well placed in competing for and securing public contracts.

Our wide-ranging support also includes: providing over £500m in recent years to help with the costs of energy; a £315m Industrial Energy Transformation Fund, which aims to support businesses with high energy use to cut their bills and reduce carbon emission; and our £250m Clean Steel Fund that will support the decarbonisation of the steel sector. The sector has also had access to our unprecedented package of COVID support, which is still available to the sector to protect jobs and ensure that producers have the right support during this challenging time.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to support research and innovation to help accelerate progress towards achieving zero-carbon aviation.

The Government is supporting the development of future green aviation technologies as part of our £1.95bn Aerospace Technology Institute programme and the £125m Future Flight Challenge.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what fiscal support he is providing to hairdressing businesses in response to the covid-19 outbreak.

We have put in place one of the most generous packages of support in the world, worth over £280 billion. For hairdressing businesses, this includes a business rates holiday, various loans schemes and the extended furlough scheme. Closed businesses such as hairdressers can currently receive a grant of up to £3,000 a month and a one-off payment up to a maximum £9,000.

My Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer has also announced an additional one-off ‘Restart Grants’ for businesses, including for the personal care sector in England. This new Restart Grants Scheme will provide up to £18,000 for business premises in the sector.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many of the 53 recommendations of The Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices, published on 11 July 2017, have been legislated for to date; and what his Department’s policy is on the recommendations of that report that have not been implemented by the Government.

We have already made significant progress in implementing recommendations arising from the Taylor Review, including legislating for stronger protections for vulnerable agency workers and quadrupling the maximum fine for employers who treat their workers badly.

In the Queens’ Speech, we announced that we will bring forward an Employment Bill to deliver on Manifesto Commitments relating to the recommendations of the Review.

As Matthew Taylor said, some of the recommendations are complex and it is important that we work with stakeholders to get them right.

We remain committed to bringing forward legislation that balances the needs of both employers and worker to make workplaces fairer, provide better support for working families and encourage flexible working.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what support his Department is providing to help (a) women business owners grow their business online and (b) women wanting to start their own business in Feltham and Heston constituency.

Support is available to all business owners wishing to grow their businesses online through the Growth Hub network and programmes such as Be the Business. Advice and support on adapting to and recovering from the disruption caused by Coronavirus, including through digital means, is also available through the Recovery Advice for Business Scheme, hosted on the Enterprise Nation website and supported by BEIS.

The Start-Up Loans Company provides funding and intensive support to new entrepreneurs. Since 2012 40% of Start Up Loans have gone to women, worth well over £210m. Of these, 12 start-up loans valued at £160,150 have been provided to businesses in Feltham.

More widely, there are now 1.2 million female-led small and medium-sized businesses in the UK. This accounts for 22% of SMEs in the UK. Innovate UK have launched the Women in Innovation Awards to find and support the UK’s most promising female innovators to develop their ideas and scale up their businesses. The 2020/21 Awards competition is currently open and closes on 14th October 2020. 10 female innovators will be awarded with a cash boost of £50,000 each, as well as receive vital business support to help them develop and grow their business, including coaching and mentoring.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many HR1 forms have been received by the Redundancy Payments Service in each of the last 12 months.

The monthly breakdown of HR1s received is as follows:

September 2019 - 303

October 2019 - 343

November 2019 - 305

December 2019 -196

January 2020 - 372

February 2020 - 329

March 2020 - 485

April 2020 - 447

May 2020 - 871

June 2020 – 1,888

July 2020 – 1,784

August 2020 – 966.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
17th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what additional financial support he plans make available for hair and beauty salons during the covid-19 outbreak.

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Government has introduced an unprecedented package of support including £330bn worth of government backed and guaranteed loans to support businesses across the UK, paying the wages of nearly 12 million people and supporting over a million businesses through grants, loans and rates cuts. Some of these funding schemes were open to those operating hair and beauty salons.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what (a) funding from the public purse and (b) support the Government is providing for young entrepreneurs in (i) Feltham and Heston constituency and (ii) the UK.

The Start Up Loans company, part of the Government-backed British Business Bank, provides loans to start and grow new businesses. Since the programme’s launch in 2012, 2,550 loans have been made in the London region worth £17,460,947 to entrepreneurs aged 18-24. In the same period, 4,935 loans have been made worth £40,522,593 in the London region to individuals aged 24-30. This information is not held by constituency.

Business Support Helpline is a national service that provides information to help entrepreneurs of all ages to start up. In the past 12 months the Helpline supported 534 entrepreneurs under the age of 25 and in London Economic Action Partnership area covering Feltham and Heston.

Nationally, as part of the Plan for Jobs, my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer announced on 8 July 2020, businesses will be given £2,000 for each new apprentice hired under the age of 25. This will be in addition to the £1,000 payment the Government currently provides for new 16-18-year-old apprentices and those aged under 25 with an Education, Health and Care Plan. £111 million was also announced to triple the scale of traineeships in the UK.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many applications have been received for the coronavirus future fund from companies in (a) Hounslow, (b) Scotland, (c) Wales and (d) each region of England.

On 18th August 2020 the British Business Bank published updated Future Fund data which gives a regional breakdown of 590 companies that have been approved for £588.3 million.

In England, a total of 562 loans have been approved at a value of £573.1m since the scheme was launched 20 May. In the North West, 29 loans have been approved, worth £27.6m, and in Yorkshire and the Humber 19 loans have been approved, worth £14.6m. In the North East 21 loans have been approved at a value of £19.5m, and in the West Midlands 17 loans have been approved at a value of £15.6m. In the East Midlands, 4 loans have been approved at a value of £2.1m and in the East of England 43 loans have been approved at a value of £45m. Furthermore, in the South West 21 loans have been approved at a value of £12.9m and in the South East 76 loans have been approved, worth £89.5m.

This data is only available at regional level and not constituency level; therefore, figures for Hounslow are unavailable. However, in London 332 loans have been approved at a value of £346.3m. In Scotland, 11 loans have been approved at a value of £4.1m and in Wales, 12 loans have been approved, at a value of £6.1m.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Department for Work and Pensions Committee report, DWP's response to the coronavirus outbreak, published on 22 June 2020, what the planned timescale is for bringing forward the Employment Bill; and whether that Bill will contain provisions for people in low-paid work and the gig economy.

This Government has a proud history of protecting and enhancing workers’ rights.

We remain committed to delivering the workers’ rights enhancements set out in our 2019 manifesto.

We have already made significant progress in implementing recommendations arising from the Taylor Review, including legislating for stronger protections for vulnerable agency workers and extending the right to a written statement to workers.

We have passed legislation that means almost 300,000 workers, including people in low-paid work and the gig economy, will have a right to a payslip for the first time. This helps workers in the flexible economy to better understand their pay and identify if their employer is not meeting their minimum pay obligations.

As we set out in our 2019 recent Manifesto, this Government is committed to continue building on this record by testing proposals to ensure that people are treated fairly at work.

However, as Matthew Taylor himself has said, many of his recommendation are complex and highly technical to implement. It is only right that we take time to consider how best to achieve change that works for all.

We continue to work with stakeholders to test proposals, thus ensuring that employment law reflects the reality of modern and new working relationships.

We intend to make further announcements on the next stages in due course.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will review the Business in difficulty criteria of the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme to support smaller businesses.

Although the UK has left the EU, under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, the EU State Aid rules continue to apply in the UK until the end of the Transition Period. The EU Commission have introduced a ‘temporary framework’ providing flexibility on State Aid rules to support businesses impacted by the Covid-19 outbreak. The Government has notified the European Commission of the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) under the temporary framework, in line with State Aid rules.

Certain State Aid rules apply to businesses accessing the CBILS, including around the business in difficulty criteria. In recognition of the impact of Coronavirus, companies that do not pass the business in difficulty test are eligible for the CBILS, unless they were in difficulty on 31 December 2019, prior to the outbreak.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Government support package for innovative firms hit by coronavirus announced on 20 April 2020, how many businesses (a) have accessed this support through; and how much and what proportion of funding from the £750 million to be allocated through Innovate UK has been to disbursed to (i) new applicants and (ii) existing award holders.

On 20th April, my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a £1.25bn coronavirus package to protect firms driving innovation in the UK.

This included £750 million of targeted support for the most R&D intensive small and medium size firms which will be available through Innovate UK’s grants and loan scheme.

The Government has since confirmed that up to £500m of this is for existing customers including £200m of accelerated payments and up to £300m for continuity grants and loans. £20m of the remainder has been used to double the number of businesses receiving funding through the IUK call for business led innovation in response to the crisis which was open to new customers. Over 800 companies have been successful in this competition. IUK has also allocated up to £39m to increase the business advisory support services available new and existing high-growth potential SMEs. Announcements for the remaining money will be made in due course.

Beyond the Fast-Response competition, it is currently too early to state the number of businesses that have accessed this funding.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
6th May 2020
To the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what guidance the Health and Safety Executive has issued to employers on the duty of care they have to employees who are self-isolating because they care for or live with someone who is shielding.

The Government has introduced important social distancing measures for all types of businesses to consider in order to minimise the risk of transmission in the workplace. The Government has been clear that it is vital that all employers follow this guidance, which is clinically led and based on expert advice.

The Government has stated that vulnerable people who are at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19) need to be particularly stringent in following social distancing measures. Additionally, the government guidance sets out that members of staff who are vulnerable or extremely vulnerable, as well as individuals whom they live with, should be supported by their employers as they follow the required social distancing and shielding measures. Employers should help these individuals work from home if possible.

If clinically vulnerable people cannot work from home, they should be offered the safest available on-site roles, staying 2m away from others wherever possible. If they have to spend time within 2m of other people, employers need to carefully assess whether this involves an acceptable level of risk.

If a business is not operating in line with the government guidance, there is a role for the relevant health and safety enforcing authority – the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) or a Local Authority. Where the enforcing authority identifies employers who are not taking action to comply with the relevant public health legislation and guidance to control public health risks – for example, employers not taking appropriate action to socially distance or ensure workers in the shielded category can follow the NHS advice to self-isolate for the period specified – the enforcing authority will consider taking a range of actions to improve control of workplace risks. These actions include the provision of specific advice to employers through to issuing enforcement notices to help secure improvements with the guidance.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
5th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps the Government is taking to support the manufacturing sector during the covid-19 outbreak.

Manufacturing is a critical part of our economy and the Government is engaging with industry to ensure that we can support our manufacturing sectors during and after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Many businesses across the aerospace, chemical, automotive, steel, aluminium, pharmaceutical, packaging, and other sectors have answered the call to action. These businesses are playing a direct role in combatting COVID-19 by producing the materials and equipment necessary, as well as enabling the services that we need to fight the spread of the virus and keep the country running.

We have put in place an unprecedented package of Government support to give manufacturers and their suppliers the support they need to ensure business continuity. These measures include:

  • £330 billion worth of Government-backed and guaranteed loans to support businesses across the UK.
  • The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) to help small and medium-sized businesses to access vital financial support.
  • The Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) to allow more firms to benefit from Government-backed support at this difficult time.
  • The Bounce Back Loans scheme for small businesses, which complements the CBILS and CLBILS schemes.
  • Deferring VAT payments for firms to the next quarter, until the end of June, which represents a £30 billion injection into the economy.
  • Our Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, where small and large employers will be eligible to apply for a Government grant of 80% of workers’ salaries up to £2,500 a month. This will be backdated to 1 March 2020 and available for at least three months.
Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
5th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions the Government has had with Rolls Royce on (a) worker safety, (b) job protections, (c) financial support from the public purse and (d) manufacturing personal protective equipment during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government regularly speaks with Rolls-Royce and has worked closely with the company in response to COVID-19. The company has set out the steps it has taken, consistent with the Government’s guidance, on worker safety; job protections utilising the Job Retention Scheme; developing and donating Personal Protective Equipment; and manufacturing ventilators.

We have discussed with Rolls-Royce the various Government business support schemes available to the company and its suppliers. Rolls-Royce has also been part of the Department’s regular engagements with the wider aerospace sector about business support during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy, what plans the Government has to (a) transpose the European Accessibility Act 2019 into UK law or (b) bring forward legislative proposals to ensure ensure equivalent or enhanced protections for disabled people after the transition period; and if he will make a statement.

The deadline for transposing the European Accessibility Act (EAA) is 27 June 2022. As the Government has committed not to extend the Transition Period the UK will not be required to transpose the EAA.

The UK already has robust legislation on accessibility through the protections covered by the Equality Act 2006, Equality Act 2010, and equivalent legislation in Northern Ireland. The Equality Act 2010 prohibits discrimination on grounds of disability and imposes a duty on providers of goods and services to make reasonable adjustments to prevent this.

The Government will consider how further to improve or enhance accessibility through domestic legislation, including by using emerging technologies to develop innovative solutions to accessibility challenges, and provide real benefit to citizens with disabilities over the years ahead.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many (a) civil servants and (b) diplomats are working on COP 26 preparations.

The COP26 Team in Cabinet Office consists of 140 civil servants (as of 12th February), including an international engagement team. The unit works closely with colleagues across Whitehall, and with the FCO’s overseas network, on the successful delivery of COP26.

The Government is committed to making a success of COP26, working across Departments.

A key element of this is working towards the UK’s net zero commitment, which is very important to this Government both domestically and internationally.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the findings of the report entitled Absolute Zero, published by UK FIRES in November 2019 on eliminating greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

We are committed to delivering on our world-leading target to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions from across the UK economy by 2050. As announced by the Prime Minister, 2020 is a Year of Climate Action which aims to inspire positive action on climate change across the UK in the build-up to COP26.

The Government considers a wide variety of viewpoints on how to reach net zero. We agree with the advice of the Committee on Climate Change that a full range of solutions will be needed to meet our targets, including behaviour change, new technologies to reduce emissions across the economy, as well as greenhouse gas removal technologies that can capture carbon dioxide from the air.

The UK has cut carbon emissions by more than any similar developed country. In doing so, we are now the world leader in offshore wind and have many other strengths in key decarbonisation technologies such as smart energy systems and electric vehicles. In the next decade, we will work with the market to deliver two million new high quality jobs in clean growth, creating opportunities across the country from future export markets.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many people aged (a) 16 and under and (b) over 16 years old undertook work experience in her Department in each of the last three years.

The information requested is not readily available and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
17th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans her Department has to help increase domestic tourism.

Our Tourism Recovery Plan (TRP) sets out an ambition to recover domestic tourism to pre pandemic levels of 99m overnight trips and spend of £19 billion by the end of 2022. We have been committed to supporting the sector to remain resilient through the pandemic and have provided over £37 billion to the tourism, leisure and hospitality sectors in the form of grants, loans and tax breaks.

The Tourism Recovery Plan also announced plans for a new rail pass which, which we hope to launch this year, to help make it easier and more sustainable for domestic tourists to get around Scotland, England, and Wales.

VisitEngland launched the next phase of its domestic marketing campaign, Escape the Everyday, in February. The campaign will focus on cities as they are impacted by lower numbers of international visitors and it will target a ‘pre-nester’ audience (18-34 year olds), encouraging them to book a short city-break.

2022 also promises a host of unmissable events, including Her Majesty’s Jubilee, with a programme of events over the extended Jubilee Bank holiday; Unboxed, which aims to engage millions of people through in person and digital events; as well as the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, which will drive domestic and international visitors to the region.

English Tourism Week from 18th-27th March 2022 is a great opportunity to showcase the best of what the English tourism industry has to offer. I have been visiting some of England’s fantastic tourist destinations and attractions during the week. The government is committed to the sector’s recovery post-pandemic and English Tourism Week is an opportunity to celebrate the resilience of the sector and demonstrating our world-class offer.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
17th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what estimate her Department has made of the length of time it will take for the inbound tourism market to return to pre-covid-19 pandemic levels.

The Tourism Recovery Plan (TRP), published in June 2021, sets out the role of the UK government in assisting and accelerating the tourism sector’s recovery from COVID-19. The TRP sets out ambitious and stretching targets to recover inbound visitor numbers and spend to 2019 levels by the end of 2023 and recover domestic overnight trip volume and spend by the end of 2022 - at least a year faster than independent forecasts predict.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
30th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment her Department has made of the impact on businesses in the tourism sector of the temporary measures in respect of the wearing of face coverings and self-isolation approved by the House on 30 November 2021.

The Government has put in place a measured and proportionate set of restrictions.

Hospitality businesses are exempt from enforcing customers to wear masks and this assessment has been made from a practical point of view as the nature of hospitality visits is to eat and drink.

The Government has worked to strike a balance with introducing new measures.

Face coverings will be required in shops including ones located in larger premises and retail travel agents. Masks will also be required in transport hubs.

In terms of international travel, the government has sought advice from the UK Health Security Agency (UKSA) and travellers into the UK must now take a PCR test on Day 2 instead of a lateral flow test. There is also mandatory isolation in place to ensure we have the strongest safeguards against importing the new variant. This is to allow time for operational implementation.

Businesses still have a legal duty to manage risks to those affected by their business by carrying out a health and safety risk assessment, including the risk of COVID-19.

We are continuing to listen to stakeholders during this time.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the findings of the Events Research Programme.

Our Phase I events successfully collected a large amount of data on a combination of testing, and non-pharmaceutical interventions (actions that people can take to mitigate the spread of coronavirus) across the nine pilot events.

Findings from the first phase of the Events Research Programme were published on 25 June, and show that:

  • Every event, both indoor and outdoor, carries levels of transmission risk.

  • Large unstructured gatherings indoors where there is significant mixing of people in close proximity typically pose a higher risk.

  • Mitigation options include: communications, crowd and audience management strategies, face coverings, ventilation, testing, restrictions on food and drink, social distancing and capacity caps.

Findings from ERP pilots continue to be shared with the Government for consideration as part of broader policy making. Key findings from Phases II and III will be published in due course.

19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what support his Department is providing to freelancers in the culture sector who are unable to access the Culture Recovery Fund.

The Government recognises the challenge the current pandemic poses to our arts and culture sectors and to the many freelancers working across these industries. As the sector reopens, we continue to keep our cultural recovery policy under constant review.

Freelancers have been supported through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS). which has so far helped 2.8m self employed. Details on future SEISS support were announced by the Chancellor in his Budget Statement in March, with an extension of the scheme to September 2021. Around 500,000 additional people have been brought into scope who filed a tax return in 2019-20, or were previously ineligible, who now may be able to claim the fourth grant.

However, it is also the case that the Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) had significant indirect benefits for freelancers. In Round 2, organisations were asked to estimate how many FTEs and freelancers were protected by the fund until the end of June. Collectively, applicants reported that 52,000 full time staff and almost 100,000 freelancers would be supported until the end of June. And ALBs were able to complement SEISS with their own interventions i.e. over £51m from ACE to individuals.

Additionally, the third round of the Culture Recovery Fund was announced on 25 June. This third and final round of funding will provide further support as the cultural, heritage and creative sectors reopen at full capacity, underlining the government’s commitment to help them build back better as life returns to normal.

9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on the findings of the Jack Petchey report entitled, Shaping our Future - The Covid-19 Youth Survey.

The Secretary of State has not had any discussions with Cabinet Colleagues on the findings of the Jack Petchey report, Shaping our Future - The Covid-19 Youth Survey.

The Government recognises the significant impact of Covid-19 on young people and the important role of youth services in supporting them. We have supported the development of specific Covid-19 guidance for the youth sector, which has helped tens of thousands of organisations feel confident in safely delivering vital services to young people.

We also recognise that young people have an important role to play in the nation’s recovery from the pandemic. Since the beginning of March, Government ministers have continued to engage directly with young people, through our youth engagement programme, on the impacts of Covid-19, from employment support to mental health and loneliness.

We are also engaging with young people as part of DCMS’ Youth Review, announced by HM Treasury as part of the 2020 Spending Review. Their views will help to set a clear direction for the out-of-school youth agenda.

9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on the findings of the Jack Petchey report entitled, Shaping our Future - The Covid-19 Youth Survey.

The Secretary of State has not had any discussions with Cabinet Colleagues on the findings of the Jack Petchey report, Shaping our Future - The Covid-19 Youth Survey.

The Government recognises the significant impact of Covid-19 on young people and the important role of youth services in supporting them. We have supported the development of specific Covid-19 guidance for the youth sector, which has helped tens of thousands of organisations feel confident in safely delivering vital services to young people.

We also recognise that young people have an important role to play in the nation’s recovery from the pandemic. Since the beginning of March, Government ministers have continued to engage directly with young people, through our youth engagement programme, on the impacts of Covid-19, from employment support to mental health and loneliness.

We are also engaging with young people as part of DCMS’ Youth Review, announced by HM Treasury as part of the 2020 Spending Review. Their views will help to set a clear direction for the out-of-school youth agenda.

9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what estimate he has made of the number of local youth clubs that have permanently closed since April 2020.

My department does not hold data around the number of youth clubs that have closed since April 2020.

Government recognises the important role that youth groups play in communities, which is why we recently announced the £16.5 million Youth Covid-19 Support Fund (YCSF) that will protect the immediate future of grassroots and national youth services across the country. The YCSF opened on Friday 15 January 2021 and will remain open until 19 February. It will help to mitigate the impact of lost income during the winter period due to the coronavirus pandemic, and ensure services providing vital support can remain viable.

This funding will be drawn from the unprecedented £750m package for the voluntary and community sector. More than £60m of this has already been directed towards organisations supporting children and young people.

14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether his Department allocated funding to the Fatima's Next Job Could be in Cyber advert.

The CyberFirst recruitment campaign is delivered by skills provider QA with funding allocated through the National Cyber Security Programme.

Oliver Dowden
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans he has to publish guidance to allow bowling alleys to safely reopen.

Bowling alleys will be able to reopen from 1 August provided they have written a COVID-19 risk assessment.

We have worked closely with stakeholders to develop further Covid-19 Secure reopening guidance for venues such as bowling alleys. Specific guidance on bowling alleys has been published within UKHospitality’s ‘COVID-19 Secure Guidelines for Hospitality Businesses.’ We continue to meet regularly with the wider sector through the Cultural Renewal Taskforce’s Sport and Visitor Economy working groups.

As with all aspects of the Government’s response to Covid-19, our decisions have been and will continue to be based on scientific evidence and public health assessments.

To support businesses - including bowling alleys - through Covid-19, the Government has introduced a comprehensive support package, including business rates relief for eligible leisure businesses and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
17th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what support he is providing to (a) self-employed actors and (b) theatres who lost income as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

In order to support the sustainability of the arts sector, including self-employed actors and theatres, DCMS has worked closely with Arts Council England (ACE) to provide a tailored package of financial support. In March, ACE announced a £160m emergency response package to complement the financial measures already announced by the Government and to ensure immediate resilience of this vital sector.

This includes £20 million of financial support for individuals, including self-employed actors, and £140 million of support for organisations, including theatres, so they can better sustain themselves, and their work, in the coming months. To date over 9000 individuals and organisations have been successful in applying for this support.

Furthermore, self employed visual artists are among the millions of people (including self-employed actors) who can now benefit from the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, which will provide those eligible with cash grants worth up to £2,500 per month. We expect that the Self-Employed Income Support scheme will cover 95% of people who receive the majority of their income from self-employment.

18th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether VE Day celebrations will be (a) cancelled or (b) postponed as a result of the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make statement.

The government announced on 20 March that the national commemorations to mark VE Day 75 are being scaled back due to the ongoing spread of coronavirus.

The UK Government and the Devolved Administrations are working on plans to ensure the nation can mark VE Day in May and provide a fitting tribute to the Second World War generation.

18th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether he has plans to issue guidance on holding VE Day celebrations to Royal British Legions as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

In light of the COVID- 19 outbreak, all VE Day 75 event organisers should follow the guidance and advice that is regularly being issued and updated by the Government and Public Health England.

The Government is working closely with the Royal British Legion which has issued up to date advice to its branches.

11th Feb 2020
To ask the Minister of State, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how many people aged (a) 16 and under and (b) over 16 years old undertook work experience in the Department in each of the last three years.

The Civil Service aims to increase opportunities for people of all backgrounds and create a

Civil Service fit for 21st century Britain through work experience, internships and

apprenticeship schemes.

DCMS does not run a central work experience scheme and therefore does not hold data on work experience placements for people under 16. The figures for people over 16 years old are as follows:

2017: 3 on the Summer Diversity Internship Programme

2018: 2 (1 on the Summer Diversity Internship Programme and 1 on the Autism Internship Exchange Programme)

2019: 5 (4 on the Summer Diversity Internship Programme and 1 on the Autism Exchange Internship Programme)

15th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the legacy benefits of the London 2012 Olympics.

Government commissioned an independent consortium to carry out a meta-evaluation of the benefits of London 2012. These reports are published on GOV.UK (https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/london-2012-meta-evaluation) and cover a broad range of research areas such as economic benefits, sustainability standards and the impact on volunteering.

Government, in conjunction with the Mayor of London, published four annual reports on legacy between 2013 and 2016. These described legacy benefits in the areas of sport and physical activity, economic impact, communities, East London regeneration and the impact from the Paralympics. Again, these reports are available on GOV.UK via https://www.gov.uk/society-and-culture/2012-olympic-and-paralympic-legacy.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
9th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions she has had with British TV and film production companies on increasing the number of female actresses in lead roles in television and film.

The Secretary of State regularly meets with film and television representatives from a range of backgrounds as part of her role. However, due to the confidential nature of many of these meetings, we are unable to give details of such engagements. Increasing screen diversity is a priority for government, and we continue to work with our arm’s length body the British Film Institute (BFI) to improve representation both on and off screen, including through supporting the wider adoption of their world-leading Diversity Standards.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
20th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent estimate she has made of the number of households affected by broadband not-spots in each local authority area.

Almost every premise in the UK is able to get broadband through a fixed, wireless or satellite connection. However, a small minority of premises are unable to get a decent service, providing 10 Mbps download speeds and 1 Mbps upload speeds. In their latest Connected Nations report, Ofcom estimated that these premises numbered only around 155,000 and was likely to reduce further by March 2020, when the Government’s Broadband Universal Obligation (USO) will come into force. The USO gives households without a decent service a legal right to request one up to a Reasonable Cost Threshold of £3,400 per premise.

Alongside the USO, investment by Government and the commercial sector has ensured that superfast broadband, providing download speeds of at least 24 Mbps, is now available to 96% of UK premises, and that access to full fibre broadband has increased by 1.5 million premises over the past year and is now available to 10% of the UK. The Government is ambitious to go further and, as part of this, has committed £5 billion to subsidise the deployment of full fibre and gigabit broadband in less commercially viable areas.

Further information on broadband availability in each local authority area can be found on the Connected Nations section of Ofcom’s website.

20th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what funding her Department has made available to help tackle loneliness in Hounslow.

Government’s strategy on tackling loneliness in England includes a range of new policies that are benefiting people across England, including in Hounslow. This includes improving and expanding social prescribing and running a new communications campaign on social connection.

Government established the £11.5m Building Connections Fund in 2018. This funds 126 projects across England that bring people and communities together. 15 grants, totalling £1.25m, have been made to projects in London. This includes a £93,000 grant to the Afghanistan & Central Asian Association for a project based in Hounslow offering activities such as tea sessions, one to one mentoring and social events.

In October 2019 the Minister for Civil Society announced £2m of new grant funding for frontline organisations tackling loneliness. Details of this funding, including the application process, will be announced in due course.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
31st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how his Department plans to divide the £349 million catch up premium for tutoring between schools; and whether his Department plans to weight that funding so schools receiving high levels of Pupil Premium will be allocated proportionally more funding.

The department announced on Thursday 31 March 2022 plans to simplify the National Tutoring Programme for the next academic year. This will include providing funding directly to schools, which can then design their own tutoring offer according to the needs of their pupils. This new approach will build on our successful introduction this year of school-led tutoring and is consistent with our view that schools are best-placed to determine what works best for them.

Schools will receive information on their National Tutoring Programme funding allocation for the 2022/23 academic year early in the summer term. Funding allocations will be determined by each school’s number of disadvantaged pupils, which will mean that funding is targeted towards pupils that need tutoring most.

Our guidance and support for schools will make clear that their tutoring offer must support disadvantaged pupils. Schools will be asked to report on how they have delivered tutoring, and to which pupils.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
31st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what advice his Department has given to schools on how SAT results will be used in the 2021-22 academic year to measure future performance.

On 25 March 2022, the department published updated primary school accountability guidance. This guidance provides clarification about the rationale for the return of primary tests and assessments in 2022. It includes further information about key stage 2 accountability arrangements and the use of academic year 2021/22 key stage 2 school performance data. It also provides additional detail on the department’s planned methodological changes to primary progress measures for 2022. The guidance can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/primary-school-accountability.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
31st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent estimate he has made of the number of teachers and school staff off sick with covid=19 in the last two months for which data is available; what discussions he (a) has had and (b) plans to have with schools leaders on that matter; and what steps he is taking to support schools with staff absences.

It continues to be the department’s absolute priority to support schools to deliver face to face, high quality education. School leaders and staff have worked incredibly hard to make sure pupils have been able to remain in school, while dealing with higher levels of staff absence than normal.

The Education Setting (EdSet) survey asks schools and colleges to report data such as on-site attendance and COVID-19 absence. From 7 March 2022, the survey has changed from daily to weekly. Data will be collected every Thursday and published on a fortnightly basis with the latest publication available here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/attendance-in-education-and-early-years-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak.

From 7 March 2022, the department only collects data on overall absence rather than specific reasons for absence. The proportion of absent teachers and leaders, and other school staff, in the last two months can be found here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/data-tables/permalink/a7b7d917-0f50-4de7-ac15-9d1dd8501107.

The department remains hugely grateful to all school staff for their work, which has consistently kept over 99.9% of schools open this academic year. School leaders are best placed to determine the workforce required to meet the needs of pupils. However, we recognise that absence remains high in some schools and that this poses a challenge for staff.

To support schools experiencing the most significant workforce absence and funding pressures, the department re-introduced the COVID-19 workforce fund in the autumn term. The department had since extended the fund until Easter to cover the cost of term-time absences over a threshold from 22 November 2021 until 8 April 2022.

The department is also supporting staff wellbeing and is funding peer support, individual supervision, and counselling from experts to school leaders through the charity Education Support. Around 2,000 school leaders will benefit until March 2023.

Last November, the department launched the Education Staff Wellbeing Charter, which schools and colleges are encouraged to sign up to, it is co-produced with the education sector as shared commitments from government, Ofsted, and schools and colleges to protect and promote the wellbeing of staff.

The department is also offering state-funded schools and colleges a grant to pay for senior mental health lead training, providing skills and knowledge to implement a ‘whole school or college approach’ to mental health and wellbeing in a setting. This is part of the governments’ commitment to offer this training to all schools and colleges by 2025.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
30th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of impact of lifting of covid-19 restrictions on the ability of schools to get substitute teachers for staff off-work with covid-19; and what discussions he (a) has had and (b) plans to have with sector leaders on their ability to cover staff absences.

Temporary staff, including supply teachers, have played a key role in supporting schools to maintain face-to-face education, particularly over winter due to the Omicron variant. The department is hugely grateful to all school and college staff for their work, which has consistently kept over 99.9% of schools open last term.

The department will continue to maintain regular contact with a range of external stakeholders including supply agencies, key trade bodies, and trade unions, to monitor the supply market.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
30th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department plans to take to assess the effectiveness of the £650 million catch-up premium for the 2021-22 academic year; and what conditions need to be met for more funding to be made available in the next academic year.

The universal catch-up premium worth £650 million was delivered to schools during the 2020/21 academic year. The department followed that up with the recovery premium, which is providing over £300 million worth of funding during the 2021/22 academic year, targeted towards disadvantaged pupils. In October 2021, we announced a further £1 billion of funding that will extend the recovery premium for the next two academic years (2022/23 and 2023/24). Building on the Pupil Premium, this funding will help schools to deliver evidence-based approaches for supporting disadvantaged pupils. Further information on the Pupil Premium is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pupil-premium.

Schools must show how they are using their recovery premium effectively by reporting on their use of recovery premium as part of their pupil premium strategy statement, which must be published on a school’s website.

The department commissioned Ipsos MORI, in partnership with Sheffield Hallam University and the Centre for Education and Youth, to carry out research to understand how schools have responded to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, including their use of the catch up and recovery premiums. In January 2022, we published the findings from the first year of research. The report is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-recovery-strategies-year-1-findings.

The department commissioned Renaissance Learning, and their subcontractor the Education Policy Institute, to collect data from a sample of schools to provide an assessment of education lost and catch-up needs for pupils in schools in England, and to monitor progress over the course of the 2020-21 academic year and the autumn term 2021.

The final findings from this research, published 28 March, includes data from the first half of the 2021/22 autumn term. Complete findings from the research can be found on gov.uk: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pupils-progress-in-the-2020-to-2022-academic-years.

The department is committed to continuing its research into academic progress since the pandemic and will soon be going out to tender for the next phase.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
30th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the attainment gap is in Feltham and Heston constituency at (a) EYFS, (b) Year 6/7, (c) GCSE; and what proportion of students started primary school deemed to be school ready in (i) 2018, (ii) 2019, (iii) 2020, (iv) 2021 and (v) 2022.

The department does not hold information on the proportion of pupils deemed school ready for primary school in Feltham and Heston. As a proxy, the percentage of children achieving at least the expected level across all early learning goals can be used to assess readiness for year 1. This is only available to local authority level. In the 2017/18 academic year, in Hounslow, 69.9% of children met this level compared to 70.2% in England. In the 2018/19 academic year, 71.9% of children in Hounslow met this level compared to 70.7% in England. Due to temporary disapplications and modifications to certain elements of the early years foundation stage (EYFS) during the pandemic, data relating to academic years 2019/20 and 2020/21 are not available.

The department does not yet hold attainment data for the 2021/22 academic year. Data relating to EYFS, key stage 2 (KS2), and key stage 4 (KS4) will be published in autumn 2022.

Parliamentary constituency data for Feltham and Heston is available for all pupils at the end of KS2 in academic years 2017/18 to 2018/19, and for all pupils at the end of KS4 in academic years 2017/18 to 2020/21 in the attached files. KS2 data in academic years 2019/20 or 2020/21 was not recorded because of the cancellation of statutory national curriculum assessments at KS2 due to the pandemic.

The department does not publish an attainment gap by pupil characteristics at parliamentary constituency level. The department does publish the disadvantaged pupils’ attainment gap index at KS2 and KS4. This looks at changes in the attainment gap between disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged pupils at a national level in state-funded schools in England.

For EYFS, the latest published data are in the annual ‘Early Years Foundation Stage Profile Results’ statistical release: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/early-years-foundation-stage-profile-results. As a proxy for disadvantage, the gap in average point score between children who are eligible for free school meals (FSM) and those who are not can be found here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/data-tables/permalink/dfdb83f9-f54f-4f11-b590-28d3064e3a79.

For KS2, the latest published figure is in Figure 1 of the ‘2018/19 National Curriculum Assessments at Key Stage 2’ statistical release: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/851798/KS2_Revised_publication_text_2019_v3.pdf.

For KS4, the latest published figure is in Figure 6/Table 14 of the ‘2020/21 Key Stage 4 Performance' statistical release: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/key-stage-4-performance-revised.

Alternatively, information at local authority level is published that allows users to compare attainment by pupil characteristics. The closest information is for Hounslow.

At EYFS, the gap in the average point score between those eligible for FSM and those not in Hounslow increased from 1.8 in 2017/18 to 1.9 in 2018/19 (academic years).

At KS2, the percentage of pupils reaching the expected standard in reading, writing, and maths between disadvantaged pupils and non-disadvantaged pupils in Hounslow decreased from 18 percentage points in 2017/18 to 17.5 percentage points in 2018/19 (academic years).

At KS4, the latest data show that the gap in the average Attainment 8 score between disadvantaged pupils and non-disadvantaged pupils in Hounslow has widened since 2018/19 from 7.5 points to 7.7 points in 2019/20, and to 9.0 points in 2020/21 (academic years).

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
28th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the impact of poverty on the objectives set in the Opportunity for All white paper.

The schools white paper sets out two ambitions for 2030:

  • 90% of primary school children will achieve the expected standard in reading, writing and mathematics, and the percentage of children meeting the expected standard in the worst performing areas will have increased by a third.
  • In secondary schools, the national GCSE average grade in both English language and in mathematics will increase from 4.5 in 2019 to 5 by 2030.

The needs and challenges faced by the most disadvantaged pupils have been considered in the development of the ambitions and policies in the white paper. For instance, pupil premium funding is used to drive the attainment of pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds. Pupil premium funding will increase to over £2.6 billion in the 2022/23 financial year. Support and investment are also being provided to 55 Education Investment Areas in cold spots of the country where outcomes for children and young people are weakest. More intensive support is being provided to 24 of these areas to address entrenched underperformance in areas with some of the highest rates of disadvantage in the country.

Meeting the white paper ambitions will have even larger benefits to society. Quantifying wider welfare effects is complex, but we do know that basic skills can help insulate against particularly bad outcomes for personal wellbeing, such as unemployment and low job quality. The economic benefits of meeting the ambitions set out in the schools white paper was published on 28 March 2022, and can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1063572/Economic_benefits_of_SWP_ambitions_March_2022.pdf

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
28th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment his Department has made on the impact of the home learning environment on children's school outcomes; and what steps he is taking to support children's learning at home.

The department recognises that teachers and leaders have been working incredibly hard to provide high quality on-site and remote education, with much being achieved during the pandemic.

The department has announced nearly £5 billion for a multi-year education recovery plan which includes high quality tutoring, world class training for teachers and early years practitioners, additional funding for schools, and extending time in colleges by 40 hours. We are supporting the most disadvantaged, vulnerable and those with the least time left in education, wherever they live, to make up for education lost during the pandemic and are carefully monitoring the progress being made by children in school.

Through the department’s Get Help with Technology programme, we have delivered over 1.9 million laptops and tablets to schools, trusts, local authorities and further education providers for disadvantaged children and young people as part of a £520 million government investment to support access to remote education and online social care services.

These laptops and tablets are intended to give schools the flexibility to provide remote education support and can continue to be used in the longer term either in the classroom or from home.

The priority should always be for schools to deliver high quality face-to-face education to all pupils and remote education should only ever be considered as a short-term measure and as a last resort where in person attendance is not possible.

When in-person attendance in school is either not possible or contrary to government guidance schools should continue to provide remote education to allow children and young people who are well enough to keep pace with their education.

The department will publish updated guidance to support schools with remote education and will continue to work with the sector on this, learning from the many examples of excellent practice developed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

An appropriate home education environment is also essential for parents who opt to provide their children with elective home education. The government is committed to a form of local authority registration for children not in school as well as a duty on local authorities to provide support to home educators when it is required. Further details on this are in the Children Not In School consultation response which was published on 3 February 2022. We hope to legislate on this measure at the next suitable opportunity.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
28th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of the financial viability of the early years education sector; what estimate his Department has made of the number of early years education settings that (a) were open as at 28 March 2022 and (b) will be open in the next 12 months; and what data his Department holds on the number of those settings that have closed in each month in the last six months.

The key measure of market health monitored by the department is whether the supply of available places is sufficient to meet the requirements of parents and children. The department continues to monitor the sufficiency of childcare through regular surveys and through regular conversations with local authorities. Local authorities are not currently reporting any substantial sufficiency issues and we have not seen a substantial number of parents unable to secure childcare places.

According to the findings from the 2021 childcare and early years providers survey, 7 in 10 group-based providers reported having spare places in their full day provision and almost half of childminders (49%) reported having spare capacity on average across the week.

The most recent data, published by Ofsted on the number of early years providers as of 31 December 2021 concludes there were 54,310 providers on Ofsted’s early year register, of which 30,655 were childminders and 23,416 were childcare providers on non-domestic premises.

Between 31 August 2021 and 31 December 2021, across all provider types on the early years register in England, 1,032 providers joined the early years register and 2,445 providers left the early years register.

Leavers mainly consist of those that have left Ofsted during the reporting period, most of which are resignations. However, there are small number of providers that may have just changed provider type or register.

The department conducted a pulse survey with providers specifically during the Omicron wave, for the week commencing 14 February and estimated 96% of early years education providers were fully open, with a further 3% partially open.

Between 27 November and 20 December 2020, 47% per cent of open group-based providers and 56% of open childminders were reasonably confident that it would be financially sustainable to continue to run their childcare provision for another year or longer. This study was conducted during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic and some providers may have completed the survey prior to any announcements about spring term funding.

The department will continue to evaluate the sufficiency and quality of childcare provision and engage with sector stakeholders and local authorities to monitor dynamics within local markets, parents' access to the government's entitlements and the childcare they require, and the sustainability of the sector.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
23rd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what guidance he is providing to schools on planning for increases in gas and electricity costs between April 2022 and March 2023; and what estimate he has made of the potential increase in those costs schools.

The department recognises that schools will be facing cost pressures in the coming months due to the increase in energy prices. The department is looking carefully at how cost increases will impact schools and we are considering what additional support the department could offer.

The department knows that the vast majority of school expenditure is devoted to staff costs. This means that, even while energy costs are rising, inflation in this area would have an impact on a small portion of a school’s budget overall. The department pays close attention to the financial health of the sector, and we are closely assessing where energy costs may more significantly impact schools’ financial health.

The energy market remains volatile and whilst prices have reduced recently, they remain high against long-term prices. Individual schools’ situations will vary significantly, depending on their energy contract length, if the energy rate is fixed for the life of the contract or variable during the contract, when the contract is due for renewal, and who the suppliers are.

Frameworks approved by the department are available to all state-funded schools to provide renewal quotes, where required. The guidance to finding a suitable framework is available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/find-a-dfe-approved-framework-for-your-school. Alternative providers are also available, including from other public sector buying organisations. It remains the responsibility of individual schools and trusts to decide who their energy suppliers should be.

The department continues to recommend that schools do not allow their existing contracts to expire before contacting their current supplier to discuss a contract extension. This is because buying energy out of contract is more expensive than buying at the market rate. Any changes to an existing energy contract require careful consideration of the terms and conditions and the costs and risks associated with changing supplier. Current energy market prices are likely to be significantly higher than any existing agreement.

The ‘get help buying for schools’ procurement team is available to provide schools with free advice and guidance to all state-funded schools on their energy contracts. This service can be found here: https://www.get-help-buying-for-schools.service.gov.uk/procurement-support?referred_by=aHR0cDovL2ZpbmQtZGZlLWFwcHJvdmVkLWZyYW1ld29yay5zZXJ2aWNlLmdvdi51ay9zZWxlY3Rpb24=/.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
10th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 10 March 2022 to Question 137257, what steps his Department is taking to encourage the uptake of apprenticeships in the hospitality sector.

Apprenticeships provide people of all ages with the opportunity to earn and learn the skills needed to start, or progress in, an exciting career in the hospitality sector. Employers in the hospitality sector can access a range of high-quality apprenticeship standards to meet their skills needs, including the level 2 Commis Chef apprenticeship and the level 4 Hospitality Manager apprenticeship.

We are committed to supporting more employers and apprentices to benefit from the high-quality training that an apprenticeship offers, and we are increasing funding for apprenticeships in England to £2.7 billion by the 2024-25 financial year. This funding will support apprenticeships in non-levy employers, often small and medium-sized enterprises, where the government will continue to pay 95% of training costs. We also continue to provide £1,000 to both employers and training providers when they take on apprentices aged between 16 and 18 years old, helping to support younger people into apprenticeships.

To encourage more young people to consider apprenticeships, we are promoting apprenticeships in schools and colleges through our Apprenticeship Support & Knowledge programme. This free service provides resources and interventions to help better educate young people about apprenticeships and has reached over 2 million students across England since its introduction in the 2016/17 academic year. In February, during National Apprenticeship Week, I wrote to all year 11, 12 and 13 pupils and their parents to tell them about the great opportunities offered through apprenticeships.

We are also promoting apprenticeships through our new ‘Get the Jump’ and ‘Skills for Life’ campaigns which are raising awareness and understanding of the full range of education and training choices available to young people and adults.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
2nd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent estimate his Department has made of the number of days missed of school by (a) students and (b) teachers in the first term of the 2021-22 academic year.

The requested data is not yet available.

Data relating to the number of school days missed by pupils due to absence in the autumn term of the 2021-22 academic year is currently being collected in the termly school census. It will be published in May 2022 and will be available here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/pupil-absence-in-schools-in-england-autumn-term.

The daily education settings survey asks schools and colleges to report data such as on-site attendance and absence due to COVID-19.

The most recent published data for staff and pupil absences at national level is for 20 January 2022 and can be found here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/attendance-in-education-and-early-years-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak.

Data relating to teacher sickness absence is collected from state-funded schools in England from the November school workforce census. Each census collects data for absence from the previous academic year. The November 2021 census, covering the 2020-21 academic year, will be published in summer 2022 and will be available here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/school-workforce-in-england.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
27th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent estimate he has made of the number of school days missed in the 2021-22 academic year by (a) year 6, (b) year 11 and (c) year 13 students.

The requested data is not yet available.

The first data relating to the number of school days missed due to absence in the 2021-22 academic year is currently being collected in the termly school census. It will be published in May 2022 and relate to the autumn term only. It will be available here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/pupil-absence-in-schools-in-england-autumn-term.

Data on absence in the full academic year 2021-22 is expected to be published in March 2023 in the National Statistics release “Pupil absence in schools in England” and will be available here:https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/pupil-absence-in-schools-in-england.

The school census collects absence data for pupils of compulsory school age, covering those aged 5 to 15 at the start of the academic year, plus some less detailed information on 4-year-olds. It does not collect data on year 13 students.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
26th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many former teachers have signed up to return to teaching, by local authority; and how many of those former teachers have been placed in schools.

The department is extremely grateful to all the teachers who are responding to our call to return temporarily to the classroom to support schools to remain open and deliver face to face education for pupils.

The department published the results of a sample survey of supply agencies on 12 January. 47 agencies reported 485 sign ups as a result of the call to arms with Teach First reporting over 100 expressions of interest from their alumni to temporarily return to the classroom.

The department needs to balance the need for data with the burden we place on those collating it. Therefore, we did not request information by upper/lower tier local authority and the employment agencies that are working with us have no reason to sort and organise their candidates in such a way. Where a specific supply teacher is prepared to work will differ from individual to individual for many different reasons.

The department remains in close contact with supply agencies to monitor the interest they receive to help schools during this time.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
26th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the number of teachers self-isolating as a result of covid-19 in January 2022.

The department continues to monitor workforce absence very closely.

The daily education settings survey asks schools and colleges to report data such as on-site attendance and COVID-19 absence.

The most recent published data at national level is for 20 January 2022 and can be found here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/attendance-in-education-and-early-years-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak. The department estimates that 4.5% of teachers and school leaders were absent from open schools due to COVID-19 related reasons on 20 January, down from 4.9% on 6 January.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
26th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the feasibility of using expert Ofsted inspectors to teach in schools where cover is unavailable.

The deployment of Ofsted inspectors is a matter for Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman. I have asked her to write to the hon. Member for Feltham and Heston directly and a copy of her reply will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Ofsted’s inspection arrangements have rightly been kept under review as the COVID-19 outbreak develops, and adjustments made where appropriate. At the start of January, Ofsted temporarily halted use of part time inspectors who are also front-line leaders so they could focus on their leadership responsibilities. From Monday 31 January, Ofsted are once again inviting those leaders who are able to inspect again to do so as it moves back to its full programme of inspections.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
19th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 24 November 2021 to Question 76723 on Skilled Workers, how many of the 36 Skills Advisory Panels have been set up.

All of the 36 Skills Advisory Panels across England were established in 2019 as part of Mayoral Combined Authorities and Local Enterprise Partnerships. A list of the Skills Advisory Panels and their Local Skills Reports is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/skills-advisory-panels/skills-advisory-panels-list.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
19th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many applications the Government has received for the HGV Skills Bootcamp.

We are investing up to £34 million in Skills Bootcamps in heavy goods vehicle (HGV) driving, to create up to 11,000 HGV driver training places for people that are new, returning to, or looking to upskill as an HGV driver.

Following the launch in December of Skills Bootcamps in HGV driving, the suppliers contracted to deliver training have seen high demand for places. We understand that training providers overall have seen at least twice as many people expressing an interest in completing a Skills Bootcamp in HGV as the number of training places they have been contracted to deliver.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
14th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the number of people who are classified as not in education, employment or training in (a) Feltham and Heston constituency and (b) Hounslow.

The department publishes national statistics on those not in education, employment or training (NEET) for England from the labour force survey for young people aged 16-24, available here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/neet-statistics-annual-brief. However, these are only published at national and regional level due to limitations with sample sizes for lower-level geographies. Therefore, NEET rates for young people aged 16-24 cannot be provided for the areas requested.

Local authorities are required to encourage, enable or assist young people’s participation in education or training and return management information for young people age 16 and 17. This data is published here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/neet-and-participation-local-authority-figures. It shows that of the 6,110 16 and 17 year olds who were known to Hounslow local authority around the end of 2020 (average of December 2020, January 2021 and February 2021), 210 were NEET or their activity was not known (115 known to be NEET and 95 young people whom the local authority could not confirm their activity). These are not national statistics but published as transparency data so some caution should be taken if using these figures. Data is not available for Feltham and Heston constituency.

In addition, 16-18 destination measures are published here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/16-18-destination-measures. These official statistics show the percentage of pupils not continuing to a sustained education, apprenticeship, or employment destination in the year after completing 16-18 study, that is 6 months of continual activity. This can be used as a proxy for NEET at age 18.

These statistics refer to the cohort of students leaving state-funded mainstream schools and colleges1 in 2018/19 and shows their destination in 2019/20:

16-18 Destination measures2,3, 2019/20

Number in cohort

Number not in a sustained destination4

Number activity not captured5

Hounslow

2,467

318

147

Feltham and Heston constituency

853

61

30

(1) Covers all state-funded mainstream schools, academies, free schools, city technology colleges , sixth-forms and other and further education sector colleges. Excludes alternative provision, special schools, other government department funded colleges and independent schools.

(2) Individuals are assigned to parliamentary constituencies based on the provider’s location. Individuals are assigned to local authorities based on the provider’s administrative local authority.

(3) Links to the destination measures statistics quoted in table:

Hounslow local authority: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/data-tables/permalink/f6c537cf-7b79-412a-91d1-ec7862c406bf.

Feltham and Heston Constituency: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/data-tables/permalink/0196b256-45de-480e-8ad7-32430278ba47.

(4) Students who had participated in education, apprenticeships or employment during the academic year but did not complete the required 6 months participation.

(5) Students who were not found to have any participation in education, apprenticeship, or employment in England.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
13th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many schools are on the waiting list after applying to receive a grant for senior mental health lead training as of 13 January 2022; and what steps he is taking to reduce that waiting list to help ensure that training is offered to all eligible schools and colleges by 2025.

The government is making good progress on its commitment to offer senior mental health lead training to all state-funded schools and colleges in England by 2025. Since applications opened in October 2021, over 8,000 eligible schools and colleges have applied for a senior mental health training grant. As at 12 January 2022, over 6,500 of these have booked onto a Department for Education quality-assured training course, and their grant payments are being processed. Furthermore, over 3,500 senior leads are estimated to have begun their training, providing knowledge and skills to enable them to implement effective holistic approaches to promoting and supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing in their school or college.

As at 14 January 2022, around 270 schools and colleges are on a waiting list for a senior mental health lead training grant. All currently available grants are reserved, pending schools and colleges that have submitted their initial application confirming they have booked a training course. The waiting list enables the department to quickly allocate any grants that become available, and our position on issuing grants for the 2022-23 financial year will be confirmed later in the spring.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
23rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what his Department's most recent policy is on the teaching of enterprise education in schools.

Financial capability is a key component of successful entrepreneurship and in 2014 financial literacy was made statutory within the citizenship national curriculum. Pupils are now taught the functions and uses of money, the importance of personal budgeting, money management and the need to understand financial risk. We have also strengthened the national curriculum for mathematics to give pupils the necessary mathematics knowledge and skills they need to make important financial decisions.

The computing curriculum should prepare pupils to apply existing digital technologies confidently and effectively. It will also provide them with the fundamental knowledge and skills for the next stage of their education and life.

Schools are free to cover enterprise and entrepreneurship education within their personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education. PSHE is compulsory in independent schools, and although it is not a mandatory subject in maintained schools or academies, schools are encouraged to teach it as part of their duty to teach a broad and balanced curriculum. Teachers have the freedom to design lessons in PSHE that meet their pupils’ needs and are encouraged to develop their practice with the support of specialist organisations, such as subject associations.

The careers statutory guidance, originally published in 2015 and updated in 2018, requires schools in England to provide opportunities for pupils to develop entrepreneurial skills for self-employment. This should help pupils gain the confidence to compete in the labour market by providing opportunities to gain the practical know-how and attributes that are relevant for employment.

The department funds the Careers & Enterprise Company (CEC) to provide support to secondary schools and colleges and make links to employers, to increase young people’s exposure to the world of work. There are more than 4,000 schools and colleges in the CEC’s Enterprise Adviser Network, working with business volunteers to strengthen employer links. The result is 3.3 million young people now having regular encounters with employers, many of whom are entrepreneurs.

While it is for schools to decide how best to provide entrepreneurship education, we know that contact with entrepreneurs and businesses is essential. Modern careers guidance is as much about inspiration and aspiration as about advice.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
3rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent discussions he has had with secondary school leaders on the school readiness of the 2021-22 year 7 cohort.

The department regularly engages with secondary school leaders and organisations, representing them on a wide range of issues around pupil progress, including on the transition to secondary school.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment has he made on the impact of school closures on the long term financial prospects of school children.

The department continually reviews the evidence base on the potential economic impact of the time pupils have spent out of the classroom as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak and are aware of a wide range of estimates which are based on little or no mitigation measures.

The department has commissioned an independent research and assessment agency to provide a baseline assessment of catch-up needs for pupils in schools in England and monitor progress over the course of the 2020/21 academic year. The latest findings from the research were published on gov.uk: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1029841/Understanding_progress_in_the_2020-21_academic_year_Report_4_October2021.pdf. The department is currently exploring options to assess progress over the course of the current academic year.

The department’s latest evidence suggests that pupils are showing some degree of recovery in education loss. In summer 2021, primary pupils were on average around 0.9 months behind in reading and 2.8 months behind in maths compared to where they would otherwise have been in a typical year. This is an improvement since spring 2021, where primary pupils were around 2 months behind in reading and 3.1 months behind in maths. For secondary pupils, they were on average around 1.8 months behind in summer 2021.

That is why the department is investing nearly £5 billion on measures to support further recovery such as the National Tutoring Programme, teacher development, and the recovery premium to support teachers to implement evidence-based interventions to address education gaps. This is in addition to a strong core funding settlement which will see core schools funding rise by £4.7 billion by the 2024/25 financial year compared to existing plans.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
29th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the resilience of the private, voluntary and independent nursery sector since the cessation of support under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

The department has monitored the sufficiency of childcare and resilience of the private, voluntary and independent nursery sector throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, through regular attendance data collection and monitoring the open or closed status of providers. The department has continued this through this autumn term to monitor any change since the end of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). Local authorities are responsible for stewardship of local childcare markets and the department also discusses sufficiency of provision in our regular conversations with them. Local authorities are not currently reporting any significant sufficiency or supply issues and the department has not seen any significant number of parents unable to secure a childcare place, either this term or since early years settings re-opened fully on 1 June 2020. Sufficient early education and childcare places continue to be accessible to those parents that want it and take up of those places is stable giving providers certainty of income.

The department has also featured questions about the use, and withdrawal of, CJRS within our most recent parent and provider polls, which are being conducted this term and may provide information about any longer-term effect. The results of these polls are expected to be published towards the end of autumn term 2021 and in early spring term 2022 respectively.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
26th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department has made additional funds available to foster carers affected by the rising cost of living.

The Fostering Services: National Minimum Standards, issued by my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, under the Care Standards Act 2000, sets out the expectations that are placed on foster carers and their agencies. The standards can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/192705/NMS_Fostering_Services.pdf.

The department is clear that carers should not be out of pocket because of their fostering role, and we expect all foster carers to receive at least the national minimum allowance (NMA), plus any agreed expenses to cover the full cost of caring for each child placed with them (standard 28). The NMA was developed by calculating the cost of caring for a birth child and accounting for the additional cost of caring for a foster child. The rate is reviewed annually to bring it in line with inflation.

Foster carers also receive qualifying care relief which is made up of two parts: tax exemption on the first £10,000 shared equally among any foster carers in the same household, and tax relief for every week a child is in their care.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
26th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to increase the take up of foreign languages in schools.

One of the key priorities of the department is the take-up of languages.

In September 2014, a statutory requirement for all key stage 2 pupils to study either an ancient or a modern foreign language was introduced to the national curriculum. The department has also taken steps to increase the uptake of languages at GCSE, which is why GCSEs in all modern and ancient languages have been part of the English Baccalaureate performance measure for secondary schools, first introduced in 2010.

The department also recently carried out a consultation earlier this year on proposed changes to the subject content for French, German and Spanish GCSEs, the most popular languages at this level. The intention is that more pupils will want to study languages at GCSE level and encourage them to continue with this study to post-16 and beyond. The department plans to respond to the consultation later this year.

The total number of pupils in state-funded schools in England entered for examinations in at least one language GCSE has increased from 231,224 in 2010 to 253,379 in 2019. This amounted to an increase among all key stage 4 pupils of 7 percentage points from 40% in 2010 to 47% in 2019. With GCSE examinations due to re-commence in 2022, we will return to publishing, as far as possible, our usual range of English Baccalaureate entry and attainment measures.

The department also provides funding for several programmes to improve teaching quality and take-up in specific languages. These are:

  • The Modern Foreign Languages Pedagogy Pilot led by the National Centre for Excellence for Language Pedagogy at the University of York

  • The Mandarin Excellence Programme (MEP) led by University College London Institute of Education in partnership with the British Council

  • Modelled on the MEP, the Department also recently announced a £4 million Latin Excellence Programme to increase uptake and attainment in Latin in secondary schools from September 2022 onwards
Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
26th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps is he taking to improve the financial literacy of school children in Feltham and Heston constituency.

Education on financial matters helps to ensure that young people are prepared to manage their money well, make sound financial decisions and know where to seek further information when needed.

Finance education forms part of the citizenship national curriculum which can be taught at all key stages and is compulsory at key stages 3 and 4: https://www.gov.uk/national-curriculum. Financial education ensures that pupils are taught the functions and uses of money, the importance of personal budgeting, money management and managing financial risk. At secondary school, pupils are taught about income and expenditure, credit and debt, insurance, savings and pensions, financial products and services, and how public money is raised and spent.

The department has introduced a rigorous mathematics curriculum, which provides young people with the knowledge and financial skills to make important financial decisions. In the primary mathematics curriculum, there is a strong emphasis on the essential arithmetic knowledge that pupils should be taught. This knowledge is vital, as a strong grasp of numeracy and numbers will underpin pupils’ ability to manage budgets and money, including, for example, using percentages. There is also some specific content about financial education, such as calculations with money.

The secondary mathematics curriculum develops pupils’ understanding and skills in relation to more complex personal finance issues such as calculating loan repayments, interest rates and compound interest.

As with other aspects of the curriculum, schools have flexibility over how they deliver these subjects, so they can develop an integrated approach that is sensitive to the needs and background of their pupils.

The department works closely with the Money and Pensions Service and other stakeholders such as Her Majesty's Treasury, to consider what can be discovered from other sector initiatives and whether there is scope to provide further support for the teaching of financial education in schools.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
21st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to support the development of financial literacy skills for (a) primary school and (b) secondary school children.

Education on financial matters helps to ensure that young people are prepared to manage their money well, make sound financial decisions and know where to seek further information when needed.

Finance education forms part of the citizenship national curriculum which can be taught at all Key Stages and is compulsory at Key Stages 3 and 4: https://www.gov.uk/national-curriculum. Financial education ensures that pupils are taught the functions and uses of money, the importance of personal budgeting, money management and managing financial risk. At secondary school, pupils are taught about income and expenditure, credit and debt, insurance, savings and pensions, financial products and services, and how public money is raised and spent.

The Department has introduced a rigorous mathematics curriculum, which provides young people with the knowledge and mathematical skills to make important financial decisions. In the primary mathematics curriculum, there is a strong emphasis on the essential arithmetic that pupils should be taught. This is vital, as a strong grasp of numeracy will underpin pupils’ ability to manage budgets and money, including, for example, using percentages. There is also some specific content about financial education, such as calculations with money. The secondary mathematics curriculum develops pupils’ understanding in relation to more complex personal finance issues such as calculating loan repayments, interest rates and compound interest.

The Department works closely with the Money and Pensions Service and other stakeholders such as Her Majesty’s Treasury, to consider what can be discovered from other sector initiatives and whether there is scope to provide further support for the teaching of financial education in schools.

15th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to support (a) mentoring programmes and (b) the provision of careers advice for young people in education in Feltham and Heston constituency.

Mentoring is an important element of careers programmes. The government funds support for secondary schools and colleges in England, via the Careers & Enterprise Company’s (CEC) Enterprise Adviser Network and Careers Hubs, to make progress towards meeting the Gatsby Benchmarks of Good Career Guidance. This includes increasing young people’s exposure to employers and the world of work and supporting schools and colleges to make links with providers and employers that offer mentoring opportunities.

Through CEC’s ‘Give an Hour’ initiative, individual volunteers, groups of employees or entire businesses can volunteer to share their career journey and insights with young people in schools and colleges in their local community.

Cornerstone Employers are local and national businesses from a range of sectors that are experienced and have a strong track record of engaging with education. They drive leadership and strategic support within their communities to bring together business effort and engagement with local schools and colleges. They have a commitment to work with schools and colleges to offer more young people meaningful employer encounters through activities such as mentoring, work experience, mock interviews and careers talks. There are currently over 200 Cornerstone Employers.

Enterprise Advisers (EAs) are senior business volunteers that are matched locally with an individual school or college. EAs use their business experience and professional network to help senior leadership teams to develop their careers programme and create opportunities for young people to meet with employers.

The National Careers Service offers expert career coaching and guidance in the community, online and on the telephone.

The London Enterprise Adviser Network (EAN) connects schools and colleges with employers and entrepreneurs so that all young Londoners are aware of the career pathways and opportunities available to them. Over 500 London schools and colleges are part of the London EAN. They are supported by nearly 600 volunteer EAs from different industry sectors and professional backgrounds. The network is co-funded by the CEC and the Mayor of London. In West London, it is delivered by Reed In Partnership and Talentino in special schools and colleges. Careers Hubs will be launched in London in September 2021.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with colleges and universities on the loaning of books to students who are studying at home during the covid-19 lockdown.

Higher education providers should consider appropriate provision to support access to university facilities for the purposes of online learning.

On 22 February 2021, we issued updated guidance on students returning to, and starting, higher education in the spring term 2021, available here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/963446/HE_guidance_spring_term_220221_FINAL.pdf. As outlined in the guidance, we expect university libraries to stay open to provide library services during the lockdown, including the provision of study space and borrowing materials if necessary. Libraries have continued to adapt to the challenges of the COVID-19 outbreak, including by offering order and collect services and providing digital services.

We are clear that universities should maintain the quality and quantity of tuition and seek to ensure that all students, regardless of their background, have the resources to study remotely.

We are now advising providers that they can resume in-person teaching and learning for students who are studying practical or practice-based subjects (including creative arts) and require specialist equipment and facilities from 8 March 2021. Providers should not ask students to return if their course can reasonably be continued online. The government will review, by the end of the Easter holidays, the options for timing of the return of remaining students. This review will take account of the latest data and will be a key part of the wider roadmap steps.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what additional steps his Department plans to take to support remote learning in primary schools during the covid-19 outbreak.

Given the critical importance of ensuring that all children and young people continue to learn during the national lockdown, the Department has updated the expectations for schools to clarify and strengthen what is expected during the period of restricted attendance and draws on our evolving understanding of best practice in remote education: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak#section-5-contingency-planning-for-outbreaks.

With most pupils now having to learn remotely, and schools and colleges having made huge progress in developing their remote education provision, it is right that we increase the expectations on what remote education they receive. Schools are now expected to provide remote education that includes either recorded or live direct teaching alongside time for pupils to work independently to complete assignments that have been set. Online video lessons do not necessarily need to be recorded by teaching staff at the school. Oak National Academy lessons, for example, can be provided in lieu of school led video content.

The number of hours expected for different age groups has also changed. Hours include both direct teaching and time for pupils to complete tasks or assignments independently. Primary schools are now expected to provide, as a minimum:

  • 3 hours a day for Key Stage 1, on average across the cohort with less for younger children.
  • 4 hours a day for Key Stage 2

Primary schools are also expected to have a system in place for checking on a daily basis whether pupils are engaging actively with their work, and learning. Primary schools will need to work with families to identify swiftly where pupil engagement is a concern and find effective solutions.

The Department recognises that different expectations are appropriate for younger and older age groups when learning remotely. We expect schools to consider the remote education expectations in relation to pupils’ age, stage of development or special educational needs. The number of hours of remote education we expect schools to deliver also varies according to pupil stage.

We also recognise that younger children in Key Stage 1 or Reception often require high levels of parental involvement to support their engagement with remote education, which makes digital provision a particular challenge for this age group. We do not expect that solely digital means will be used to teach these pupils remotely.

There is a wide range of resources available to support schools to meet the expectations we have set.

Get Help with Remote Education provides a one stop shop for teachers, signposting the support package available: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/get-help-with-remote-education. This includes helping primary schools to access technology that supports remote education, as well as peer to peer training and guidance on how to use technology effectively. It also includes practical tools, a good practice guide and school led webinars to support effective delivery of the curriculum. Information is also available on issues such as safeguarding, statutory duties and expectations, supporting pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), and recovery and catch up to stop pupils falling behind. We worked with some of the demonstrator schools and colleges to help develop a self-assessment framework, to help schools review and improve their approach to remote education through technology. This has now been launched as the Review your Remote Education Provision framework: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/review-your-remote-education-provision.

The Government is investing over £400 million to support access to remote education and online social care, including securing 1.3 million laptops and tablets for disadvantaged children and young people. This includes over 800,000 laptops and tablets that were delivered to schools, academy trusts and local authorities by 17 January. All schools, trusts and local authorities have now been given the opportunity to order their full current allocation of devices.

The Department has also made £4.84 million available for Oak National Academy both for the summer term of the academic year 2019-20, and then for the 2020-21 academic year, to provide video lessons in a broad range of subjects for Reception up to Year 11. Specialist content for pupils with SEND is also available. Since the start of the spring term 2021, 4.1 million users have visited the Oak National Academy platform and 28 million lessons have been viewed, as of 17 January 2021. Oak National Academy will remain a free optional resource for 2020-21.

The BBC has adapted their education support for the spring term 2021 and will be making educational content available on the television. This will help to ensure all children and young people can access curriculum based learning from home. Starting on Monday 11 January, each week day on CBBC will see a three hour block of primary school programming from 9am. Bitesize Daily primary and secondary will also air every day on BBC Red Button as well as episodes being available on demand on BBC iPlayer. This TV offer is in addition to the BBC’s online offer, which parents, children and teachers can access when and where they need it.

19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how may requests for (a) laptops and (b) broadband access he has received from each school in Feltham and Heston constituency; and how many (i) laptops and (ii) connectivity solutions he has provided to each of those schools.

The Government is investing over £400 million to support access to remote education and online social care services, including securing 1.3 million laptops and tablets for disadvantaged children and young people.

As of Monday 18 January, over 800,000 laptops and tablets had been delivered to state schools, academy trusts and local authorities.

Figures on requests for, and delivery of, devices by constituency are not available.

More information on the number of devices delivered can viewed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/laptops-tablets-and-4g-wireless-routers-progress-data. We will be publishing updated data on a weekly basis.

Laptops and tablets are owned by schools, academy trusts or local authorities who can lend these to children and young people who need them most, during the current COVID-19 restrictions.

The Government is providing this significant injection of devices on top of an estimated 2.9 million laptops and tablets already owned by schools before the start of the COVID-19 outbreak.

We have also partnered with the UK’s leading mobile operators to provide free data to help disadvantaged children get online as well as delivering 4G wireless routers for pupils without connection at home.

We are grateful to EE, O2, Sky Mobile, Smarty, Tesco Mobile, Three, Virgin Mobile, and Vodafone for their collaboration. We continue to invite a range of mobile network providers to support the offer.

All four major mobile network operators - Vodafone, O2, Three and EE - have also committed to working together to make access to Oak National Academy free for school children. Additionally, BT and EE are making access to BBC Bitesize resources free from the end of January 2021.

13th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many laptops have been (a) ordered and (b) delivered from the Government scheme to support online remote learning for (i) primary schools and (ii) secondary schools in each region of England in January 2021.

The Government is investing over £400 million to support access to remote education and online social care services securing 1.3 million laptops and tablets for disadvantaged children and young people. Over 750,000 laptops and tablets had been delivered to schools, academy trusts and local authorities by the end of last week, nearly 140,000 of which had been delivered this month.

The number of devices available for each school, trust or local authority is based on recent data on free school meal eligibility. On 12 January 2021 we announced that we will be providing a further 300,000 devices over the course of this term.

Figures on the number of devices delivered is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/laptops-tablets-and-4g-wireless-routers-progress-data. These figures are broken down by local authority and academy trust, depending on which organisation ordered devices. Information on delivery by region is not available.

8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what his policy is on student tuition fees during the covid-19 outbreak.

This has been a very difficult time for students, and the government is working with the sector to make sure all reasonable efforts are being made to enable students to continue their studies. The government’s clear and stated expectation is that universities should maintain the quality and quantity of tuition and seek to ensure that all students, regardless of their background, have the resources to study remotely. This is more important than ever now, with the vast majority of students studying solely online.

Universities are autonomous and responsible for setting their own fees, up to a maximum of £9,250 for standard full-time courses offered by approved (fee cap) providers for the 2020/21 academic year. The government has already announced that maximum tuition fee caps will remain frozen for the 2021/22 academic year.

The Office for Students (OfS), as regulator for higher education (HE) providers in England, has made it clear that HE providers must continue to comply with registration conditions relating to quality and academic standards, which set out requirements to ensure that courses are high-quality, that students are supported and achieve good outcomes and that standards are protected, regardless of whether a provider is delivering its courses through face-to-face teaching, remote online learning, or a combination of both.

Whether or not an individual student is entitled to a refund of fees will depend on the specific contractual arrangements between the provider and student. If students have concerns, there is a process in place. They should first raise their concerns with their university. If their concerns remain unresolved, students at providers in England or Wales can ask the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA) for Higher Education to consider their complaint. The OIA website is available via the following link: https://www.oiahe.org.uk/.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has published guidance on consumer contracts, cancellation and refunds affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. This sets out the CMA’s view on how the law operates to help consumers understand their rights and help businesses treat their customers fairly. This is available via the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cma-to-investigate-concerns-about-cancellation-policies-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic/the-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic-consumer-contracts-cancellation-and-refunds.

The OfS has also published guidance on student consumer protection during the COVID-19 outbreak, which is available via the following link: https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/for-students/student-and-consumer-protection-during-coronavirus/.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with (a) school leaders and (b) the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on the timetable for covid-19 vaccinations for teachers and school staff.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) are the independent experts who advise the Government on which vaccine/s the UK should use and provide advice on who should be offered them.

JCVI advises that the first priorities for the COVID-19 vaccination programme should be the prevention of mortality and the maintenance of the health and social care systems. As the risk of mortality from COVID-19 increases with age, prioritisation is primarily based on age.

Regarding the next phase of vaccine rollout, JCVI have asked that the Department of Health and Social Care consider occupational vaccination in collaboration with other Government departments. The Department for Education will input into this cross governmental exercise.

4th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what his Department's policy is on fees charged to school pupils to re-sit (a) GCSE and (b) A-level examinations in autumn 2020.

The Department is providing funding support to schools on autumn exam fees and we expect school and colleges to pay these on behalf of all the students they enter in the autumn. This is set out in our guidance on GOV.UK: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/responsibility-for-autumn-gcse-as-and-a-level-exam-series/centre-responsibility-for-autumn-gcse-as-and-a-level-exam-series-guidance.

The autumn exams are an important backstop to the summer grade process and we are helping schools and colleges to offer them to students by assisting with additional space and invigilators where required, as well as covering exam fee deficits to ensure that exam fees are not passed on to students.

4th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what his Department's policy is on appeals by students of their centre assessed grades; and if he will make a statement.

Ofqual has published summary guidance, agreed with school and college leaders, which makes clear what the process was for putting together centre assessment grades and the grounds of appeal which are available. The guidance can be viewed here:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/887018/Summer_2020_Awarding_GCSEs_A_levels_-_Info_for_Heads_of_Centre_22MAY2020.pdf.

Any students who have evidence of bias or discrimination will be able to go through the normal complaints procedure at their school or college or complain to the exam board, which could investigate potential malpractice.

18th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has for the funding of school sport in the academic year 2020-21.

The Government’s School Sport and Activity Action Plan set out a range of measures to ensure that all children have access to high quality PE and sport sessions during the school week and opportunities to be physically active throughout the school day, to help them do the 60 minutes a day of physical exercise recommended by the Chief Medical Officer.

The Government has provided £2.4 million in funding to support this activity in 2019-20 and has worked with Active Partnerships, teaching schools and sport providers to support children to take part in activities that encourage good physical health.

Physical activity is important for children’s physical and mental wellbeing and will be especially important for children who have had restricted opportunity to exercise while at home due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The Department has published online educational resources approved by subject experts for schools and parents to help children to learn at home, including for PE:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-online-education-resources/online-science-pe-wellbeing-and-send-resources-for-home-education.

The Department is working to ensure that schools are fully supported as they re-open and are able to give pupils opportunities to be physically active during the school day.

The Department will confirm arrangements for the primary school PE and Sport Premium in the 2020-21 academic year as soon as possible.

16th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with representatives of employers on the continuation of planned apprenticeships in (a) 2020 and (b) 2021.

Apprenticeships will have an important role to play in creating employment opportunities, particularly for young people, and supporting employers in all sectors to access the skilled workforce they need to recover and grow post COVID-19. The flexibilities we have introduced are enabling apprenticeships to continue. We are looking to support employers of all sizes, and particularly smaller businesses, to take on new apprentices this year. We will set out further details in due course. We will also ensure that there is sufficient funding to support small businesses wanting to take on an apprentice this year.

We are continuing to meet with employers and their representative organisations. I hosted a series of round tables with employers and business representative groups to discuss what more is needed to support employers, including the Department for Work and Pensions and Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

The National Apprenticeship Service continues to support employers, intermediary organisations and stakeholders through regular virtual meetings, and timely communications about changes to apprenticeship policies in response to COVID-19. Insight gathered from our engagement with employers and their representative bodies is used to help shape further flexibilities.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to his Downing Street Press Conference on 19 April 2020, how many eligible children had received (a) laptops and (b) 4G routers through the Government’s scheme as at 31 May 2020.

The Government has committed over £100 million to support vulnerable and disadvantaged children in England to access remote education and social care services, including by providing laptops, tablets and 4G wireless routers.

The Government is providing over 200,000 laptops and tablets to vulnerable and disadvantaged children who would otherwise not have access and are preparing for examinations in year 10, receiving support from a social worker or are a care leaver. The Government is also providing over 50,000 4G wireless routers to care leavers, children with a social worker at secondary school and disadvantaged children in year 10 who do not have internet connections.

The Department has also partnered with BT to give 10,000 young people free access to BT WiFi hotspots, who do not have access to good internet by other means.

Local authorities and academy trusts are best placed to identify and distribute the laptops and tablets to children and young people who need devices. The Department invited local authorities to order devices for the most vulnerable children first, children with a social worker and care leavers.

Devices are being delivered to local authorities and academy trusts daily and will continue to be distributed throughout June.

8th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 18 May 2020 to Question 46667 on Education: Coronavirus, what recent estimate the Government has made of the number of (a) primary and (b) secondary school pupils who are unable to access their school online classroom as a result of not having (i) digital devices and (ii) internet access at home in each (A) region and (B) nation of the UK; and how many and what proportion of secondary school pupils unable to access their school online classroom are eligible for (1) laptops and (2) routers under the Government scheme announced on 19 April 2020.

The Government has committed over £100 million to support vulnerable and disadvantaged children in England to access remote education and social care services, including by providing laptops, tablets and 4G wireless routers.

The Government is providing over 200,000 laptops and tablets to vulnerable and disadvantaged children who would otherwise not have access and are preparing for examinations in year 10, receiving support from a social worker or are a care leaver. The Government is also providing over 50,000 4G wireless routers to care leavers, children with a social worker at secondary school and disadvantaged children in year 10 who do not have internet connections.

The Department has also partnered with BT to give 10,000 young people free access to BT WiFi hotspots, who do not have access to good internet by other means.

Local authorities and academy trusts are best placed to identify and distribute the laptops and tablets to children and young people who need devices. The Department invited local authorities to order devices for the most vulnerable children first, children with a social worker and care leavers.

Devices are being delivered to local authorities and academy trusts daily and will continue to be distributed throughout June.

8th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what representations he has received from (a) children’s charities and (b) schools on the effect on learning of a lack of access to school online classrooms during the covid-19 outbreak.

It is up to each school to determine how to deliver education to its pupils and we recognise that many schools have been regularly sharing resources with pupils. This could be in the form of online learning as well as high quality printed resources where needed.

The Government has committed over £100 million to support vulnerable and disadvantaged children in England to access remote education, including by providing laptops, tablets and 4G routers.

The Department has also partnered with BT to give 10,000 young people free access to BT WiFi hotspots, who do not have access to good internet by other means.

We are providing laptops and tablets to disadvantaged children who would otherwise not have access and are preparing for examinations in Year 10, receiving support from a social worker or are a care leaver. Where care leavers, children with a social worker at secondary school and disadvantaged children in Year 10 do not have internet connections, we are providing 4G routers.

We are committed to ensuring that all children can continue to learn remotely in a number of ways during these very difficult circumstances, and are supporting sector-led initiatives such as the Oak National Academy. This brand-new enterprise has been created by 40 teachers from schools across England. It will provide 180 video lessons for free each week, across a broad range of subjects, for every year group from reception through to Year 10. By 24 May, over 2.3 million users had visited the Oak Academy site and over 10.7 million lessons had been accessed.

Schools can also utilise the many resources which have been made by publishers across the country.

The Department has published an initial list of high quality online educational resources, which have been identified by some of the country’s leading educational experts to help pupils learn at home.

Schools and families will also be able to draw on support from the BBC which is broadcasting lessons on television. Some of the BBC educational content is offline, via the red button, which disadvantaged pupils without digital devices or connectivity will still be able to access.

8th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 18 May 2020 to Question 46667, on Education: Coronavirus, how much of the £100 million funding that the Government has committed to support vulnerable and disadvantaged children in England to access remote education is being allocated to (a) devices and (b) connectivity; and how much of that funding has been spent to date.

The government has committed over £100 million to help schools and young people continue their education at home and access online social care services. We have committed over £14 million on technical support to give schools access to cloud-based education platforms, nearly £6 million to support a new demonstrator school network who are offering peer support on how to use education technology, and over £85 million to provide laptops, tablets and 4G internet devices, including security and e-safety packages and their distribution, and to top up the 16 to 19 Bursary Fund.

The department has also partnered with BT to give 10,000 young people free access to BT Wi-Fi hotspots, who do not have access to good internet by other means.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent estimate the Government has made of the number of (a) primary and (b) secondary school pupils who are unable to access their school online classroom due to school closures during the covid-19 outbreak as they do not have digital devices or internet access at home by each (i) region and (ii) nation of the UK.

The Government has committed over £100 million to support vulnerable and disadvantaged children in England to access remote education. We are providing laptops and tablets to disadvantaged children who would otherwise not have access and are preparing for examination in Year 10, receiving support from a social worker or are a care leaver. We are also providing 4G routers to care leavers, children with a social worker at secondary school and disadvantaged Year 10 pupils who do not have sufficient internet connections.

The Department has ordered over 200,000 laptops and tablets and allocated devices based on its estimates of the number of eligible children that do not have access to a device.

5th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he plans to bring forward (a) limits on and (b) eligibility requirements for funding reimbursed and refunded to schools that procure free school meals from retailers not included in the National Voucher Scheme.

Schools will continue to receive their budgets for the coming year as usual, regardless of any periods of partial or complete closure, and this will ensure they are able to meet their regular financial commitments, while delivering the provision required during this unprecedented period.

Where possible, schools are encouraged to work with their existing suppliers to provide meals or food parcels. If they are unable to use this, we have developed a national scheme to provide supermarket vouchers via the Edenred online portal. This portal allows schools to directly order vouchers to be sent to families for use at Aldi, McColl’s, Morrisons, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Waitrose and M&S. Schools will not have to pay for these vouchers as the costs of this scheme will be picked up centrally by the Department for Education.

We recognise that it may not be convenient or possible for schools in some areas to use these supermarkets. Where schools use their own alternatives to the national voucher scheme they are able to claim for additional costs incurred in supporting free school meal pupils. As set out in our guidance, schools will be able to claim up to a certain limit, depending on their number of pupils, and where they are unable to meet these additional costs from their existing resources. In exceptional instances where individual schools face additional costs that are higher than the grant’s limits, schools will be able to able to apply to increase their limit. The full additional costs guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-financial-support-for-schools.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, from which budget he plans to reimburse funding for schools procuring free school meals from retailers not included in the National Voucher Scheme.

Schools will continue to receive their budgets for the coming year as usual, regardless of any periods of partial or complete closure, and this will ensure they are able to meet their regular financial commitments, while delivering the provision required during this unprecedented period.

Where possible, schools are encouraged to work with their existing suppliers to provide meals or food parcels. If they are unable to use this, we have developed a national scheme to provide supermarket vouchers via the Edenred online portal. This portal allows schools to directly order vouchers to be sent to families for use at Aldi, McColl’s, Morrisons, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Waitrose and M&S. Schools will not have to pay for these vouchers as the costs of this scheme will be picked up centrally by the Department for Education.

We recognise that it may not be convenient or possible for schools in some areas to use these supermarkets. Where schools use their own alternatives to the national voucher scheme they are able to claim for additional costs incurred in supporting free school meal pupils. As set out in our guidance, schools will be able to claim up to a certain limit, depending on their number of pupils, and where they are unable to meet these additional costs from their existing resources. In exceptional instances where individual schools face additional costs that are higher than the grant’s limits, schools will be able to able to apply to increase their limit. The full additional costs guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-financial-support-for-schools.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
30th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 lockdown on the (a) employment and (b) income of (i) full-time and (ii) part-time students.

The government is working closely with the sector on a wide range of issues and student wellbeing is at the heart of those discussions. It will be a matter for universities to deal with individual students’ situations.


Eligible students studying on full-time and part-time courses will continue to receive scheduled payments of loans towards their living costs for the remainder of the current, 2019/20, academic year.


We have engaged closely with the Office for Students to enable providers to draw upon existing funding to increase hardship funds and support disadvantaged students impacted by COVID-19. As a result, providers will be able to use the funding, worth around £23 million per month for April and May, towards student hardship funds, including the purchase of IT equipment, and mental health support, as well as to support providers’ access and participation plans.


Students with a part-time employment contract should speak to their employer about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which has been set up to help pay staff wages and keep people in employment. Information can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/financial-support-for-businesses-during-coronaviruscovid-19.


As both my right hon. Friends the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer have made clear, the Government will do whatever it takes to support people affected by COVID-19.


These are rapidly developing circumstances; we continue to keep the situation under review and will keep Parliament updated accordingly.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
28th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to support schools that wish to access free school meal vouchers from a retailer that is not listed as part of the free school meals voucher scheme.

As both my right hon. Friends the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer have made clear, the government will do whatever it takes to support people affected by COVID-19.

During this period, we are asking schools to support children who are eligible for and claiming benefits related free school meals, by providing meals or food parcels through their existing food providers wherever possible. We know that many schools are successfully delivering food parcels or arranging food collections for eligible children, and we encourage this approach where it is possible. However, we recognise that providing meals and food parcels is not a practicable option for all schools. That is why on 31 March we launched a national voucher scheme as an alternative option, with costs covered by the Department for Education.

Through the national voucher scheme, schools and families could initially access eGift cards for Morrisons, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Waitrose and M&S. On Monday 27 April Aldi were added to this list and on Wednesday 29 April McColl’s were also added. We recognise that it may not be convenient or possible for some families to visit one of these supermarkets and we are continuing to work to see if additional supermarkets can be added to this list.

Where none of these supermarkets are convenient for families, schools can directly purchase vouchers for alternative supermarkets and be reimbursed for the costs.

Full details are available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance-for-schools

These are rapidly developing circumstances; we continue to keep the situation under review and will keep Parliament updated accordingly.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make a direct address to children and young people on the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on their lives and education.

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, directly addressed young people in the Downing Street press conference on Sunday 19 April, acknowledging the challenges that they are facing in their lives and education and the contribution that they are making to the national effort:

“And to any young people watching, I wanted to say to you how sorry I am that you have had your education disrupted in this way. I know how hard it must be and I would like to thank you for making the adjustments you have had to make.

I know you will be missing your friends, your teachers and your lessons. I want you to know that you are an important part of this fight too and I cannot thank you enough for all that you are doing.”

The department continues to plan a range of activities in the coming weeks to engage with diverse groups of young people who have been affected in different ways by the outbreak. This included a recent address to young people on the new national online learning platform Oak National Academy via an online assembly on Thursday 30 April, which is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OgdhOstV6iI&feature=emb_logo.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether schools that wish to access free school meals vouchers from retailers that are not listed as part of the free school meals voucher scheme will be reimbursed for the costs of purchasing those vouchers.

As both my right hon. Friends the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer have made clear, the government will do whatever it takes to support people affected by COVID-19.

During this period, we are asking schools to support children who are eligible for and claiming benefits related free school meals, by providing meals or food parcels through their existing food providers wherever possible. We know that many schools are successfully delivering food parcels or arranging food collections for eligible children, and we encourage this approach where it is possible. However, we recognise that providing meals and food parcels is not a practicable option for all schools. That is why on 31 March we launched a national voucher scheme as an alternative option, with costs covered by the Department for Education.

Through the national voucher scheme, schools and families could initially access eGift cards for Morrisons, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Waitrose and M&S. On Monday 27 April Aldi were added to this list and on Wednesday 29 April McColl’s were also added. We recognise that it may not be convenient or possible for some families to visit one of these supermarkets and we are continuing to work to see if additional supermarkets can be added to this list.

Where none of these supermarkets are convenient for families, schools can directly purchase vouchers for alternative supermarkets and be reimbursed for the costs.

Full details are available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance-for-schools

These are rapidly developing circumstances; we continue to keep the situation under review and will keep Parliament updated accordingly.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will (a) bring forward a Comprehensive Children’s Recovery Plan and (b) provide ringfenced resources for schools, local authorities, civil society, and children’s service providers.

The government is doing everything it can to ensure that all parts of the education system are getting the guidance and support they need to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and protect the most vulnerable groups. The government has already announced it will make extra funding available for schools to cover the unique challenges and financial costs of the COVID-19 outbreak. The money will cover specific unforeseen additional costs up to the end of the 2019 to 2020 summer term including £3.2 billion for local authorities.

We know that there will be many challenges across the sector, and we are working hard to mitigate the impact on education, childcare and children’s social care and prepare to help the sector recover from the crisis.

We are working with schools, teaching unions and other partners to make sure we have the right guidance and support in place once we are ready to re-open education settings.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will appoint a Special Envoy for Children reporting directly to the Prime Minister to lead an emergency Children’s Taskforce on the impact Covid-19 is having on children.

The government recognises the significant effect COVID-19 may have on children and will do whatever it takes to protect them. The government has taken a range of actions to ensure that children are supported, particularly those who are most vulnerable. This includes keeping schools and other educational settings open for vulnerable children, such as those with a social worker or with an Education, Health and Care Plan, and encouraging attendance from them where that would be in their best interests; providing resources to support children to continue learning at home; funding vouchers for free schools meals; and providing additional funding for the NSPCC to support their helpline for those with concerns about children. The government has also given local authorities more than £3.2 billion to support local services at this time, including children’s social care. The department has also announced additional support for adoptive families and up to £12.1 million of new money to continue 14 separate projects that are aimed at supporting vulnerable children and families.

Ministers and officials have had, and continue to have, discussions with organisations representing the interests of children, including with the Children’s Commissioner for England, in order to monitor and minimise the impact for children, particularly for those who are most vulnerable. The department has also already established a Vulnerable Children and Young People National Board to provide a forum to share good practice across the sector and provide a cohesive and ambitious system-wide response to support vulnerable children and young people through the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Secretary of State for Education will therefore not appoint an additional role of a Special Envoy for Children.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to support pupils who do not have access to equipment for online learning during school closures due to the covid-19 outbreak.

On 19 April 2020, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, announced that devices will be provided for the most disadvantaged children who would otherwise not have access and are preparing for exams (in Year 10), or receive support from a social worker or are a care leaver. Local authorities, trusts and other relevant organisations overseeing schools have been given guidance on how to place online orders for government-funded and allocated devices for eligible children and young people.

Where care leavers, children with a social worker at secondary school and children in Year 10 do not have internet connections, we will also provide the capability for them to access the internet.

Additionally, the country’s major telecommunication companies will make it easier for families to access selected educational resources by temporarily exempting these sites from data charges.

For those in rural areas or without a connection, schools will be able to draw on support from the BBC which is broadcasting lessons on television; as well as their existing resources and the many resources offers which have been made by publishers across the country.

27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with his counterpart in the Scottish Government on the effectiveness of nuture groups in Scotland.

Ministers at the Department for Education have not discussed nurture groups with their counterparts in the Scottish Government.

I met with Nurture UK in January 2020 to discuss the use of nurture groups in schools and the evidence they have collected.

In 2018, the Department published updated Mental Health & Behaviour in Schools Guidance, which can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/mental-health-and-behaviour-in-schools--2. The purpose of this guidance is to help schools to identify pupils whose behaviour may be a result of an underlying mental health difficulty, and to understand when and how to put in place support. It includes links to further sources of practice and advice, including Nurture UK. It is for schools to decide whether a nurture group might be of benefit, based on the evidence of impact and the needs of their pupils.

27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to encourage industry to engage with local schools on increasing (a) employment and (b) apprenticeship opportunities.

As part of our careers strategy setting out our aim to develop a world-class careers system, the Careers and Enterprise Company is taking forward work in this area.

It has developed the Enterprise Advisers Network, resulting in schools, colleges and businesses working together on a national scale. Over 150 businesses are engaged as cornerstone employers and more than 2,500 business people are working with schools and colleges as Enterprise Advisers to improve careers provision. This has led to at least 2 million young people regularly meeting employers and learning about the world of work.

It is establishing 40 Careers Hubs around the country, which are groups of 20 or more secondary schools and colleges located in the same geographic area, working together, and with partners in the business, public, education and voluntary sectors to ensure careers outcomes are improved for all young people and providing young people aged 11-18 with employer encounters.

In addition, schools must open their doors to providers of technical education and apprenticeships to give all young people a better understanding of the qualifications, courses and subjects available. This is enshrined in law, requiring all maintained schools and academies to publish a policy statement setting out how they will do this.

We also offer a free service to schools through the Apprenticeship Support and Knowledge (ASK) project to ensure that teachers have the knowledge and support to enable them to promote apprenticeships to their students. As part of the ASK project, we work with employers to offer Apprenticeship Live broadcasts that schools can stream directly into the classroom. Employers can use these to showcase their apprenticeship programmes and they give students and teachers the opportunity to speak to employers and their apprentices directly. In 2018/19 we delivered over 40 live broadcasts covering a variety of sectors, reaching over 130,000 students and 1,965 teachers.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to increase the proportion of students in pupil referral units achieving grade 5 or above in GCSE English and Maths.

The Government is taking forward an ambitious programme of action on behaviour, exclusion and alternative provision (AP). This will respect head teachers’ powers to use exclusion, enable schools to support children at risk of exclusion, and ensure that excluded children continue to receive support and a good education.

Engagement in full-time, high-quality education is a protective factor against children’s risk of involvement in serious violence. Research has shown that excluded children have a higher risk of being both a victim and perpetrator of crime. However, we must be careful not to draw a simple causal link. The surrounding issues and causes of serious violence are complicated. The Department is working with the education and care sectors, the Home Office and other Government Departments to help make our streets safer by supporting children and young people who are at risk of being caught up in serious violence.

The Department recognises that timely access to full-time, high-quality AP plays a critical role in improving outcomes for excluded pupils who may have vulnerabilities that make them at risk of involvement in crime. We will expand AP and improve the quality of the sector so that pupils in AP receive the right support and an education on par with that received by their mainstream peers. Further information on the timeframes for this work will be provided in due course.

27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to reduce the number of permanent school exclusions.

The Government is taking forward an ambitious programme of action on behaviour, exclusion and alternative provision (AP). This will respect head teachers’ powers to use exclusion, enable schools to support children at risk of exclusion, and ensure that excluded children continue to receive support and a good education.

Engagement in full-time, high-quality education is a protective factor against children’s risk of involvement in serious violence. Research has shown that excluded children have a higher risk of being both a victim and perpetrator of crime. However, we must be careful not to draw a simple causal link. The surrounding issues and causes of serious violence are complicated. The Department is working with the education and care sectors, the Home Office and other Government Departments to help make our streets safer by supporting children and young people who are at risk of being caught up in serious violence.

The Department recognises that timely access to full-time, high-quality AP plays a critical role in improving outcomes for excluded pupils who may have vulnerabilities that make them at risk of involvement in crime. We will expand AP and improve the quality of the sector so that pupils in AP receive the right support and an education on par with that received by their mainstream peers. Further information on the timeframes for this work will be provided in due course.

27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with the Home Secretary on researching the link between the level of permanent school exclusions and youth crime.

The Government is taking forward an ambitious programme of action on behaviour, exclusion and alternative provision (AP). This will respect head teachers’ powers to use exclusion, enable schools to support children at risk of exclusion, and ensure that excluded children continue to receive support and a good education.

Engagement in full-time, high-quality education is a protective factor against children’s risk of involvement in serious violence. Research has shown that excluded children have a higher risk of being both a victim and perpetrator of crime. However, we must be careful not to draw a simple causal link. The surrounding issues and causes of serious violence are complicated. The Department is working with the education and care sectors, the Home Office and other Government Departments to help make our streets safer by supporting children and young people who are at risk of being caught up in serious violence.

The Department recognises that timely access to full-time, high-quality AP plays a critical role in improving outcomes for excluded pupils who may have vulnerabilities that make them at risk of involvement in crime. We will expand AP and improve the quality of the sector so that pupils in AP receive the right support and an education on par with that received by their mainstream peers. Further information on the timeframes for this work will be provided in due course.

15th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent surveys his Department has undertaken with young people on their educational needs.

The Department commissions or co-funds a number of studies with young people. Current live projects include longitudinal studies such as the Millennium Cohort Study and the second Longitudinal Study of Young People in England (LSYPE2), which collect evidence about the lives and experiences of young people and the transitions they make from education into early adulthood.

Other surveys include the ‘Pupils and their parents or carer: omnibus survey’, which gathers the views from pupils (and their parents or carers) in state-funded secondary schools on a wide range of topics, including subject choice, careers guidance and career aspirations. In addition to commissioned social research, the Department also engages with young people on an ad hoc basis to inform policy development and improve existing services.

9th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he has plans to undertake a review on his Department's policies in relation to the (a) wellbeing and (b) needs of children in care.

Information on the number of children in care since 2010 is published in table H1 of the annual statistical release ‘Children looked after in England including adoption: 2018 to 2019’, which is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/children-looked-after-in-england-including-adoption-2018-to-2019.

The drivers of demand are complex. A sector-led ‘Care Crisis Review’ in 2018 found that there are many inter-linked factors contributing to the rise in care proceedings and children entering care. We are funding a What Works Centre for Children’s Social Care whose first research priority is to look at what works in safely reducing the need for children to enter care.

The government is committed to supporting children in care and wants all looked-after children to have a secure, stable and loving family environment to support them through childhood and beyond. In December, we announced an additional £45 million for the adoption support fund to reduce the number of children waiting for a permanent home and to strengthen relationships with their adoptive parents. We are also providing councils with an additional £1 billion for adults and children’s social care in every year of this Parliament. As set out in the manifesto, we are committed to undertaking a review of the care system. This review will allow us to go even further and to ensure that all care placements and settings provide children and young people with the support they need.

Since 2010 we have improved support for children in care, and have invested funding and support in local authorities in a range of areas including:

  • £200 million in the Innovation Programme, testing new approaches in children’s social care, including targeted support for looked after children
  • established the What Works Centre for Children’s Social Care to drive improvement and ensure that innovation and best practice are at the heart of local authority social work
  • introduced the Corporate Parenting Principles through the Children and Social Work Act 2017, for the first time setting out how local authorities can be a good ‘corporate parent’
  • put in place measures such as the local authority Virtual School Head, giving looked-after children top priority in school admissions and extra funding to meet their needs through the Pupil Premium Plus, worth £2,300 per child
  • invested £1 million to pilot high quality mental health assessments for children on entry to local authority care

This is in addition to the commitments we have made to improve the lives of children in residential and foster care, through our strategies published in 2016 and 2018.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
9th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what support his Department has provided to local authorities for children in care since 2010.

Information on the number of children in care since 2010 is published in table H1 of the annual statistical release ‘Children looked after in England including adoption: 2018 to 2019’, which is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/children-looked-after-in-england-including-adoption-2018-to-2019.

The drivers of demand are complex. A sector-led ‘Care Crisis Review’ in 2018 found that there are many inter-linked factors contributing to the rise in care proceedings and children entering care. We are funding a What Works Centre for Children’s Social Care whose first research priority is to look at what works in safely reducing the need for children to enter care.

The government is committed to supporting children in care and wants all looked-after children to have a secure, stable and loving family environment to support them through childhood and beyond. In December, we announced an additional £45 million for the adoption support fund to reduce the number of children waiting for a permanent home and to strengthen relationships with their adoptive parents. We are also providing councils with an additional £1 billion for adults and children’s social care in every year of this Parliament. As set out in the manifesto, we are committed to undertaking a review of the care system. This review will allow us to go even further and to ensure that all care placements and settings provide children and young people with the support they need.

Since 2010 we have improved support for children in care, and have invested funding and support in local authorities in a range of areas including:

  • £200 million in the Innovation Programme, testing new approaches in children’s social care, including targeted support for looked after children
  • established the What Works Centre for Children’s Social Care to drive improvement and ensure that innovation and best practice are at the heart of local authority social work
  • introduced the Corporate Parenting Principles through the Children and Social Work Act 2017, for the first time setting out how local authorities can be a good ‘corporate parent’
  • put in place measures such as the local authority Virtual School Head, giving looked-after children top priority in school admissions and extra funding to meet their needs through the Pupil Premium Plus, worth £2,300 per child
  • invested £1 million to pilot high quality mental health assessments for children on entry to local authority care

This is in addition to the commitments we have made to improve the lives of children in residential and foster care, through our strategies published in 2016 and 2018.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
9th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the change in the number of children in care since 2010.

Information on the number of children in care since 2010 is published in table H1 of the annual statistical release ‘Children looked after in England including adoption: 2018 to 2019’, which is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/children-looked-after-in-england-including-adoption-2018-to-2019.

The drivers of demand are complex. A sector-led ‘Care Crisis Review’ in 2018 found that there are many inter-linked factors contributing to the rise in care proceedings and children entering care. We are funding a What Works Centre for Children’s Social Care whose first research priority is to look at what works in safely reducing the need for children to enter care.

The government is committed to supporting children in care and wants all looked-after children to have a secure, stable and loving family environment to support them through childhood and beyond. In December, we announced an additional £45 million for the adoption support fund to reduce the number of children waiting for a permanent home and to strengthen relationships with their adoptive parents. We are also providing councils with an additional £1 billion for adults and children’s social care in every year of this Parliament. As set out in the manifesto, we are committed to undertaking a review of the care system. This review will allow us to go even further and to ensure that all care placements and settings provide children and young people with the support they need.

Since 2010 we have improved support for children in care, and have invested funding and support in local authorities in a range of areas including:

  • £200 million in the Innovation Programme, testing new approaches in children’s social care, including targeted support for looked after children
  • established the What Works Centre for Children’s Social Care to drive improvement and ensure that innovation and best practice are at the heart of local authority social work
  • introduced the Corporate Parenting Principles through the Children and Social Work Act 2017, for the first time setting out how local authorities can be a good ‘corporate parent’
  • put in place measures such as the local authority Virtual School Head, giving looked-after children top priority in school admissions and extra funding to meet their needs through the Pupil Premium Plus, worth £2,300 per child
  • invested £1 million to pilot high quality mental health assessments for children on entry to local authority care

This is in addition to the commitments we have made to improve the lives of children in residential and foster care, through our strategies published in 2016 and 2018.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
20th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what funding his Department has made available to support English language classes for adults in Hounslow.

The department funds education and training, including English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) for adults aged 19 and over, through the adult education budget (AEB). With effect from 1 August 2019, approximately half the AEB has been devolved to 6 mayoral combined authorities and delegated to the Mayor of London acting through the Greater London Authority (GLA). These authorities are now responsible for funding adult education provision, including ESOL, for learners who are resident in their areas.

As the London Borough of Hounslow is within the area of the GLA, they are now responsible for commissioning and funding ESOL provision for adults who are resident in their areas, rather than the department.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether UK law prohibits water companies from discharging untreated sewage into waterways and coastal regions outside periods of heavy rainfall.

The Environment Agency in England have a duty under the Urban Waste Water Treatment Regulations to issue environmental permits to water companies under the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2016, to limit pollution of receiving waters by storm water overflows.

Environmental Permits for storm water overflows contain conditions which only allow a discharge to occur when and for as long as rainfall or snow melt reaches the capacity of the sewer. Any breach of the terms or conditions of an environmental permit is a criminal offence. In each case the Environment Agency will consider all of the circumstances surrounding a breach and apply its published Enforcement and Sanctions policy. This can be found at: Environment Agency enforcement and sanctions policy - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk). The Environment Agency is currently investigating several claims of permit breaches and will use the full force of the law should breaches be confirmed.

This Government has made improving water quality a priority and has been clear that water companies must significantly reduce their use of sewage overflows. This includes a duty on water companies to progressively reduce their use in the Environment Act. The Government is building on the existing regulatory regime and the proposed targets published as part of the Storm Overflows Discharge Reduction Plan consultation will, for the first time, provide a clear definition for 'limit pollution' and will represent the largest investment and delivery programme to tackle storm sewage discharges in history. If we do not see the changes we expect, we won’t hesitate to take further action.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps the Environment Agency takes in the event that a water company discharges untreated sewage into UK waterways and coastal regions outside periods of heavy rainfall; and how many water companies have faced enforcement action for those discharges since 2015.

Storm overflows must only be used under strict permitted conditions that control their environmental impact. The Environment Agency investigates breaches of permit conditions and considers all circumstances surrounding a breach and applies its published Enforcement and Sanctions policy in determining its enforcement response. This can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/environment-agency-enforcement-and[1]sanctions-policy

We are holding the industry to account on a scale never seen before. Since 2015 the Environment Agency has successfully prosecuted seven water companies for breaching permit conditions relating to storm discharges, with some companies prosecuted multiple times. A number of the cases brought together several offences within a single prosecution and included discharges that occurred outside of heavy rainfall conditions or that were caused by sewer blockages or pump failures.

In November 2021, new information came to light suggesting that some water companies in England may indeed not be complying with their permits, resulting in excess sewage spills into the environment, even in dry periods. On account of this, Ofwat and the Environment Agency launched major investigations into all water and wastewater companies in England and Wales. If proven, water companies will be in breach of their permits and failing to meet their legal duties. Government, along with the sector’s regulators, will not hesitate to hold companies to account if this is the case.

The Environment Agency and new duties in the landmark Environment Act have driven increased monitoring and reporting of storm overflows. The Act places new duties directly on water companies to publish spill data in near real time and monitor water quality impacts upstream and downstream of all storm overflows and wastewater treatment works. Almost nine in ten storm overflows already have monitoring devices installed, and all overflows will have monitors by the end of 2023. This technology provides vital information about the use of storm overflows, which can be used to hold water companies to account and drive environmental protections and future investment. £1.1billion of investment is already planned for the next four years.

The Government is currently consulting on the Storm Overflows Discharge Reduction Plan which outlines a step change in how water companies tackle the number of discharges of untreated sewage. The Government has been clear that the current use of sewage overflows is completely unacceptable and we will not hesitate to take further action if we don’t see the pace of change we expect to see.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what proportion of English waters are projected to reach good ecological status by 2027; and what steps he plans to take to achieve that target.

Improving water quality is a government priority. We have committed to improve at least three quarters of our waters to close to their natural state as soon as practicable. The Environment Agency sets objectives for the ecological status of England's water bodies, including rivers, and the measures to achieve them in our river basin management plans. The objectives for water bodies over the next six-year cycle (2021-2027) are contained in the updated draft river basin management plans that were available until 22 April for statutory public consultation:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/draft-river-basin-management-plans-2021

We are also currently seeking views on a suite of Environment Act 2021 targets which includes new targets on water. These will improve the health of our rivers by reducing nutrient pollution and contamination from abandoned metal mines in water courses and improve water use efficiency. The Environment Act also places new duties on the water industry to take action on reducing harm from storm overflows. Water company investment in environmental improvements has been scaled up to £7.1 billion over the period 2020-25. Through the next Price Review (PR24) we are using the strategic policy statement to Ofwat, the economic regulator, to make the environment a top priority. This additional action will improve the quality of our rivers.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
10th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to support British (a) farmers and (b) businesses that may be effected by shortages of fertiliser caused by sanctions on Russia.

The UK sources fertiliser from a wide range of countries and also produces fertiliser such as ammonium nitrate domestically. Russia and Belarus account for only c. 10% of our direct fertiliser imports by value. However, global fertiliser prices have been driven higher since the start of the conflict in Ukraine as Russia is a major exporter of fertilisers and natural gas used in the production of fertilisers.

The situation and impacts on farmers in particular, and industry more widely, of current high fertiliser prices and the global fertiliser market, are being monitored closely. We understand from industry intelligence that the vast majority of fertiliser needs for this planting season have been met.

Defra is in regular contact with key industry figures including the National Farmers Union (NFU), fertiliser producers and importers, and the key sector representative body for fertilisers, the Agricultural Industries Confederation. We are continuing to monitor the security and stability of fertiliser and other supply chains, and working closely with colleagues across government and devolved administrations as well as industry figures to share knowledge and discuss all options available to tackle these issues. This will help inform how Defra and other industry bodies can best support farmers.

There are nutrient management techniques and technologies that can be used alongside fertiliser products that help the efficacy of fertilisers and help maintain high yield and good quality produce. Support in the form of guidance from fertiliser suppliers and agricultural organisations such as NFU can be found from various public sources. Defra is aware that the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board has published many helpful public pieces of guidance, advice and webinar recordings on mitigating high fertiliser prices.

Defra is committed to promoting better nutrient use efficiency. The current shortage of inorganic fertilisers provides an opportunity for farmers to continue exploring increasing their use of environmentally sustainable products and more efficient nutrient management methods.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
28th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will make an assessment of the potential effect of the Morrisons by US private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice on food security.

Defra has no reason to believe this takeover will affect food security. Defra has extensive, regular and ongoing engagement with retailers in preparedness for, and response to, risks to food supply chains that may arise.

The Government has published plans to require higher standards of transparency and oversight in the largest private companies in the UK – recognising how important they are to their staff and suppliers.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what progress has been made since August 2019 on the (a) scope, (b) model and (c) implementation of a deposit return scheme in England and Wales.

Since the publication of the Summary of responses to the Consultation on introducing a Deposit Return Scheme in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, Defra officials have been developing proposals for a deposit return scheme for drinks containers using further evidence and ongoing engagement with stakeholders. We are seeking powers in the Environment Bill to introduce deposit return schemes, which can be set up to sustain, promote or secure an increase in recycling or reuse of materials, or to reduce the incidence of littering or fly-tipping. The Government is minded to introduce such a scheme for drinks containers from 2023, subject to further evidence and analysis. The proposed scope, model and implementation of a deposit return scheme for drinks containers will be presented in a second consultation in 2020.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Jul 2020
Whether she had discussions with (a) civil society and (b) development partners on the potential merger of her Department with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office before the decision to merge those Departments was made.

As with any government change like this, the announcement came first to Parliament. Baroness Sugg meets British Development Civil Society Organisations regularly. Strong consultation with a wide range of partners will continue to be a key component of our work to create the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what her Department's policy is on funding for UNRWA.

The UK is a long-term supporter of UNRWA as a vital humanitarian and stabilising force in the region. We recognise UNRWA’s unique mandate from the UN General Assembly, to protect and provide protection and core services to Palestinian refugees across the Near East.

The UK provides multi-year funding to UNRWA. Our contribution to UNWRA will help to provide basic education to more than 533,000 children a year (half of which are girls), access to health services for 3.5 million Palestinian refugees and social safety net assistance for around 255,000 of the most vulnerable.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment she has made of the accuracy of the estimate by the UN Population Fund that the covid-19 pandemic could result in an additional 2 million girls worldwide being subject to FGM.

Evidence shows that women and girls’ sexual and reproductive rights (SRHR) are under pressure as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic; this includes progress towards ending Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) by 2030.

We are tracking UNFPA’s estimates and other assessments as they emerge, and are in frequent touch with our partners in countries to monitor the constraints and the barriers women, girls and marginalised groups may be facing as a direct or indirect impact of COVID-19.

UKaid is continuing to support efforts to tackle FGM during the pandemic, including through increased remote working and using media platforms. For example, our £15 million programme in Sudan continues to support advocacy and last month we saw a significant step towards the outlawing of FGM in Sudan.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps she plans to take to tackle the rise in (a) gender-based violence, (b) child, early and forced marriages, (c) FGM and (d) other harmful practices faced by adolescent girls globally as a result of the covid-19 pandemic.

I am deeply concerned about the surge in gender-based violence (GBV), FGM and other harmful practices as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are urgently adapting existing programmes to ensure women and girls continue to access support during the lockdown. For example, in Nepal, DFID is financing safe spaces for women in nine shelters and 42 COVID-19 quarantine sites. In Uganda, DFID is supporting the Government's response to the spikes in GBV by funding 13 shelters across the country and working to ensure safety of frontline staff and survivors.

The UK leads the world in our support to the Africa-led movement to end FGM. In 2018 we announced a £50 million UK aid package – the biggest single donor investment worldwide to date – to tackle this issue across the most-affected countries in Africa. In February up to £3.5 million of this was allocated to the WHO and UN for vital work with governments and health systems to tackle the harmful practice.

Significant gains have been made in the last 10 years to reduce child marriage, but COVID-19 is putting this progress at risk. DFID’s flagship global programme to end child marriage supported just under 3 million adolescent girls to attend school and skills training in 2018 alone. The UN Global Programme is developing innovative ways to continue to reach and support vulnerable girls during the COVID-19 crisis, including moving services online.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what official development assistance his Department is allocating to the production of sustainable energy in sub-Saharan Africa.

DFID has a substantial and growing portfolio of programmes supporting sustainable energy in Africa.

This includes providing finance for off-grid energy systems to reach the rural poor in Africa, technical assistance to improve African countries’ renewable energy policies, and investing in clean energy research and innovation such as the Faraday Battery Challenge and the Ayrton Fund.

CDC, the UK’s development finance institution, also invests in sustainable energy companies, for example in the world’s largest pay-as-you-go solar company, Kenya’s M-Kopa Solar, as well as Mettle Solar in South Africa, and PEG in Ghana.

The commitment that the UK will double its spend on international climate finance to £11.6 billion by 2026 will lead to increased UK commitment to the provision of sustainable energy in Sub-Saharan Africa.

14th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how many businesses from the UK's (a) hospitality, (b) retail and (c) leisure sector have exhibited in the UK's pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai between 1 October and 14 December 2021.

The UK Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai is the centre point of a business culture education and tourism programme that promotes the UK and UK companies in a number of different ways. UK expertise and excellence is promoted through the retail of food and drink, physical showcasing, thought leadership sessions, business and networking events and through online podcasts, virtual events and media/communications.

The activity at the UK Pavilion is arranged by the UK Government via the Department for International Trade (DIT) and also by sponsors and UK companies/organisations using the space to deliver their own events and messages. The number of UK companies that have taken part in the DIT programme as speakers, panellists and providers of podcasts online and physically to date are:

Fashion and Retail: 11

Creative Industries: 30

The UK Company Living Hospitality are providing the onsite retailing of food and drink using menus that are designed to showcase the whole of the UK. UK food and drink is also highlighted at the Pavilion’s events and online.

Food showcasing is also taking place within sponsors’ events at the Pavilion, notably Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland’s events. The Young Chef Young Waiter Competition held at the UK Pavilion and in the City of Dubai also showcased and promoted the best of the UK hospitality sector.

Mike Freer
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
9th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the article in The House magazine published 7 February 2022, entitled Shelf Preservation Society, if he will publish details of (a) the 32 actions that the Government has taken to support the UK's supply chain, (b) the cost of those actions and (c) his assessment of their effectiveness.

The Government has published details of the 32 specific measures to deal with the shortage of HGV drivers on Gov.uk at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/hgv-driver-shortage-uk-government-response/about#stay-up-to-date

Costs of the Measures

  • The cost of processing visas for up to 4,700 HGV drivers for the food industry and 300 fuel drivers were borne by the transport operators and included travel, accommodation and the costs of the visas.
  • The cost of processing endorsements for the fuel drivers was met within existing Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy budgets.
  • The extension of cabotage rights for foreign hauliers in the UK to 30 April 2022 has no direct implementation cost to Government.
  • £500,000 was added to the Mode Shift Revenue Support grant scheme
  • The cost of the HGV Skills Bootcamps to train just over 11,000 more people to become HGV drivers is £34 million.
  • Large Goods Vehicle Driver and Urban Driver apprenticeships are funded through the Apprenticeship Levy.
  • The closing date for applications for the £3,000 incentive payment to employers who employed an apprentice is 15 May 2022. Therefore, costs are not yet available.
  • Data is not yet available on how many learners have benefitted from the extra funding for adults who completes a vocational qualification in HGV driving through the adult education budget in the 2021 to 2022 academic year. Therefore, the cost cannot yet be calculated.
  • The cost of the Department for Work and Pension’s driver training pilot delivered through Jobcentre Plus is £82,150.
  • Road to Logistics received £1 million in grant funding.
  • Think Logistics received £50,000 in grant funding.
  • The provisional cost of deploying 24 Ministry of Defence driving examiners to conduct vocational driving tests was £281,000 per month for up to 3 months.
  • The measures to make it easier for former armed forces personnel to qualify as HGV drivers was funded through existing Ministry of Defence budgets.
  • The cost of the letter sent to nearly 1 million HGV drivers was £224,509.04 including printing, overheads and postage.
  • The cost of the review of HGV parking and facilities will be a maximum of £360,038.05 (excluding VAT).
  • £32.5 million is being invested in roadside facilities for HGV drivers, such as security, showers, toilets and eating areas.
  • The flexible support fund is an existing budget to help jobseekers and those on Universal Credit reenter the workplace and is available for Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) training if appropriate.
  • The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and Ministry of Defence continue to work together to ensure accurate costs of mobilising military tanker drivers to help make fuel deliveries are captured and re-charged to the haulage industry as appropriate under Military Aid to the Civil Authorities principles and pre-agreed contingency arrangements.
  • The cost of suspension of the HGV road user levy until August 2023 is set out at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/heavy-goods-vehicle-hgv-levy-suspension/heavy-goods-vehicle-hgv-levy-suspension
  • Other measures such as the relaxation of drivers’ hours, restrictions on late night deliveries, extension of driver qualifications and changes to regulation have been undertaken using existing departmental budgets.
  • Increases in the number of vocational driving tests taken and the number of driving licence applications received provides addition income for the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency and the Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency. These schemes operate on the basis that users pay fees to cover costs.

Assessment of Effectiveness

These measures are working to assist reducing the driver shortage and its consequences.

For example, the number of available HGV driving tests has increased by over 100% compared to pre-pandemic levels and currently stands at 3,200 tests per week. Test capacity now exceeds demand, and the provision of vocational tests is not a barrier to people becoming HGV drivers. Despite the increase in vocational driving licence applications and licence renewals are being processed within five working days, unless further medical checks are required.

Recent assessments by industry bodies such as Logistics UK suggest that the shortfall in drivers is already reducing.

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
26th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential impact of installing a higher slot-use threshold on the aviation sector's recovery from the outbreak of covid-19.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on air passenger demand. Following a review of the latest available evidence and consultation with the aviation industry, Ministers have decided that further alleviation from slots rules is necessary to support the aviation industry’s financial position, protect connectivity and reduce the risk that airlines operate environmentally damaging empty or near-empty flights.

The rules requiring airlines to use slots in order to retain them were fully suspended for the Summer 2020, Winter 2020/21 and Summer 2021 seasons. The UK’s exit from the EU means that it has been able to take a more tailored approach that reflect the UK’s specific circumstances.

As the pandemic has gone on, the Government is now also keen to encourage recovery. In the Winter 2021/22 Season which will last until 27 March 2022 we have set the usage requirement for slots at 50% and gave airlines the option of handing back slot series that they were not intending to use before the season started to allow other airlines to use them.

A draft Statutory Instrument setting out arrangements for Summer 2022 was published on 24 January 2022. To reduce the risk of airlines operating environmentally damaging empty or near-empty flights, this legislation includes an enhanced justified non-utilisation provision, meaning that airlines will not be required to operate slots where markets are substantively closed to passenger traffic.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
26th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the environmental impact of a potential increase in empty or almost flights from UK airports.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on air passenger demand. Following a review of the latest available evidence and consultation with the aviation industry, Ministers have decided that further alleviation from slots rules is necessary to support the aviation industry’s financial position, protect connectivity and reduce the risk that airlines operate environmentally damaging empty or near-empty flights.

The rules requiring airlines to use slots in order to retain them were fully suspended for the Summer 2020, Winter 2020/21 and Summer 2021 seasons. The UK’s exit from the EU means that it has been able to take a more tailored approach that reflect the UK’s specific circumstances.

As the pandemic has gone on, the Government is now also keen to encourage recovery. In the Winter 2021/22 Season which will last until 27 March 2022 we have set the usage requirement for slots at 50% and gave airlines the option of handing back slot series that they were not intending to use before the season started to allow other airlines to use them.

A draft Statutory Instrument setting out arrangements for Summer 2022 was published on 24 January 2022. To reduce the risk of airlines operating environmentally damaging empty or near-empty flights, this legislation includes an enhanced justified non-utilisation provision, meaning that airlines will not be required to operate slots where markets are substantively closed to passenger traffic.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
17th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of extending the Plug-in Car Grant beyond March 2023 to support SMEs with their transition to net zero vehicles.

Since 2010, the plug-in car grant has provided over £1.3 billion to support the early market for ultra-low emission vehicles. The grant provides up to £1,500 for those making the switch to eligible electric cars. Both businesses and private customers are eligible to benefit from the grant discount as long as they are based in the UK. In 2021 industry statistics show that battery electric vehicles were 11.6 per cent of the new car market, up 76.3 per cent on 2020.

The increasing choice of new vehicles, growing demand from customers, and rapidly rising number of chargepoints means that while the level of funding remains as high as ever, we are re-focusing our vehicle grants on the more affordable zero emission vehicles – where most consumers will be looking and where taxpayers’ money will make more of a difference.

Building on the £1.9bn from Spending Review 2020, the Government has committed an additional £620m to support the transition to electric vehicles. The additional funding will support the rollout of charging infrastructure, with a particular focus on local on-street residential charging, and targeted plug in grants.

There are also incentives in the tax system to stimulate uptake of zero emission vehicles. The March 2020 Budget extended the favourable benefit in kind tax rates for zero emission vehicles to 2025: company car tax is 1 per cent in 2021/22 and 2 per cent in 2022/23 through to 2024-25. Further, all zero emission cars are exempt from vehicle excise duty (VED) and zero emissions vans pay a nil rate of tax on the van benefit charge.

We have been clear since 2018 that the plug-in grants will eventually end and that we keep all grants under review to ensure the best value for taxpayers’ money.

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
23rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to support decarbonisation of British ports.

UK ports and the UK maritime sector that rely on our ports, are covered by the Net Zero 2050 target and our national carbon budgets under the Climate Change Act. As part of the implementation of the Transport Decarbonisation Plan, we are accelerating the development of zero emission technology and infrastructure in the UK via a £23m Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition.

Building on the success of this programme, the Net Zero Strategy announced our intention to extend this to a multi-year programme, delivering real-world demonstrations and technology trials of clean maritime vessels and infrastructure to decarbonise the maritime sector. This is part of our commitment to a UK Shipping Office for Reducing Emissions.

We also support UK ports through other ways, including through the Freeports programme, which is already seeing green investments – for example, GE Renewables is locating its new offshore wind blade manufacturing plant in the Teesside Freeport, and Siemens Gamesa is investing £186m to expand its offshore wind manufacturing in the Humber Freeport.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
8th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions he has had with the Civil Aviation Authority and Heathrow Airport Ltd on mechanisms for funding transport improvement projects to and from Heathrow.

My Department maintains regular dialogue with both Heathrow Airport Ltd and the Civil Aviation Authority on a range of issues, including mechanisms for funding transport improvement projects to and from Heathrow.

The Civil Aviation Authority sets the policy for cost recovery by Heathrow Airport Ltd on surface access costs and where appropriate will consult on the application of this policy to projects proposed by Heathrow Airport Limited.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
8th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with the Civil Aviation Authority on the delivery of decarbonisation targets in aviation as part of the discharge of its economic regulation function.

We are working closely with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to achieve net zero aviation – or Jet Zero – by 2050. In July, we published the Jet Zero Consultation which focuses on the rapid development of technologies in a way that maintains the benefits of air travel and maximises the opportunities that decarbonisation can bring for the UK. We are currently assessing responses to this consultation, including on whether changes to our approach to landing charges and slots could support our decarbonisation objectives.

We are collaborating with the CAA to support the enabling of demonstration activity of zero- and low-emission aircraft in a safe way, and to ensure the UK remains the best location in which to develop and deploy these new aircraft. We are also working with the CAA as co-sponsors of the Airspace Modernisation Programme, the national programme of airspace change amongst major UK airports.

The CAA are active members of the Jet Zero Council, a key partnership between industry and government – co-chaired by DfT and BEIS Secretaries of State - to drive the delivery of new technologies and innovative ways to cut aviation emissions.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on bringing forward an aviation sector deal to support the recovery of aviation related businesses; and if he will make a statement.

The Government recognises the challenging circumstances facing the aviation industry because of Covid-19 and firms experiencing difficulties have been able to draw upon the unprecedented package of measures announced by the Chancellor. In total, we estimate that by the end of September 2021 the air transport sector (airlines, airports and related services) will have benefited from around £7bn of Government support since the start of the pandemic. This includes support through loan guarantees, support for exporters, the Bank of England’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

The Department for Transport works closely with HM Treasury on matters related to aviation. We continue to take a flexible approach and keep all impacts and policies under review.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, which projects the £3 million Government funding for zero emission flight infrastructure has been allocated to; how much of that funding has been allocated to each of those projects; and if he will make a statement.

The Zero Emission Flight Infrastructure competition, announced at the June meeting of the Jet Zero Council, has taken place over the summer and an announcement on the projects receiving funding will be made shortly.

The Government has in addition consulted over the summer to develop our Jet Zero Strategy to be published later this year.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he plans to review Heathrow Airport's licence arrangements as granted by the Civil Aviation Authority.

Economic regulation of Heathrow Airport is carried out by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), independently of the Secretary of State for Transport, in accordance with the Civil Aviation Act 2012.

Heathrow Airport’s licence arrangements are subject to periodic review by the CAA. The current licence was granted in 2015 and is due to expire at the end of 2021 (having been extended and amended since its initial five-year period). The CAA is presently developing the regulatory framework for a new licence to commence in 2022. It most recently sought views on development of that framework in its April 2022 ‘Way Forward’ consultation, which closed for responses in June, and is now reviewing those consultation responses.

While the Department for Transport works with the CAA to understand its direction of travel in developing the licence arrangements, the CAA’s work is independent of Government and the Secretary of State has no statutory role in reviewing those arrangements.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of trends in the level of parking charges for aviation workers at Heathrow airport.

Staff parking charges at Heathrow Airport are set in line with the principles set out in the under the terms of Heathrow Airport Limited’s licence, granted to the airport by the CAA.

These principles include that prices should be set to enable only the recovery of costs, with no profit margin; that pricing must be supported by transparency of costs and revenues; and that any “over” or “under” recovery in one year must be accounted for setting the following year’s charges.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to review the powers of the Civil Aviation Authority in response to the impact of covid-19 on the aviation sector.

We continue to work with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) supporting the response to the pandemic across a range of areas. We have no plans for a comprehensive review of the CAA’s powers. However, there are areas where the pandemic has required changes to the role of the CAA, and others where the Government will keep policy under review. For example, the Government will be consulting later this year on more flexible and modern tools to protect consumers whilst travelling by air, including reforming the CAA’s enforcement powers where airlines breach consumer rights.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of updating the pricing principles underpinning the economic regulation of Heathrow Airport.

Economic regulation of Heathrow Airport is carried out by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), independently of the Secretary of State for Transport, in accordance with the Civil Aviation Act 2012.

In line with s.19 of that act, the licence granted to Heathrow Airport by the CAA regulates the prices that the Airport may charge to its airline customers. It does this by setting a ‘cap’ on the total revenue the Airport may levy against its customers, expressed on a per passenger basis.

The CAA may include whatever conditions it deems necessary or expedient to guard against the risk of the Airport exploiting its significant market power. My Department has no reason to believe that the price control principles of the Act, and the powers granted to the CAA, are inadequate to enable the CAA to satisfy that aim and carry out its functions in line with its duties (as laid out in s.1 of the Act).

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to support airports with annual business rates higher than £8 million.

The Airport and Ground Operations Scheme provides eligible commercial airports and ground operators support towards permitted fixed costs subject to certain conditions. These eligible businesses can claim based on the equivalent of their business rates liabilities, or COVID losses, whichever is lower, up to the scheme cap.

The cap strikes an appropriate balance between supporting airports in financial distress while protecting the interests of the taxpayer.

In total, we estimate that by the end of September 2021 the air transport sector (airlines, airports and related services) will have benefited from around £7bn of Government support since the start of the pandemic. This includes support through loan guarantees, support for exporters, the Bank of England’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
13th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent estimate his Department has made of the level of ownership of electric vehicles in each (a) region and (b) nation of the UK.

The number of battery electric vehicles licensed at 31 March 2021 by region and nation are as follows:

United Kingdom

249,932

England

221,891

North East

4,009

North West

25,441

Yorkshire and The Humber

17,030

East Midlands

12,014

West Midlands

19,544

East

23,894

London

28,283

South East

56,756

South West

34,920

Wales

5,389

Scotland

17,268

Northern Ireland

2,957

Vehicle between keepers

2,400

Location unknown

27


Source: Table VEH0132B, DVLA/DfT

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/all-vehicles-veh01

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
10th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department has undertaken forecast modelling to produce scenarios on when international travel may resume in 2021.

DfT maintain a capability to produce a range of demand scenarios, reflecting the uncertainty surrounding the potential shape of recovery, for internal use.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
21st Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the proportion of an airport's fixed costs that will be covered by the Airports and Ground Operators Support Scheme.

The Airport and Ground Operations Support Scheme will support airports and ground handlers that have been severely impacted by the pandemic while retaining relatively high fixed costs, including business rates liabilities. We do not comment on the commercial or financial matters of private firms, because this information is commercially sensitive.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
21st Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of lifting the £8 million cap in the Airports and Ground Operators Support Scheme.

The Airport and Ground Operations Support Scheme intends to allow commercial airports and ground handlers operating at airports in England to be able to apply for support to the equivalent of their site’s business rates liabilities, up to a cap of £8m, if they meet the qualifying criteria and conditions. Final details of the scheme are still to be made and we aim to launch the scheme shortly.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
21st Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what progress he has made on securing a common international standard for passenger covid-19 testing; and if he will make a statement.

This is a very important issue. The UK has been leading work with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to help civil aviation restart and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. A key part of ICAO’s work has been agreeing guidance last November for States to use testing more as a means to reduce the reliance on quarantine or self-isolation measures, such as the UK’s Test to Release scheme. Building on this, ICAO is now looking at how to reflect progress on vaccination within that guidance and how to support the mutual recognition of tests and vaccination records for international travel. When I spoke to the ICAO President in December, I welcomed ICAO’s work so far and committed UK support.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what progress is being made on plans for the expansion of Heathrow Airport; and if he will make a statement.

On 16 December 2020 the Supreme Court overturned the earlier Court of Appeal decision and declared that the Airports National Policy Statement is lawful. We will carefully consider the Court’s judgment and set out any next steps in due course.

The Government have always been clear that Heathrow expansion is a private sector project which must meet strict criteria on air quality, noise and climate change, as well as being privately financed, affordable, and delivered in the best interest of consumers.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
8th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what progress has been made on establishing an air bridge trial route for flights from London to New York using a pre-departure covid-19 testing regime.

As set out in the Global Travel Taskforce report, the UK continues to explore pre-departure testing pilots with partner countries on a bilateral basis, including exploring different possible models for such a scheme.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will instruct the Global Travel Taskforce to work with representatives of the airline caterers sector.

A core function of the Global Travel Taskforce (GTT) will be to afford policy makers a chance to discuss issues further with those outside of government, as it considers robust and sustainable proposals that will facilitate safer international travel. In its work, the GTT will therefore seek to consult representatives from across the sector.

Further information on the GTT can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/groups/global-travel-taskforce

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on targeted support for the aviation sector and its supply chain.

The aviation sector is crucial to the UK’s economy and businesses across the industry are able to draw on the unprecedented package of economic measures we have put in place during this time. This includes a Bank of England scheme for firms to raise capital, two business interruption loan guarantee schemes for different sizes of business, Time to Pay flexibilities with tax bills, financial support for employees and VAT deferrals.

In exceptional circumstances, where a viable company has exhausted all options and its failure would disproportionately harm the economy, the Chancellor has made clear that the Government may consider bespoke support on a ‘last resort’ basis.

The Department for Transport is in close contact with the travel sector, ensuring that the Government is kept fully aware of the latest developments with all firms and to understand where additional policy measures may address specific industry issues.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
11th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the alleviation of business rates for airports in England and Wales; and if he will make a statement.

Business rates are managed by HM Treasury in conjunction with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and Local Authorities. The Department for Transport and HM Treasury have been engaging closely with industry, through the Expert Steering Group, to understand their assessment of the outlook for the sector and implications of any sector specific support measures, including business rates.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
10th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the number of road accidents caused by drivers affected by obstructive sleep apnoea.

The Department does not collect data on drivers affected by obstructive sleep apnoea in road accidents specifically.

There were 1,528 reported road accidents involving personal injury where a contributory factor of driver fatigue was reported in Great Britain in 2018.

Detailed final statistics on reported personal injury road accidents in Great Britain for 2019 will be published on 30 September 2020.The latest annual published statistics are for 2018.

Contributory factors assigned by police officers do not assign blame for the accident to any specific road user, however they do provide some insight into why and how road accidents occur. They give an indication of which factors the attending officer thought contributed to the accident. Officers do not need to carry out a full investigation of the incident before allocating contributory factors; they usually use professional judgement about what they can see at the scene. Not all accidents are included in the contributory factor data; only accidents where the police attended the scene and reported at least one contributory factor are included.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
10th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what progress he is making on plans for the development of a southern rail access to Heathrow.

Southern Access to Heathrow (SAtH) would provide extensive benefits to the areas surrounding Heathrow and the South East of England, making getting to the airport quicker, easier and greener for millions of travellers in the boroughs surround the airport, across the south of England as well as creating regeneration opportunities and making Britain a more attractive place to invest and connect UK exporters to new international markets.

While a fast pace on SAtH is important, the scheme is very much in its infancy, and there is as yet much to be developed. It is crucial to the success of the project that time is taken in this early stage to ensure that the initial outcome based specification and commercial model on which the scheme will developed, are appropriate and the right solution to ensure value for money to the fare payer, the scheme proposer and the tax payer.

My Department continues to work closely with the market, including scheme promoters, operators and capital investors, along with the wider private sector and following Ministerial approval and alignment to the HM Treasury Infrastructure Finance Review; my Department intends to provide further guidance to the market regarding the commercial approach for SAtH early in 2021.

We also are continuing to work alongside Network Rail and Heathrow Airport Limited, to integrate with Western Rail Link to Heathrow, while ensuring alignment with other major infrastructure projects, to guarantee the most efficient design and delivery of SAtH.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury and Chief Whip
8th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when he plans to publish his strategy for the recovery of the aviation sector following the covid-19 outbreak.

The government have been developing a recovery plan for aviation, and are aiming for this to be published this autumn.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
8th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with (a) catering, (b) security, (c) hospitality and (d) ground handling companies in the aviation sector on the (i) challenges those businesses face as a result of the covid-19 outbreak and (ii) adequacy of Government support to maintain employment in their businesses.

We have worked closely with the sector alongside Treasury colleagues on the question of Government support. As we have always stated Government stands ready to support companies during this pandemic. Companies can draw upon the unprecedented package of measures, including: schemes to raise capital, flexibilities with tax bills, and financial support for employees. If firms find themselves in trouble because of coronavirus, and have exhausted the measures already available to them, the Government is prepared to enter discussions with individual companies seeking bespoke support as a last resort, having exhausted all other options.??Any intervention would need to represent value for money for taxpayers.

It would be inappropriate to comment on discussions held with individual companies.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
8th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the potential merits of a flexible extension to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for businesses in the aviation sector.

The Department for Transport is in regular contact with HM Treasury regarding the challenges facing the aviation sector as a result of COVID-19. The sector is crucial to the UK’s economy and businesses across the industry will be able to draw on the unprecedented package of economic measures we have put in place during this time.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions his Department has had with airports on developing an international standard for testing of passengers at UK airports as part of the Government's covid-19 recovery plan.

The Government is working with a range of aviation sector representatives and international partners to drive forward a shared agenda on public health and aviation through regular meetings and correspondence, and remain committed to an open dialogue to actively engage with the sector as we work towards our shared ambition of getting aviation up and running again.

15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what his Department’s policy is on the introduction of a common international standard on testing at UK airports.

The Government recognises the importance of international standards, and the UK has been working with a range of international partners to drive forward a shared agenda on public health and aviation through regular meetings and correspondence, including through the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

The UK is a member of the governing Council of ICAO and has played a leading role in the ICAO Civil Aviation Recovery Taskforce (CART), which was set up specifically to address the aviation industry’s recovery from the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The CART published guidance, including on public health measures for aviation, on 2 June. As a member of the governing Council of ICAO, the UK will continue to drive the agenda on public health measures for aviation as the sector’s recovery progresses and as the global health situation evolves, including exploring options for testing air passengers.

20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with representatives of British Airways regarding the steps they are taking to reduce the exposure of their staff to covid-19.

The Government is working round the clock to keep people safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19. Public Health England has developed specific guidance for flight crews on keeping themselves and their passengers safe, including guidance on safe principles of working and on the use of personal protective equipment.

Officials are continuing to engage with the aviation sector to ensure they are supported in implementing new operational practices. This includes facilitating a weekly phone call with Public Health England to enable the aviation industry to raise operational questions directly wherever necessary.

Officials are in regular contact with Trade Unions and are seeking their input on best practice guidance for safe working during COVID-19. The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has also introduced a requirement for aircrafts to be disinfected after every flight, this will further mitigate health risks to staff and passengers.

11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many people aged (a) 16 and under and (b) over 16 years old undertook work experience in his Department in each of the last three years.

The Civil Service aims to increase opportunities for people of all backgrounds and create a Civil Service fit for 21st century Britain through work experience, internships and apprenticeship schemes.

For people aged 16 years and over there was the following number of work experience placements offered through the Summer Diversity (SDIP) and Autism Exchange (AEP) Internship Programmes, and the Fast Stream Early Talent Work Experience Social Mobility Programme (FSET).

Period

SDIP

AEP

FSET*

2017

10

2

No data available

2018

14

2

6

2019

11

1

5

*FSET is also open to 15 year olds.

Grant Shapps
Secretary of State for Transport
25th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent assessment her Department has made of the impact inflation will have on the benefit cap.

No assessment has been made of the impact of inflation on the level of the benefit cap.

Households receiving disability benefits and/or entitled to carer benefits are exempt to ensure the most vulnerable are supported.

The government is continuing to provide targeted cost of living support for households most in need. From April, the government is providing an additional £500 million to help vulnerable households with the cost of essentials, on top of what we have already provided since October 2021, bringing the total funding for this support to £1 billion.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
25th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent assessment her Department has made on the projected spending power of universal credit as a result of rising inflation.

No assessment has been made.

The Secretary of State undertakes an annual review of benefits and pensions. This is based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) in the year to September (published by the Office for National Statistics in October) as the latest figure that the Secretary of State can use to allow sufficient time for the required legislative and operational changes to be made before new rates can be introduced at the start of the new financial year.

All benefit up-rating since April 1987 has been based on the increase in the relevant price inflation index in the 12 months to the previous September, as happens now.

For up-rating 2022/23 the Secretary of State announced the outcome of her annual review to Parliament on 25 November 2021 and from April 2022 benefits and pensions will increase by 3.1%.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many universal credit claimants are repaying universal credit advances in Feltham and Heston constituency as of 22 March 2022.

There were 2,800 households in the Feltham and Heston constituency who had an advance repayment in November 2021. This accounts for 17% of all UC households in the Feltham and Heston constituency.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people are repaying historic debts attached to their universal credit claim which have arisen from past benefits overpayments in (a) Feltham and Heston constituency, (b) Hounslow and (c) London as of 22 March 2022; and of those, how many and what proportion of historic debts go back over (i) five, (ii) 10 and (c) 15 years.

The Department does not hold the requested information by geographical area.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent estimate she has made of the number of people who may be eligible for Pension Credit who are not yet claiming it in Feltham and Heston constituency.

Estimates for the number of people eligible for Pension Credit are only available at the Great Britain level. The latest publication relates to the financial year 2019 to 2020.

Income-related benefits: estimates of take-up: financial year 2019 to 2020 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
21st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many Employment and Support Allowance claimants in (a) Feltham and Heston, (b) Hounslow and (c) London boroughs have had (i) mandatory reconsiderations, (ii) unsuccessful appeals to an independent tribunal and (iii) successful appeals to an independent tribunal in respect of payments of that benefit in each month in 2021.

The information requested is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
21st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what her Department's policy is on the length of time taken to resume Employment and Support Allowance Payments following a successful appeal.

We aim to resume payment within 48 hours of receipt from HMCTS.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
8th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment her Department has made of the impact of the discontinuation of the £20 per week uplift to universal credit on levels of (a) destitution, (b) relative poverty and (c) fuel insecurity.

It is not possible to produce a robust estimate of the impact of discontinuing the temporary £20 per week uplift to universal credit on poverty. It would involve projecting forward the impact of the pandemic on every household’s income, which is not possible to do with a sufficient degree of confidence.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the impact of the closure of the New Enterprise Allowance on the number of start-ups in the UK.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 20th January 2022 to Question 105535.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 1 February 2022 to Question 113112, on Employment, on what basis her Department has calculated that there were more people in employment in September to November 2021 than before the covid-19 outbreak.

The answer given to PQ 113112 outlines changes in employment since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, using the official measure of employment (based on the Labour Force Survey).

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
2nd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment her Department has made of the impact of the discontinuation of the £20 per week uplift to universal credit on the local economy in Feltham.

The uplift to Universal Credit was a temporary measure, therefore we did not complete an assessment of it ending on the local economy in Feltham.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
2nd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 1 February 2022 to Question 113112 on Employment, what assessment her Department has made of the geographical distribution of the 815,000 self-employed people who are no longer in paid work when compared to the beginning of the covid-19 outbreak.

The Answer of 1 February 2022 to Question 113112 included an estimate for the net change in self-employment since the start of Covid-19 (based on responses to the Labour Force Survey). This estimate does not necessarily represent people no-longer in paid work, as some may have become employees. The estimate cannot be broken-down geographically due to the sample size of the Labour Force Survey.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
28th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of the number of people that claimed employment and support allowance in (a) 2018, (b) 2019, (c) 2020 and (d) 2021.

Quarterly statistics on the number of people receiving Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and monthly statistics on the number of people receiving ESA Work Capability Assessments can be found on Stat-Xplore at:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/

Guidance for users is available at:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/webapi/online-help/Getting-Started.html

The annual caseload figures for ESA are shown in Table 1c of the latest Benefit expenditure and caseload tables published here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/benefit-expenditure-tables

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
28th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent estimate she has made of the number of people classed as long term unemployed; and how that figure compares to the number before the covid-19 outbreak.

Those who are classified as long term unemployed have been out of work and are available for and searching for employment for 12 months or more. The latest data available, from the independent Office for National Statistics, covering Sep-Nov ’21, is summarised in the table below.

Total (aged 16+)

Rate (aged 16+)

Latest (Sep-Nov ’21)

428,000

30.9 %

Change since Covid-19 (Dec-Feb ’20)

+121,000

+8.4 %pts

Throughout the pandemic the UK Government has provided historic levels of support to the economy – a total of over £400 billion. This includes key DWP programmes such as Restart and Kickstart alongside other measures to boost work searches, skills and apprenticeships. Our support was in addition to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough) and the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

We have launched 'Way to Work’, a concerted drive across the UK to help half a million people currently out of work into jobs in the next five months. We will be bringing employers into jobcentres and matching them up with claimants. This is good news for employers who need to fill vacancies and for our claimants.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
27th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate he has made of the total number of people currently in paid work, including the self-employed, compared to before the covid-19 outbreak.

There are different measures of people in work. The official measure, based on the Labour Force Survey, provides the broadest coverage of the self-employed. The latest available data, covering Sep-Nov ’21, is summarised in the table below.

Total (aged 16+)

Employees

Self-employed

Other *

Latest (Sep-Nov ’21)

32.475 million

28.128 million

4.213 million

135,000

Change since Covid-19 (Dec-Feb ’20)

-598,000

+272,000

-815,000

-54,000

* ‘Other’ includes the categories of ‘unpaid family workers’ and those stating they are employed through ‘Government supported training & employment programmes’.

Throughout the pandemic the UK Government has provided historic levels of support to the economy – a total of over £400 billion. This includes key DWP programmes such as Restart and Kickstart alongside other measures to boost work searches, skills and apprenticeships. Our support was in addition to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough) and the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

We have launched 'Way to Work’, a concerted drive across the UK to help half a million people currently out of work into jobs in the next five months. We will be bringing employers into jobcentres and matching them up with claimants. This is good news for employers who need to fill vacancies and for our claimants.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
27th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of the people who made starts on the New Enterprise Allowance were (a) disabled, (b) aged 50 or over, (c) women and (d) from an ethnic minority background.

The latest available statistics, detailing the period up to December 2020, were published in May 2021 and can be accessed here. Updated statistics are being prepared and we aim to publish these in March 2022.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
27th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people have made starts on the New Enterprise Allowance; and of those how many started a business that they sustained for at least 26 weeks.

The latest available statistics, detailing the period up to December 2020, were published in May 2021 and can be accessed here. Updated statistics are being prepared and we aim to publish these in March 2022.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
27th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the total cost of the Kickstart Scheme has been for her Department as of 27 January 2022.

The National Audit Office (NAO) report on the Kickstart Scheme was published in November 2021. This report contains details on spend as of the end of September 2021. You can access the NAO report here.

Information relating to Kickstart grants will be published by the Cabinet Office on the Government website in due course, as is standard practice for all Government general grants. This can be viewed here.

To note, this information is normally published approximately a year after the financial year end and includes grant value and recipients.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
17th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of the number of people who have been affected by the underpayment of benefits after transitioning from incapacity benefit to employment and support allowance in Feltham and Heston constituency.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 19th January to question number 104377.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
17th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the effect on potential entrepreneurs of ending the New Enterprise Allowance.

No assessment has been made.

The contract for the New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) was extended by nine months to support claimants through the unprecedented challenges that arose due to the pandemic. While new referrals to the NEA ended on 31 December 2021, participants on the programme will receive support until October 2023.

The NEA was just one form of provision available to the self-employed. Those self-employed or those wishing to become self-employed can access support from the Small Business Helpline in England, Business Wales and Fair Start Scotland. Additionally, the Start Up Loans scheme, run by the British Business Bank, delivers support to many people that may have otherwise struggled to obtain support through a commercial bank loan. The scheme provides mentoring to those starting their business, and offers support to women entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs from ethnic minority backgrounds and individuals who were previously unemployed.

Support for the self-employed is built into Universal Credit. Self-employed claimants on Universal Credit receive financial support to supplement their earnings, and during a start-up period, regular support from self-employment Work Coaches. This includes signposting claimants to tools and resources to develop the skills and experience they need. Claimants on legacy benefits who become self-employed may migrate to Universal Credit and receive a start-up period of up to one year, which includes 1-2-1 Work Coach support to develop their business. DWP also partners with local and national organisations so that claimants can access tailored, all-round support.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what proportion of businesses in the UK's hospitality sector have taken part in the Government's Kickstart scheme.

As of 8th December, the Department for Work and Pensions’ Kickstart Scheme has seen over 112,000 jobs started by young people. These jobs are assigned to a sector based on the type of work required by that particular role. We do not centrally collate data on the sector of each employer participating in the Scheme. A digital Kickstart job, for example, could be for an employer in the hospitality industry. For recent statistics on the number of Kickstart jobs started and made available by sector, I refer the honourable member to PQ 71418.

As a part of the evaluation of the Kickstart scheme, the Department for Work and Pensions will examine engagement with the scheme across different sectors.

To support the hospitality industry during the pandemic, the Government published it’s hospitality strategy in July (Hospitality strategy: reopening, recovery, resilience) and has put in place a number of measures including supporting the development of hospitality-led regeneration hubs through our levelling-up agenda, creating opportunities for the sector and increased job opportunities.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many Kickstart scheme placements have been (a) approved, (b) advertised and (c) started by young people.

Through the Kickstart Scheme, as of the 6th May 2021, there have been:

  • Over 200,000 jobs approved;
  • Over 108,000 jobs made available for young people to apply for;
  • Over 20,000 young people starting jobs.

Although care is taken when processing and analysing Kickstart applications, referrals and starts, the data collected might be subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large-scale recording system which has been developed quickly. The management information presented here has not been subjected to the usual standard of quality assurance associated with official statistics, but is provided in the interests of transparency. Work is ongoing to improve the quality of information available for the programme.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the Answer of 27 April 2021 to Question 186286 on the Kickstart Scheme, what steps she is taking to help reduce the gap between the number of Kickstart (a) placements advertised and (b) jobs started in each sector.

The Department for Work and Pensions continues to work with employers to ensure their job vacancies are the right fit for the young people eligible for the Kickstart Scheme. Our work coaches are working hard to ensure quality referrals are made to Kickstart vacancies by engaging with young people to make sure that they are referred to a role that is suitable for them. Once a referral is made, the young person will need to apply for the job as detailed in the vacancy advert by the employer. The young person can access support at the application stage through their work coach if they require it. Employers will then shortlist and recruit successful young people into Kickstart jobs.

As of the 6th May 2021, 108,000 Kickstart jobs have been made available to young people eligible for the scheme. Over 20,000 young people have now started in a Kickstart job and over the last four weeks an average of 400 young people started in their Kickstart job each working day.

Although care is taken when processing and analysing Kickstart applications, referrals and starts, the data collected might be subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large-scale recording system which has been developed quickly. The management information presented here has not been subjected to the usual standard of quality assurance associated with official statistics, but is provided in the interests of transparency. Work is ongoing to improve the quality of information available for the programme.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what progress her Department is making on the publication of constituency level data in relation to the Kickstart scheme.

The Department for Work and Pensions collects data on the uptake of the Kickstart Scheme. We have published information on the number of young people who have started in each region, here: https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2021-04-12/179100, but we are unable to break this down below the regional level at present.

The need to deliver and operate the Kickstart scheme at pace has led to a current limited clerical data set which, in turn, makes it harder to accurately present a snapshot of a smaller geographical area, such as a Parliamentary constituency. Information is contained across multiple systems as more than one Jobcentre could cover a single constituency. Conversely, Kickstart placements and vacancies are not allocated to one JCP, so we have many vacancies which may be connected to a company based or headquartered in one area, but the vacancies can be filled from a wider geographical area.

As such, it is not currently possible to provide the data below the regional level. We are, however, continuing to develop our management information tools and data collection system which may help in sharing more localised information at a local authority level in due course.

The Government is monitoring and evaluating the Kickstart Scheme throughout its implementation, and will continue to evaluate the longer term outcomes and impact for Kickstart participants.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
21st Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what support her Department is providing to job seekers with no access to the internet to apply for jobs online.

Throughout the pandemic, Jobcentres have remained open for anyone who needs face-to-face support and cannot be helped in any other way. We have continued to provide vital support to the most vulnerable and those who cannot access our services remotely. Digital and phone options remained as they were, ensuring that customers can access all the help available to them.

From 12 April we restarted face to face services as we returned to our normal opening hours from 9am to 5pm for Jobcentres in England and Wales. We will restart the same face to face service in Scotland from 26 April. All Jobcentre Plus offices across the country have Wi-Fi and computers available for claimants to access the internet.

Our priority continues to be supporting people back into work though our network of dedicated Work Coaches, as we help Britain to build back better from this pandemic.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
21st Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of the number of universal credit claimants without access to the internet at home.

No such assessment has been made.

The Office for National Statistics statistical bulletin ‘Internet access – households and individuals, Great Britain: 2020’ reported that in January to February 2020, 96% of households in Great Britain had internet access. This can be accessed at:

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/householdcharacteristics/homeinternetandsocialmediausage/bulletins/internetaccesshouseholdsandindividuals/2020

Our Universal Credit Claimant Survey found that 96 per cent of claimants have regular access to the internet. Of these, 9 in 10 claimants have access at home via a computer or through a mobile phone. This can be accessed at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/universal-credit-full-service-claimant-survey

From 12 April 2021 we restarted face to face services as we returned to our normal opening hours from 9am to 5pm for jobcentres in England and Wales. We will restart the same face to face service in Scotland from 26 April. All Jobcentre Plus offices across the country have Wi-Fi and computers available for claimants to access the internet.

For those claimants who are unable to access or use our digital services, there is assistance available to make and maintain their Universal Credit claim using the Freephone Universal Credit helpline.

Running alongside the national Jobcentre offer is Help to Claim, delivered by Citizens Advice and Citizens Advice Scotland, providing people with assistance in making a Universal Credit claim. Help to Claim offers tailored, practical support to help people make their claim up to receiving their first full correct payment on time. It is widely available through a variety of channels, including by telephone and web chat.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 18 March 2021 to Question 169973, on Kickstart Scheme, if she will provide a breakdown of the 6,000 Kickstart placement starts by sector.

We are currently unable to publish a breakdown of job starts by sector for the Kickstart Scheme.

However, we have published a list of available Kickstart vacancies by sector. I refer the hon. Member to PQ 167248.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 18 March 2021 to Question 169973, on Kickstart Scheme, if she will provide a breakdown of the 50,000 Kickstart vacancies by sector.

I refer the honourable member to the answer given for PQ 167248.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
18th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 11 March to Questions 167206 and 167207, how many kickstart placements (a) have started and (b) are currently advertised as vacancies via Jobcentres in each (i) region and (ii) nation of the UK.

I refer the honourable member to PQ 169973 in relation to the number of jobs started and to PQ 165550 for regional vacancies.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
18th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 11 March to Questions 167206 and 167207, how many kickstart placements (a) have started and (b) are currently advertised as vacancies via Jobcentres in each local authority district.

I refer the honourable member to PQ 169973 in relation to the number of jobs started.

We are unable to publish data below regional level, I refer the honourable member to PQ 165610.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
17th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what her policy is on re-introducing the minimum income floor for self-employed universal credit claimants.

After careful consideration of the ongoing public health situation, the temporary suspension of the minimum income floor (MIF) for UC self-employed claimants has been extended to the end of July 2021. Gainful self-employment tests and the MIF, where applicable, will be gradually reintroduced from August, at which time Work Coaches will be given discretion to further suspend the MIF to ensure that those claimants who continue to be severely affected by covid-19 restrictions can be supported on a case-by-case basis.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
17th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 11 March to Question 167206 and 167207, how many kickstart placements (a) have started and (b) are currently advertised as vacancies via Jobcentres in each constituency.

I refer the honourable member to the answer given for PQ 157063.

Over 150,000 jobs have been approved for the Department of Work and Pensions’ Kickstart scheme. Over 50,000 of these jobs have been made available for young people, including almost 6,000 jobs started.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
17th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what support she is providing to claimants looking to move into self-employment.

The New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) supports people on eligible benefits who want to move into self-employment.

It is available to:

  • people aged 18 and over in receipt of Universal Credit and in eligible regimes;
  • over 18s claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA);
  • the dependent partners of JSA and ESA claimants; and
  • Income Support claimants who are sick or who are lone parents.
Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
17th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what consultation her Department has undertaken with employers on their experience of the Kickstart scheme to date.

The Department for Work and Pension’s continues to actively engage with employers around the Kickstart Scheme. We have established Kickstart District Account Managers to enable local engagement and we continue to work closely with employers and partners at a national level, to gather insight and feedback. In response to such feedback we recently removed the threshold for 30 jobs required for a direct application to the scheme, to allow employers a choice in how they engage with Kickstart. We will be monitoring and evaluating the Kickstart scheme throughout its implementation

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
17th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what support her Department provides to young people who are eligible but not ready for a Kickstart placement.

This Government is committed to providing support to help young people move into work, as we recover from the Covid pandemic. Our Plan for Jobs continues to address youth unemployment and has been designed to deliver targeted support to those most in need and continues to adapt to a changing labour market.

The Department for Work and Pensions’ Kickstart Scheme is available for young people aged 16-24, on Universal Credit and at risk of long term unemployment. Work Coaches refer eligible young people to Kickstart jobs and support them through the application process.

The DWP Youth Offer is for all 18 to 24 year olds making a claim for Universal Credit and who are in the Intensive Work Search (IWS) group. As part of this, the 13-week Youth Employment Programme, which focuses on referring young people to the most appropriate support. This could include Kickstart placements, but also Sector-based Work Academy Programmes, traineeships, work experience, Mentoring Circles or apprenticeships.

Youth Hubs are co-located and co-delivered with our network of external partners, for those young people who need support with any skills gaps to bring them closer to labour market opportunities. DWP Youth Employability Coaches across the country are flexibly supporting young people with significant complex needs and barriers to help them move into employment.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the average number of applications is from eligible young people for each Kickstart placement.

Data regarding the average number of applications from eligible young people for each Kickstart job is not available.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of the average length of time from Kickstart placement applications to Kickstart placement approvals.

Since the launch of the Kickstart Scheme we have made changes to the assessment process to enable a quicker turnaround of applications, whilst ensuring that we continue to protect taxpayer’s money through robust and fair procedures. We have over 400 staff deployed to process and approve Kickstart applications.

As of 16th March 2021, the average actual time between the issuing of a grant agreement and the time the associated application was received by the department was around 21 days.

Although care is taken when processing and analysing Kickstart applications, referrals and starts, the data collected might be subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large-scale recording system which has been developed quickly.

The management information presented here has not been subjected to the usual standard of quality assurance associated with official statistics, but is provided in the interests of transparency.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many adults seeking to upskill have been referred by work coaches to adult education courses in each of the last 12 months; and what assessment her Department has made of the effect of undertaking adult education courses on employment outcomes for unemployed adults seeking work.

Information relating to the number of adults seeking to upskill that have been referred by Work Coaches to adult education courses in each of the last 12 months is not centrally collated by DWP.

There has not been a formal DWP assessment of the effect of undertaking adult education courses on employment outcomes for unemployed adults seeking work.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what representations she has received on the potential merits of (a) Kickstart gateways and (b) participating employers being able to advertise Kickstart placements in addition to their promotion in jobcentres.

Although some employers and Gateway organisations have suggested that they would like to advertise their Kickstart jobs, this has been resisted to ensure that these funded opportunities are provided to the young people most likely to benefit from them.

Kickstart has been created in response to the Covid19 pandemic, with the key aim of offering jobs to those young people aged between 16 and 24 claiming Universal Credit who are most at risk of long term unemployment. It is a central part of the scheme design that a young person can only access a Kickstart job through a Work Coach referral. Work Coaches will identify young people who meet these criteria and who are most likely to benefit from the support offered by the Kickstart Scheme. The Work Coach will match those young people with suitable Kickstart job opportunities and encourage them to apply.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many kickstart placements (a) have started and (b) are currently advertised as vacancies via Jobcentres in each (i) constituency, (ii) local authority district and (iii) region and nation as at 8 March 2021.

I refer the honourable member to the answer given for PQ 165550

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many employers were participating in the kickstart scheme in each (a) constituency, (b) local authority and (c) each region and nation of the UK as at 8 March 2021.

I refer the honourable member to the answer given for PQ 165550

Although care is taken when processing and analysing Kickstart applications, referrals and starts, the data collected might be subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large-scale recording system which has been developed quickly. The management information presented here has not been subjected to the usual standard of quality assurance associated with official statistics, but is provided in the interests of transparency.

As of the 12th March 2021, there have been over 900 unique gateway applications approved and over 1,200 unique employer bids accepted on the Kickstart Scheme. Over 150,000 jobs have now been approved and over 5,000 young people have started their placements.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many employer applications to the Kickstart programme her Department has received from each English region in the past 12 months.

We are currently unable to break applications down by region. An employer can make multiple applications and, at the application stage, provide their registered address rather than the location of the jobs being applied for.

We are able to provide this information for jobs that are available for young people to apply to. Figures for 25th of February show over 30,000 have been made available for young people to apply to, including the almost 4,000 jobs that had started at that time. Below is a table showing this information split by region.

Although care is taken when processing and analysing Kickstart applications, referrals and starts, the data collected might be subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large-scale recording system which has been developed quickly. The management information presented here has not been subjected to the usual standard of quality assurance associated with official statistics, but is provided in the interests of transparency.

Region

Number of jobs made available for young people to apply to

East Midlands

2600

East of England

2670

London

5790

North East

1400

North West

4410

South East

3800

South West

2320

West Midlands

3030

Yorkshire and The Humber

2720

These numbers are rounded to the nearest 10. Jobs made available for young people to apply to includes 1,000 non-grant funded jobs.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what support the Government is providing to help create employment opportunities for people aged 16-24 who are not in employment, education or training but do not claim universal credit.

DWP is leading cross-government collaboration to identify and promote opportunities in sectors with immediate or growing demand for jobs, including for Young People. DWP launched the Job Help website in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which offers job search advice, showcases recruiting sectors and signposts to job vacancies to help people successfully find work. In addition, the package of support put in place by this Government, including the furlough scheme, has protected many jobs during the pandemic, including for young people.

This Government’s Plan for Jobs is delivering a comprehensive package of support for young people, which DWP is providing in collaboration with the Department for Education, schools and other partners. This means that whatever their needs, young people can find the right support, education or training that will ultimately lead to sustained employment.

DWP is committed to providing targeted support for young people, including those who are still claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance. This support offer involves basic skills training, traineeships, apprenticeships, work experience and Sector-Based Work Academy Programme (SWAPs).

For young people not accessing benefits, the DWP Youth Offer includes Youth Hubs co-located and co-delivered with our network of external partners to offer a range of skills and work related services to help young people access the labour market. Some Youth Hubs will offer a drop-in service for all young people (subject to location capacity), at which point they will be offered advice and signposting to opportunities.

In addition, DWP Support for Schools is a demand-led programme for young people aged 12-18 at risk of becoming NEET or might face disadvantages when looking for work. It facilitates school-to-work transition, training and further study for young people better suited to vocational qualifications, such as traineeships or apprenticeships, instead of a traditional degree, to help them fulfil their career ambitions.

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) will be introduced in 2022 and a portion of the Fund will be targeted to people most in need through bespoke employment and skills programmes that are tailored to local need. This will support improved employment outcomes for those who face labour market barriers, including Young People. To help local areas prepare for the launch of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund in 2022, the Government is providing an additional £220m funding through the UK Community Renewal Fund (UKCRF). This Fund aims to support people and communities most in need across the UK to pilot programmes and innovative new approaches, and will invest in skills, community and place, local business, and supporting people into employment.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on encouraging employers to participate in the Kickstart programme.

Ministers and officials from the Department for Work and Pension’s engage across government regularly to promote the Kickstart Scheme to encourage employers and organisations to participate in Kickstart

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what data her Department holds on how the Flexible Support Fund is spent.

The Flexible Support Fund may be used for a wide range of activities at the discretion of Jobcentre Plus District Managers and Work Coaches, but must support core Department for Work and Pensions objectives.

Data available for the most recently audited Financial year is provided below.

Flexible Support Fund Expenditure by DWP Region £’000

Region

Total

South

11,398

Scotland

2,896

Central & Wales

8,259

North

13,555

Other

303

Total

36,411

Source : Hyperion

Figures have been rounded to the nearest thousand.

The data provided in the above table forms part of the expenditure position reported within the DWP Annual Report & Accounts 2019-20.

Flexible Support Fund Expenditure by Category £’000

Category

Total

Partnerships

3,586

Removing Barriers

13,277

Training

16,923

Childcare *

1,569

Other

1,055

Total

36,411

Source : Hyperion

Figures have been rounded to the nearest thousand.

* Childcare is only reported as a separate category from October 2019. Childcare expenditure between April 19 – September 19 cannot be separately identified and is reported within the Removing Barriers category.

The data provided in the above table forms part of the expenditure position reported within the DWP Annual Report & Accounts 2019-20.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of the number of households in which parents have had their benefit awards reduced as a result of a child starting an apprenticeship in each of the last five years.

No such estimates have been made.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many claims for funeral expenses payment were (a) made and (b) successful in each month since March 2019.

The number of Funeral Expenses Payment (FEP) applications received, and awards, for each month since March 2019 is provided in the table below.

FEP devolved to Scotland on 16 September 2019. From this date FEP is only awarded in England and Wales. Therefore, the figures report on Great Britain up to 16 September 2019, and on England and Wales from that date onwards.

Number of Funeral Expenses Payments applications received, and awards, 1 March 2019 to 31 January 2021

Month

Number of Applications Received

Number of Awards

March 2019

3,620

2,510

April 2019

3,410

2,090

May 2019

3,730

2,080

June 2019

2,730

1,790

July 2019

3,020

1,790

August 2019

2,960

1,910

September 2019

2,710

1,860

October 2019

3,300

2,480

November 2019

3,000

2,550

December 2019

2,580

1,510

January 2020

2,730

1,270

February 2020

3,910

1,270

March 2020

3,660

1,330

April 2020

2,790

2,920

May 2020

5,880

4,420

June 2020

4,760

4,480

July 2020

3,850

3,090

August 2020

3,100

2,040

September 2020

3,520

2,360

October 2020

3,450

2,220

November 2020

3,600

2,370

December 2020

3,060

1,830

January 2021

3,890

2,050

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many claims for bereavement support payment were (a) made and (b) successful in each month since March 2019.

Monthly official statistics for Bereavement Support Payment, including claims received and decisions made between April 2017 and September 2020, are published and can be found at:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/

Guidance on how to extract the information required can be found at:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/webapi/online-help/Getting-Started.html

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
26th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what information her Department holds on the performance of employment programmes procured via the Dynamic Purchasing System.

Programmes procured through the Dynamic Purchasing System are monitored at a Jobcentre district level against the criteria agreed with the partner organisation as part of the procurement process. This information is discussed at district performance review meetings and is not collated nationally.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
26th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the oral evidence of the Minister for Employment to Work and Pensions Committee on 11 February 2021, what recent discussions she has had with Cabinet colleague's on the Prime Minister’s announcement of 30 June 2020 of an opportunity guarantee for young people.

Department for Work and Pensions’ officials work closely with a range of partners including local authorities, key stakeholders and colleagues in other Government Departments (including the Department for Education, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and HM Treasury) to deliver against our shared goal to support young people into employment.

Since September 2020 the DWP Youth Offer has provided wrap-around support for 18-24-year-old claimants in the Intensive Work search regime of Universal Credit. This is through the 13-week Youth Employment Programme, complemented by joined-up local delivery through Youth Hubs and with additional support offered by specialist Youth Employability Coaches for those young people with complex needs. This tailored intervention allows Work Coaches to adapt their approach to suit each claimant’s needs.

The Youth Offer is providing a guaranteed foundation of support for young people, ensuring they are able to access the right support, education or training to support their work and career ambitions.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
25th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, to ask the Secretary of State, how many claimants her Department has provided with a laptop or computer in each of the last twelve months; and what recent estimate she has made of the number of claimants without online access to their journal.

The information requested is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

Throughout the pandemic, jobcentres have remained open for anyone who needs face-to-face support and cannot be helped in any other way. To help keep customers and staff as safe as possible in the latest phase of the pandemic, jobcentre opening hours have changed to 10am to 2pm. This temporary change means we can continue providing safe, essential services for those who need to come into the Jobcentre and who are unable to interact with us on the phone or digitally. The opening hours of our phone lines remain as they were.

All Jobcentre Plus offices across the country have Wi-Fi and computers available for claimants to access the internet.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
25th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the oral evidence of the Minister for Employment at the Work and Pensions Committee on 11 February 2021, how claimants are being supported via virtual mentoring circles; and will she make a statement.

Mentoring Circles are one of the ways we are supporting young people through the Plan for Jobs. Mentoring Circles form part of the wider suite of initiatives available to young people, including the DWP Youth Offer and Kickstart.

Mentoring Circles are employer-led virtual sessions where employment experiences are shared with mentees aged 16 – 24 years old. Alongside receiving practical advice on their CVs and job applications, participants are given the opportunity to practice interviews and develop employability skills. The sessions also give young people the opportunity to hear from their peers facing similar barriers.

Sessions are accessed via various digital platforms. Steps can be taken via the Flexible Support Fund to facilitate access to virtual sessions for participants requiring additional support to do so.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
25th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the oral evidence of the Minister for Employment at the Work and Pensions Committee of 11 February 2021, what steps her Department has taken to ensure that Kickstart scheme placements provide young participants with a positive experience; and what criteria her Department is using to assess whether such placements are providing that experience.

The Department for Work and Pensions’ is committed to delivering high quality Kickstart jobs across GB. We have put a rigorous approval process in place to ensure Kickstart jobs support young people to develop basic work skills, build their experience and CV. Ongoing customer insight work and regular contact between Kickstart Scheme participants and their work coaches is being undertaken. We will continue to gather insight and in due course, evaluate our findings.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to support in-work progression.

While our current focus is on supporting people back into work, our longer-term ambition remains to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to progress. Alongside an existing programme of research and tests, the In-Work Progression Commission was launched in March 2020 and will report in the coming months with recommendations on what more the Department, wider Government and employers can do to support individuals to progress in work.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the oral evidence of the Minister for Employment to the Work and Pensions Committee of 11 February 2021, when her Department’s TAP programme started; and if she will make a statement.

DWP Train and Progress is an internal campaign designed to reinforce the importance of Work Coach engagement to identify and help address claimants’ skills needs as part of the overall support offered to help claimants meet their work and career goals.

The initial phase of this campaign to better align the DWP employment and skills offer was launched on 8 February 2021.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many full-time equivalent work coaches her Department employs; and what the average caseload is for each full-time equivalent work coach as at 24 February 2021.

The department employs 20217 Work Coaches and their average workload for IWS (Intensive Work Search) cases is 180. These figures were correct at the date of the last reporting period which was 31 January 2021 for the number of Work Coaches employed and 21 February 2021 for the average caseload. We are currently recruiting an additional 13,500 Work Coaches which we are on track to achieve by the end of the financial year.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many Kickstart scheme placements have been (a) approved and (b) started by young people to date.

As of 4 February 2021, there have been (a) over 100,000 approved job placements and (b) over 2,000 young people starting jobs as a part of the Department for Work and Pensions’ Kickstart scheme.

Although care is taken when processing and analysing Kickstart applications, referrals and starts, the data collected might be subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large-scale recording system which has been developed quickly. The management information presented here has not been subjected to the usual standard of quality assurance associated with official statistics, but is provided in the interests of transparency.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many work placements her Department plans to create under the Kickstart scheme in the next (a) three, (b) six and (c) 12 months.

There will be no cap on the number of jobs that can be created by the Department of Work and Pensions’ Kickstart Scheme and we are actively encouraging further applications from employers. The department plans to create as many new jobs for young people as possible.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent discussions she has had with the Prime Minister on his announcement of 30 June 2020 of an opportunity guarantee for young people.

The Government recognises that young people have been especially vulnerable during the pandemic and are committed to providing support to help them move into work in these difficult times. Our £30bn Plan for Jobs includes specific interventions targeted at young people.

From September 2020 we started the implementation of the DWP Youth Offer for all 18 to 24 year olds making a claim to Universal Credit and who are in the Intensive Work Search Group.

Our 13-week Youth Employment Programme delivers wrap-around support for many of the Plans for Jobs initiatives, and helps young people to take up work-related training or a job, such as Kickstart, which has so far seen over 100,000 successful applications with over 2,000 young people starting work, a traineeship, an apprenticeship and Sector-based Work Academy Programmes. The Youth Employment Programme is live and our dedicated Work Coaches are delivering the programme to young people.

Youth Hubs are co-located and co-delivered with our network of external partners and have been rolling out nationally, with many hubs providing support digitally to young people during the current restrictions.

Youth Employability Coaches are providing flexible support to young people with significant complex needs and barriers to help them move into employment. We are also offering this group of young people six weeks of in-work support when they find a job.

This programme will provide a guaranteed foundation of support for 18 to 24 year olds in the Intensive Worksearch Regime of Universal Credit. This means that whatever their needs, young people can find the right support, education or training that will ultimately lead to sustained employment.

We will continue to monitor our policies and processes to ensure young unemployed people are effectively supported during the current economic situation.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will publish a list of the employers who have successfully applied to participate in the Kickstart scheme that are providing over 30 placements; and for each of those employers, if she will publish the number of Kickstart scheme placements (a) approved and (b) started.

The Department of Work and Pensions will publish a list of successful employers in due course, in line with normal government grant policy.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the timetable is for the rollout of the Restart programme; and if she will make a statement.

The commercial process commenced on 10th December 2020. We expect contracts to be awarded in Spring 2021, with go live Summer 2021.

Further detail on the scheme will be announced in due course.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many mandatory reconsideration requests her Department received from claimants affected by the benefit cap in each month of 2020.

The available information is in the table. It shows the total number of Universal Credit Mandatory Reconsiderations requested by people in households where the benefit cap applies, and the reconsideration may not be related to the application of the benefit cap.

Month

Mandatory Reconsiderations requested from UC benefit cap cases

Jan-20

280

Feb-20

210

Mar-20

300

Apr-20

210

May-20

310

Jun-20

320

Jul-20

280

Table covers Great Britain only

Mandatory Reconsiderations by month requested

Answers are rounded to the nearest 10

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 25 January 2021 to Question 140818 on Unemployment: Older People, how many Older Claimant Champions are employed by her Department.

We currently have 10 Older Claimant Champions at DWP regional level who work collaboratively with our 34 District Older Claimant Champions to raise the profile of our older claimants. The champions act as a single point of contact for cascading messages, communications and best practice to colleagues locally and nationally. They raise awareness with Work Coaches, employers and providers of the products available to them for example local groups, online tools and more.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many full-time equivalent work coaches her Department employs; and what the average caseload is for each full-time equivalent work coach.

The department employs 20217 Work Coaches and their average workload for IWS (Intensive Work Search) cases is 190. These figures were correct at the date of the last reporting period which was 21/01/2021.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many Kickstart placements were (a) approved by her Department and (b) started by young people in January 2021.

By the end of January 2021, for the Department for Work and Pensions’ Kickstart scheme, there were (a) more than 100,000 approved across the scheme. And again by the end of January (b) more than 2,000 young people had started a Kickstart job since the scheme launched.

Although care is taken when processing and analysing Kickstart applications, referrals and starts, the data collected might be subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large-scale recording system which has been developed quickly. The management information presented here has not been subjected to the usual standard of quality assurance associated with official statistics, but is provided in the interests of transparency.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when she plans to publish data on Kickstart scheme (a) placements and (b) starts in each (i) sector, (ii) region and (iii) nation of the UK.

The Department for Work and Pensions was pleased to announce that more than 100,000 jobs placements have been approved with 2,000 young people having started in Kickstart jobs, and we are pleased that so many young job seekers are able to benefit from, and participate in, the scheme under current public health restrictions. The DWP is committed to publishing a more detailed breakdown in due course.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of applications to the Kickstart programme from (a) employers and (b) Kickstart gateway organisations have been approved in each month since applications opened.

As of 04/02/2021 (a) over 550 Employer applications, and (b) over Gateway 1,650 applications have been approved for funding from the Department of Work and Pensions’ Kickstart Scheme.

Data on the precise date applications were approved has not been fully quality assured. As such we have given cumulative figures.

Although care is taken when processing and analysing Kickstart applications, referrals and starts, the data collected might be subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large-scale recording system which has been developed quickly.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the answer of 4 November to Question 109371 on Employment Services: Young People, by what date she plans to have established 116 youth hubs.

Further to my answer on 20 January 2021 the timeline for opening Youth Hubs is dependent on COVID restrictions. We are working with local partners to ensure the transition to physical hubs can be undertaken as quickly as possible, when circumstances allow.
Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
21st Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 19 January 2021 to Question 136526 on Social Security Benefits: Coronavirus, on what date she reviewed the adequacy of the benefit cap grace period; and who she consulted as part of that review.

There are currently no plans to extend the grace period. Getting our claimants back into work remains my primary concern and, of course, returning to employment will significantly increase the likelihood of a household not being affected by the cap.
Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of the number of benefits claimants who do not have access to a computer and the internet.

No estimate has been made.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what support she is providing to unemployed people without access to a computer or the internet to help them find work.

Throughout the pandemic, jobcentres have remained open for anyone who needs face-to-face support and cannot be helped in any other way. To help keep customers and staff as safe as possible in the latest phase of the pandemic, jobcentre opening hours have changed to 10am to 2pm. This temporary change means we can continue providing safe, essential services for those who need to come into the Jobcentre and who are unable to interact with us on the phone or digitally. The opening hours of our phone lines remain as they were.

While face-to-face appointments and all face-to-face activity outside the Jobcentre have been suspended temporarily, Work Coaches continue to provide support and help to find work by phone, as well as through digital channels where available. All Jobcentre Plus offices across the country have Wi-Fi and computers available for claimants to access the internet.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what support her Department is providing to people aged over 50 to help them get back into work.

The department is supporting people of all ages back in to work. The Government’s Plan for Jobs provides new funding to ensure more people, including those aged over 50, get tailored Jobcentre Plus support to help them find work and to build the skills they need to get into work. This includes £895m to double the number of Work Coaches in Jobcentre Plus by March 2021; a £150m increase in the Flexible Support Fund which will also boost the capacity of the Rapid Response Service to help those facing redundancy move into other jobs; and £10m for a new online support service that will provide tailored one-to-one job finding support to the recently unemployed.

The Government also aims to triple the number of sector-based work academy programme placements, supporting unemployed claimants of all ages through training and work experience to find a job. We are also investing £238m into Job Entry: Targeted Support (JETS) to offer new support to those who have been made unemployed for three months.

To support the long term unemployed, in the Spending Review 2020, Government has also announced the Restart programme that will provide intensive and tailored support to over one million people and help them find work.

The Department also has a network of Older Claimant Champions throughout all of the 34 Jobcentre Plus districts. These Jobcentre Plus staff work collaboratively with Work Coaches to raise the profile of over 50s claimants, highlighting the benefits of employing them and sharing best practice.

Further, Government recognises the importance of planning effectively for the future and in encouraging productive workplace conversations. We therefore launched a webpage in 2019 to promote the mid-life MOT, which offers support from the National Careers Service, Public Health England and Money and Pensions Service to those considering a change in career by encouraging them to take stock across the key areas of skills, health and financial planning.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many mandatory reconsideration applications her Department has received from claimants disputing the application of the benefit cap in each of the last 24 months; and in how many cases a decision has been (a) made and (b) overturned.

The information requested is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether she has made an assessment of the implications for her benefit cap policy of the findings of the Child Poverty Action Group in its report Capped in The New Year that an estimated 35,000 households will be capped at the start of 2021 as their grace period expired in December 2020 and a further 41,000 will be capped in the first few months of 2021, as their grace period expires from January to March 2021.

The information to undertake such an assessment is not currently available. The Benefit Cap quarterly statistics scheduled for publication later in the year will set out the volume of capped households for the periods in question. The relevant publication dates can be found here - https://www.gov.uk/search/research-and-statistics?keywords=benefit+AND+cap&content_store_document_type=upcoming_statistics&organisations%5B%5D=department-for-work-pensions&order=relevance

The benefit cap grace period is applied irrespective of whether or not the household has sufficient benefit income to be in scope for the cap. This ensures that a claimant will benefit from the grace period exemption should any change of circumstances bring them into the scope of the cap during that period. Many claimants who have the grace period applied will not be in scope of the cap when the grace period ends.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many households are not having their benefits capped as a result of the benefit cap grace period.

Information relating to households not having their benefits capped as a result of the benefit cap grace period is not readily available, and to provide it would incur disproportionate costs.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of the number of unemployed young people who are not claiming unemployment-related benefits.

No estimate on this has been made.

The Chancellor’s Plan for Jobs announcement in July outlined a comprehensive package of support for young people, which DWP is providing in collaboration with the Department for Education, schools and other partners. This will mean that whatever their needs, young people can find the right support, education or training that will ultimately lead to sustained employment.

We are also committed to ensuring that young people, and those supporting them, are aware of the broader offer available. The national Good Place to Start campaign encourages young people to visit our advice and signposting hub, where they can access a range of advice about job search, specific initiatives such as Kickstart, and signposts to expert careers and skills help.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many Kickstart placements have been (a) approved by her Department and (b) started by young people in each month since the programme started.

As of 12/01/2021 there have been 9,371 Kickstart job placements made available for Job Centre Plus Work Coaches to refer eligible young people to. The table below shows the total number job placements approved by the scheme as well as the total number of young people starting a job through Kickstart each month since the scheme started. January’s figures should be available at the beginning of next month. These numbers have been affected by the Christmas period and new public health restrictions but continue to grow each month as more applications are received.

New Approved Job Placements per Month

New Starts per Month

September 2020

5,946

0

October 2020

9,224

5

November 2020

10,046

282

December 2020

31,906

1,394

Once approved and the grant agreement with the employer or Gateway is signed, a Kickstart job placement becomes available once the employer has provided the job details and confirmed when they want to fill it. It is then advertised via Job Centre Plus for referrals of eligible young people to apply for, ensuring they get a full rounded experience of both applying for and undertaking employment.

We are delighted that young people are able to continue to apply for, start and benefit from Kickstart job placements while public health restrictions remain in place.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many full-time equivalent work coaches her Department employs; and what the average caseload is for each full-time equivalent work coach.

The department employs 19457 Work Coaches and their average workload for IWS (Intensive Work Search) cases is 190.19. These figures were correct at the date of the last reporting period which was 31 December 2020 and 10 January 2021.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many youth hubs have been opened to date; and in which (a) regions and (b) nations of the UK those youth hubs are based.

Youth Hubs are not currently operating a physical face to face service due to national lockdown restrictions, however 15 were open in the months ahead of this. Youth Hub locations are external partner owned premises who have the overall autonomy in the decisions for physical opening and offering of face to face appointments.

Support is currently being provided digitally through Work Coaches linked to existing and planned hubs across the UK, to make sure that young people who are unemployed continue to receive help whilst restrictions are in place.

When fully implemented, hubs will be located in every Jobcentre Plus district across England, Wales and Scotland.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
13th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent assessment she has made of the adequacy of the eligibility criteria of the benefit cap grace period.

There are no plans to amend the eligibility of the benefit cap grace period. Helping claimants back into work, including through delivery of our Plan for Jobs, remains a primary focus, as returning to employment will significantly increase the likelihood of a household not being affected by the cap.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what equality impact assessment she has made of the effect of the benefit cap during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Secretary of State has reviewed the adequacy of the benefit cap grace period and has no current plans to alter it. Helping claimants back into work, including through delivery of our Plan for Jobs, remains a primary focus, as returning to employment will significantly increase the likelihood of a household not being affected by the cap.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent assessment she has made of the adequacy of the length of the benefit cap grace period.

Ministers continue to fulfil the requirements of the Public Sector Equality Duty and to monitor the current situation as it develops. The published benefit cap statistics are currently available to August 2020. Statistics for the number of households capped in Universal Credit and Housing Benefit in November 2020 will be published on the 30 March 2021: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/benefit-cap-statistics.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many Sector-based work academy programme starts there have been in each month since the initiative started in each (a) region, (b) nation and (c) sector.

The data available shows cumulative starts to the programme for the current financial year. Data collection began in June 2020, with staff retrospectively reporting starts from April to June 2020 to provide a full picture of the financial year.

Data up to 6th December 2020 shows that there have been a total of 44,130 starts to a Sector-based work academy programme (SWAP). The breakdown of these starts by nation and region is displayed in the following tables:

Table 1: SWAP starts by nation

Total

England

39,670

Scotland

4,370

Total

44,130

Table 2: SWAP starts by region

Total

West Midlands

3,210

Central, East & North Scotland

3,320

South & West Scotland

1,050

London & Essex

8,530

North & East Midlands

5,470

North Central

4,880

North East

3,940

North West

3,500

South East

5,730

South West

4,510

Total

44,130

Note: Figures are rounded to the nearest 10. Components may not sum due to rounding.

We do not hold data on Sector-based work academy programme starts by month, or by sector.

These figures reflect the number of starts by claimants in receipt of Universal Credit (UC), Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or Income Support (IS).

Official Statistics for the period August 2011 (scheme launch) to November 2017 were published in July 2018. These show there were 330,090 starts to sector-based work academy training. This data covers legacy benefit claimants only.

Data for claimants using the current Universal Credit Full Service is not available for this time period.

Further statistics can be found at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/employment-schemes-work-experience-sector-based-work-academy-and-skills-conditionality-starts-to-november-2017

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of the number of people who have become economically inactive since the start of March 2020.

In the latest data for August – October 2020 the estimated number economically inactive aged 16-64 was 8,602,000. Further information on this can be found here.

Source: ONS Labour Force Survey. Estimate is seasonally adjusted. Economically inactive individuals are not employed and have not looked for work in the last four weeks and/or are not available to start work within the next two weeks.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate he has made of the number of applications to local authorities for discretionary housing payments from households subject to the benefits cap in the last 12 months.

Our Discretionary Housing Payment statistics* give details of the amount of DHP expenditure related to welfare reforms, including the Benefit Cap. We do not specifically hold data on the number of DHP applications from Benefit Cap claimants.

* https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/discretionary-housing-payments-statistics

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what progress she has made on supporting back into work older people who have lost their jobs since March 2020.

The department is supporting people of all ages back in to work. The Government’s recently announced Plan for Jobs provides new funding to ensure more people, including older workers, get tailored Jobcentre Plus support to help them find work and to build the skills they need to get into work. This includes £895 million to double the number of Work Coaches in Jobcentre Plus by March 2021; a £150m increase in the Flexible Support Fund which will also boost the capacity of the Rapid Response Service to help those facing redundancy move into other jobs; £40m for a new online support service will provide tailored one-to-one job finding support to the recently unemployed.

The Government also aims to triple the number of sector-based work academy programme placements, supporting unemployed claimants of all ages through training and work experience to find a job. A further £95 million will expand the Work and Health programme to offer new support to those who have been made unemployed.

To support long term unemployed, in the Spending Review 2020, Government has also announced the Restart programme that will provide intensive and tailored support to over one million people and help them find work.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
7th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many welfare claimants have a 9-month benefit cap grace period due to end in (a) January, (b) February and (c) March 2021.

The Department can identify the number of households who have a grace period and when it is due to end. However, those volumes do not equate to the number of people who will be in scope of the cap when their grace period ends. This is because the grace period is applied irrespective of whether or not the household has sufficient benefit income to be in scope for the cap. This ensures that a claimant will benefit from the grace period exemption should any change of circumstances bring them into the scope of the cap during that period. Many claimants who have the grace period applied will not be in scope of the cap.

The Department is not able to provide information on the number of households who will newly be subject to the benefit cap at the end of their grace period because any estimate does not account for changes to personal circumstances which would see some claimants continue to be exempt.

i. The table below shows, for the latest available data as at August 2020, the number of Universal Credit households with a grace period due to end in each calendar month of January 2021 to March 2021.

Calendar Month

Number of grace periods ending in Universal Credit

January 2021

128,100

February 2021

29,800

March 2021

25,900


ii. A regional breakdown of the number of Universal Credit households in Great Britain with a grace period due to end in December 2020 is provided in the table below for the latest available data, as at August 2020.

Region

Number of grace periods in Universal Credit ending in December 2020

England

139,400

of which:

North East

6,200

North West

18,200

Yorkshire and the Humber

12,200

East Midlands

10,800

West Midlands

13,700

East of England

15,600

London

27,300

South East

21,800

South West

13,600

Scotland

13,200

Wales

7,000

Not Known

700

iii. As at August 2020, there are 51,800 couples with dependent children and 18,800 single parents, who have a Universal Credit grace period due to end in December 2020.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
7th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many welfare claimants in each region and nation of the UK have a 9-month benefit cap grace period due to end in December 2020.

The Department can identify the number of households who have a grace period and when it is due to end. However, those volumes do not equate to the number of people who will be in scope of the cap when their grace period ends. This is because the grace period is applied irrespective of whether or not the household has sufficient benefit income to be in scope for the cap. This ensures that a claimant will benefit from the grace period exemption should any change of circumstances bring them into the scope of the cap during that period. Many claimants who have the grace period applied will not be in scope of the cap.

The Department is not able to provide information on the number of households who will newly be subject to the benefit cap at the end of their grace period because any estimate does not account for changes to personal circumstances which would see some claimants continue to be exempt.

i. The table below shows, for the latest available data as at August 2020, the number of Universal Credit households with a grace period due to end in each calendar month of January 2021 to March 2021.

Calendar Month

Number of grace periods ending in Universal Credit

January 2021

128,100

February 2021

29,800

March 2021

25,900


ii. A regional breakdown of the number of Universal Credit households in Great Britain with a grace period due to end in December 2020 is provided in the table below for the latest available data, as at August 2020.

Region

Number of grace periods in Universal Credit ending in December 2020

England

139,400

of which:

North East

6,200

North West

18,200

Yorkshire and the Humber

12,200

East Midlands

10,800

West Midlands

13,700

East of England

15,600

London

27,300

South East

21,800

South West

13,600

Scotland

13,200

Wales

7,000

Not Known

700

iii. As at August 2020, there are 51,800 couples with dependent children and 18,800 single parents, who have a Universal Credit grace period due to end in December 2020.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
7th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many welfare claimants that have a 9-month benefit cap grace period due to end in December 2020 are (a) families with children and (b) single-parent households.

The Department can identify the number of households who have a grace period and when it is due to end. However, those volumes do not equate to the number of people who will be in scope of the cap when their grace period ends. This is because the grace period is applied irrespective of whether or not the household has sufficient benefit income to be in scope for the cap. This ensures that a claimant will benefit from the grace period exemption should any change of circumstances bring them into the scope of the cap during that period. Many claimants who have the grace period applied will not be in scope of the cap.

The Department is not able to provide information on the number of households who will newly be subject to the benefit cap at the end of their grace period because any estimate does not account for changes to personal circumstances which would see some claimants continue to be exempt.

i. The table below shows, for the latest available data as at August 2020, the number of Universal Credit households with a grace period due to end in each calendar month of January 2021 to March 2021.

Calendar Month

Number of grace periods ending in Universal Credit

January 2021

128,100

February 2021

29,800

March 2021

25,900


ii. A regional breakdown of the number of Universal Credit households in Great Britain with a grace period due to end in December 2020 is provided in the table below for the latest available data, as at August 2020.

Region

Number of grace periods in Universal Credit ending in December 2020

England

139,400

of which:

North East

6,200

North West

18,200

Yorkshire and the Humber

12,200

East Midlands

10,800

West Midlands

13,700

East of England

15,600

London

27,300

South East

21,800

South West

13,600

Scotland

13,200

Wales

7,000

Not Known

700

iii. As at August 2020, there are 51,800 couples with dependent children and 18,800 single parents, who have a Universal Credit grace period due to end in December 2020.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)