Jim McGovern: The Work programme is obviously failing in my constituency and in the city of Dundee as a whole, where only one in seven participants actually get a job. What will the Minister do to address that problem?
Jim McGovern: What discussions he has had with ministerial colleagues in the Department for Education and Department for Culture, Media and Sport and with the devolved Administrations on ensuring that their policies meet the skills needs of the technology and video games sectors.
Jim McGovern: I try not to speak to myself about this subject, but the Minister will be aware that I have raised on numerous occasions the importance of computer and video games to the Dundee, Scotland and UK economy. I am sure he agrees that there is a skills shortage—not enough graduates are going into the computer games industry. What is he doing with other Departments to address this situation?
Jim McGovern: If he will make a statement on his departmental responsibilities.
Jim McGovern: The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers recently reported that, due to the fall in oil prices, the terms and conditions of people employed in the oil industry have been reduced. Is the Minister aware of that and what steps is he taking to address that exploitation?
Jim McGovern: What steps he is taking to promote and ensure the viability of the UK's offshore wind sector.
Jim McGovern: Last year, despite assurances from the then First Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond that there would be an offshore wind development in Dundee that would have brought 700 jobs to the city, SSE withdrew the plans. Does the Minister agree that Scotland cannot rely entirely on gas and oil for its economy and cannot rely on the separatists to bring renewables to Scotland?
Jim McGovern: Like every other Member here, I am deeply disappointed to hear about further job losses in the North sea oil and gas industry. The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers has said that, for every offshore job lost, three jobs onshore are lost. Does the Secretary of State agree that the best way to address this is to work together as a United Kingdom?
Jim McGovern: I am curious and intrigued as to how the Minister will define an apprenticeship these days. I was an apprentice in the construction industry. I served a four-year apprenticeship from the age of 16 to the age of 20. My father had to sign my indentures to say that I was indentured to that company, and possibly sold into slavery in a way. What is an apprenticeship these days? The Minister talks...
Jim McGovern: What estimate HM Revenue and Customs has made of the amount of uncollected tax in the UK.
Jim McGovern: Last week in the autumn statement, the Chancellor announced plans to address tax avoidance. If he and the Treasury are serious about that, why did they vote down an amendment that said that the quoted eurobond—I am sorry, but I cannot quite remember the words. They did not support that amendment, costing this country £500 million per year.
Jim McGovern: I am sure that those on the Government Front Bench will be aware of just how important the video games industry is to Dundee and to my constituency. The Chancellor said last week that he would support exports. Businesses in the video games industry are often started by university graduates with little or no financial support, yet they end up employing people. What will the autumn statement...
Jim McGovern: What steps his Department is taking to help bring Israeli and Palestinian leaders back to peace talks.
Jim McGovern: I thank the Minister for his answer. The point that I want to make was possibly covered earlier, but it is so serious that it is worthy of repetition. Illegal Israeli settlements are causing friction, to say the least, and they are a roadblock in the peace process. What is the Secretary of State doing with his EU counterparts to challenge this and to make sure that there are no roadblocks?
Jim McGovern: What steps he is taking to encourage firms in Scotland to pay the living wage.
Jim McGovern: Last week, Glasgow Celtic, the football club that I support—indeed, I am a season ticket holder—announced that anyone working there who was not on the living wage would be put on to it. That will mean a major increase for many of the club’s employees. Where Celtic leads, many others follow. We have only to look back to 1967 when Celtic became the first British club to win the European...
Jim McGovern: What can the Minister do to ensure that more organisations and major employers in Scotland pay the living wage?
Jim McGovern: I, too, was milk boy, and a butcher’s boy and a paper boy, in my younger days. My hon. Friend has raised the subject of tips many times over the years. My wife and I booked a cruise two years ago through a British travel agent company. The cruise sailed from Southampton. When we spoke to the staff on the cruise, they said they did not receive any wages, and that they only got tips. If that...
Jim McGovern: Will my hon. Friend give way?
Jim McGovern: Unfortunately we ran out of time before I could ask Question 14, which was about the video games industry. The Minister is aware of how crucial that industry is to the economy of my home city of Dundee. What progress is being made on extending the three-year period for the skills investment fund?