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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 171

Date:- 09 October 2004

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THE efforts of Preston recruitment specialists Blue Arrow gained recognition in the recent Age Positive awards after their promotion of age diversity in the workplace in the light of a recent government campaign. 

The Ormskirk Road Company - part of Blue Arrow's nationwide network of branches, won the category for an organisation with 100 or more employees, on the basis of its positive attitude, pro-active strategies to address the issue of age discrimination, and initiatives to promote the positive recruitment of both older and younger workers.

Aspects of the company's approach, which impressed the judges, included establishment of partnerships with key diversity groups such as the Employers Forum on Age (EFA) and the Third Age Employment Network. The company has also developed an internal diversity award for its consultants and staff.

Malcolm Wicks, minister for pensions, who spearheads the Age Positive Campaign said:- "The response to the awards has been tremendous, with strong entries across all categories. This is a true testament to the hard work and effort the recruitment industry is putting in to change ageist stereotypes and some employers' antiquated attitudes.

Recruitment consultants are in the compelling position to educate their clients about the benefits of embracing diversity in the workplace in the fullest sense of the word. They must continue to seize the opportunities to do so and encourage applicants to apply for jobs on the basis of their abilities - rather than their date of birth."

Roger Tweedy, Blue Arrow's head of diversity said:- "We are extremely honoured that the work we are doing to help clients achieve their age diversity objectives has been recognised by Age Positive. Enlightened employers have long realised that a balanced workforce comprising a mix of younger and older people makes them operationally stronger and the workplace a fairer place to be."

Across the UK, employers are waking up to the need to make changes t their employment practises in advance of the age discrimination strand of the European Employment Framework Directive being implemented in the UK in 2006. The changes are set to affect many aspects of day to day operations, including employment advertising, selection procedures and approaches to training.


LIVERPOOL City Council urged Merseytravel to press ahead with the Merseytram scheme despite recent setbacks in negotiations.

The City Council has reaffirmed its support for Line 1 from the City Centre to Kirkby.  It has informed Merseytravel, that if the John Lennon Airport link is likely to jeopardise Line 1, Merseytravel should proceed instead with the current proposals for Line 2 which links the City Centre with Whiston Hospital. 

The City Council wants to ensure bids are submitted for Line 1. It is keen to see that work in line with its implementation agreement with Merseytravel to construct Line 1, can start as soon as the necessary approvals and funding are given by the Secretary of State. 

Merseytravel is already committed to the completion of the construction of Line 1 by 14 September 2007, which respects the character of the city and will not cost more than £228 million. 

Councillor Peter Millea, Executive Member for Regeneration said:- "The City Council has always believed that the transformation of Speke/Garston means that there is an economically strong case to complete the Line to the Airport. 

It is one of the poorest wards in the country and the link to the City Centre would allow local residents to access jobs in the City Centre and provide a fast link for the millions of tourists who arrive at the Airport from all over Europe. 

The business community wants this link, but if our response to Merseytravel's consultation is in the way of the overall scheme, we will stand aside." 

City Council Chief Executive Sir David Henshaw said:- "Merseytravel has said that the City's suggested preference for the Liverpool John Lennon Airport link was the obstacle to the submission of bids. 

We have removed the obstacle and now look forward to seeing bids by 14 October 2004 to enable the concessionaire to be appointed and the construction of the tram to be completed by the end of 2007." 

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