§ Mr. Battle
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what his latest estimate is of how many vacancies there are in the construction industry in Leeds. 
§ Ruth Kelly
I have been asked to reply. The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician. I have asked him to reply.
Letter from Len Cook to Mr. John Battle, dated 28 November 2002:As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your recent parliamentary question asking for information on the latest estimate of the number of vacancies in the construction industry in Leeds.The only comprehensive information about current job vacancies analysed by industry is the new monthly enterprise— based ONS Vacancy Survey, which at this stage is being published on an experimental basis. According to this survey there were 20,400 job vacancies in the construction industry on average for the period August to October 2002 for the United Kingdom as a whole. The survey is designed to met users' needs for high quality information about vacancies at national level and, in its present state of development, cannot provide analyses by region or local area.The most recently available data from the Jobcentre plus administrative system shows 648 unfilled job vacancies in the construction industry of the Leeds travel-to-work area in April 2001. This figure is not comprehensive as only a proportion of vacancies are notified to Jobcentres. There are no more recent data because publication was deferred in May 2001 due to substantial disortions in the data caused by the introduction of Employer Direct by Jobcentre Plus. This was a major change which involved transferring the vacancy taking process from local Jobcentres to regional customer service centres over the period from April 2001 to January 2002.