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Issue Date:- 27 October 2008

Merseytravel are top of the class!

MERSEYTRAVEL has been recognised as the best organisation in the country for its staff education programmes.

It won the Company of the Year award at the National Learndirect Achievement awards held in London last night, with the judges noting that “Merseytravel offers a true learning culture throughout its organisation”.

Neil Scales, Chief Executive and Director General of Merseytravel, said:- “We’re absolutely delighted with this award - and the results we’ve achieved since we introduced our own learning programme 4 years ago.

There has been a marked increase in motivation and morale, fewer days lost through sickness and a ten per cent reduction in grievances and complaints.

We’ve also got a lower turnover of staff than any other comparable transport authority in the country with a turnover of only four per cent.”

The awards were hosted by TV celebrities Ruth Langsford and her husband Eamonn Holmes who said:- ”We have both worked with Learndirect in the past to highlight the benefits of learning and have seen the positive impact it can have on adults.”

Merseytravel’s pioneering Merseylearn scheme has won a raft of national and regional awards and is now held up as a national example of the best way to approach learning and development.

Temporary Agency Workers Gain Equal Rights

THE European Parliament voted for equal treatment of temporary agency workers with those of the employer's company.

Local Labour Euro MP, Arlene McCarthy:- "As Labour Euro MPs we have been fighting for a long time to protect temporary agency workers.

For too long there has been a 2 tier system in the workplace and this is an important move towards ensuring a fair deal for all UK workers.

Temporary agency workers can now expect equal pay and terms and conditions, including pension rights, paid leave, working time, access to employment, collective facilities and vocational training, health and safety and maternity leave.

This agreement is vital for the rising numbers of UK agency workers."

Britain's 1.3 million agency workers will get the same pay and conditions as permanent staff after being employed for 12 weeks.

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Liverpool 08 honoured at regional tourism ‘Oscars’

LIVERPOOL'S status as European Capital of Culture and the ‘Liverpool 08-effect’ were honoured at the region’s top tourism awards on Wednesday, 22 October 2008. Phil Redmond, Creative Director of the Liverpool Culture Company, picked up the trophy at the fifth annual England’s Northwest Tourism Awards in Liverpool’s St George’s Hall.

Organised by the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA), the high-profile event was hosted by interior designer and television personality Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen.  The Visitor Impact Award recognises the huge effect that Liverpool 08 has had on the region’s visitor economy. With over 300 events including World and European premieres, Capital of Culture has generated unprecedented visitor numbers for Merseyside, has put the Northwest on the international map and has helped to break down old steroetypes.

Merseyside’s Museums and galleries have reported up to a 70% increase in visitor numbers. By the end of the summer over ½ million bed nights had been booked in the city, worth around £35 million. 10 million people have attended a cultural event or attraction in the city and almost a quarter of visitors are coming to Liverpool for the first time. It is no surprise that the Liverpool tourism economy is set to smash the £1 billion mark this year.

With the MTV Europe Awards and BBC Sports Personality of the Year coming up next month, the effect is set to continue as around 40 million people tune in to see these events live from Liverpool.  Adding to Merseyside’s glory, Roses Tea Room in Heswall was crowned with the Taste of England’s Northwest title. The Award recognises Roses’ commitment to the best local produce and impressed judges with a quintessentially English experience that is delivered to perfection.  The Turner Prize at Tate Liverpool was highly commended on the night in the Tourism Experience category. The curtain-raiser for Liverpool 08 proved that the city could deliver international cultural events and was a huge confidence booster for all who would be involved in the Capital of Culture celebrations over the coming year.

The England’s Northwest Tourism Awards recognise excellence within the tourism industry and reward both group and individual achievement over the past year. In addition to receiving the prestigious title and trophy, many of the winners now have the opportunity to represent the Northwest in the national awards, organised by VisitBritain in April 2009.

Felicity Goodey, Chair of Tourism England’s Northwest said:- “The Northwest Tourism Awards have set a very high benchmark for the industry over the past few years, with many of our winners going on to triumph at the national awards. We know that we have some of the UK’s best tourism businesses here in the region and these awards recognise and reward the leaders in what is a highly competitive industry.  These winners are delivering the highest quality experience for our visitors, making this region an increasingly popular visitor destination.  More than 30 million visitors stay with us each year, contributing £11½ billion to the Northwest economy.

It is important that we maintain these standards if we want to remain ahead of the game.”

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