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Issue Date:-13 January 2009


THE Learning and Skills Council (LSC) in the North West urges employers and apprentices to put Merseyside on the map once more as it launches its 6th annual Apprenticeship Awards.

The search is on again to find the nation’s top apprentices and apprentice employers, and this year Merseyside has a tough act to follow. In 2008 Craig Robinson from Leasowe was named North West Advanced Apprentice of the Year. Engineering apprentice Craig impressed the judges by undertaking a cost reduction project for his employer which helped the company save £30,000.

The LSC’s national Apprenticeship Awards recognise the key role that apprentices play in today’s world, and highlight employers who are successfully using Apprenticeships to improve business performance. Apprentices have a significant impact which spans the breadth of the economy from accountancy and engineering, to construction, creative industries and sport – and the Awards are designed to recognise this. Past winners include a ship builder, an IT firm, a veterinary practice and a nursery.

In 2008 around a quarter of all awards entrants came from the North West. This year the LSC in Merseyside wants local employers and apprentices to do even better, with more entrants and hopefully another national finalist or even winner. Shortlisted entrants will be honoured at the Greater Merseyside Apprenticeship Awards, which could be the first step to regional and national glory.

There are 3 categories open to apprentices; Young Apprentice of the Year, Apprentice of the Year and Advanced Apprentice of the Year. The three individual award categories acknowledge and celebrate apprentices’ exceptional contributions to their workplaces, where they have made a real difference by exceeding expectations and delivering measurable results. 

Employers of all sizes are eligible for the employer awards. They are assessed on a number of criteria including implementation of the Apprenticeship programme, clear demonstration of the way Apprenticeships have benefited their business and the level of support provided to their apprentices.

Launching the 2009 awards, Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills, John Denham urged the nation to get behind Apprenticeships:- “This government has rescued and expanded Apprenticeships. 10 years ago only 65,000 people started an Apprenticeship, by 2007/08 this number had increased almost three and a half times to 225,000.   And we are determined to do more. In the Queen's speech we announced that we are going legislate so that every suitably qualified young person has an entitlement to an Apprenticeship. Apprenticeships are becoming a mainstream option for young people and adults who want to get on. And we hope that by the end of the next decade 1 in 5 young people will start an Apprenticeship.

The LSC’s annual awards are a fantastic opportunity for employers to showcase the best Apprenticeship schemes and celebrate the talents of their apprentices and I encourage employers to come forward and take part.”

LSC Regional Director for the North West John Korzeniewski added:- “Apprenticeships improve businesses and change lives, and it is only right that we honour these successes. If you are an apprentice or employ apprentices I urge you to enter for the 2009 awards, and Iook forward to celebrating another great year for North West apprentices.”

To enter the Awards, or for more information, visit or call 0800 954 8896. Deadline for entries is 27 February 2009. Regional Apprenticeship Awards category winners will automatically be entered into the national Apprenticeship Awards.

The winners’ event will be held on 16 July 2009 at Old Billingsgate Market, Central London.

New research by Kwai Garlic Supplements reveals heart health risks of home cooking

THE average family has no idea about the food they are dishing up every evening, according to new research. 

Half of families polled say they haven’t a clue which foods are healthy and which are unhealthy for their hearts with a third confessing taste was more important to them than nutritional content.  And a staggering 60% regularly serve up huge portions of spaghetti Bolognese, but they do so without realising their family of 4 are tucking into a whopping 222grams of fat and 3,145 calories.  In fact, at the end of the average day families tuck into 2,372 calories, 53g of saturated fat and 8g of salt at dinner time.  This means that over the course of just 1 year, the average family of 4 will work their way through an astonishing 865,780 calories, 19,345g (19.3 kg) fat and 2,920g (2.9kg) salt from their evening meals alone.

The poll of 3,000 families, conducted by Kwai Garlic Supplements, reveals that despite having the best intentions, people don’t know enough about the heart health risks of the foods they are serving each night.

A spokeswoman for Kwai Garlic Supplements said: “Unfortunately most families aren’t eating the healthy diets they think they are and this may lead to poor heart health in the future.  The average family is consuming an astonishing quantity of calories, fat and salt every time they sit down to dinner – giving little thought to its nutritional content.  Heart disease and poor heart health is largely something which affects the older age group, but encouraging a healthy diet from an early age can ensure a brighter and healthier future for everyone.”

In contrast, 2/3rds admitted they watch what they put in their own mouths – calorie counting every sugary snack and sweet treat.  And 4 in 10 admitted they watched their weight by limiting the amount of crisps, cakes and chocolate they eat. Worryingly, it would seem watching the waistline appears to take priority over maintaining a healthy heart.

The poll reveals that 58% of families wouldn’t hesitate to plonk a couple of fatty pizzas on the table at tea time.  And 55% have no idea that a full roast dinner contains as much as 2,536 calories, 101grams of fat and 8.5grams of salt.  A further 1 in 10 say that if their children are happy to eat the meals they prepare, they don’t concern themselves with how much fat, salt and sugar they are consuming.  Interestingly, only 7% worry about the amount of calories their children eat on a daily basis.  And only 4% give any thought to whether or not their evening meals contain high levels of salt.

Other popular evening meals include lasagne, beef stir fry, curry, bangers and mash and fish and chips.  4 in 10 regularly serve lasagne containing a whopping 3,605.2 calories, 216grams of fat and 25grams of sugar.  Whilst 37% serve up bangers and mash, without realising it contains 2,676 calories, 155grams of fat, and 14grams of salt.


Including nutritional value for the average family of 4 (excluding seasoning)

Spaghetti Bolognese 3145 222g 86g 9g 3g
Pizza 2150 83g 31g 22g 10g
Full roast dinner 2536 101g 23g 8g 9g
Lasagne 3605 216g 113g 25g 7g

Beef Stir fry

294 67g 17g 13g 7g
Chicken curry 2135 67g 21g 39g 9g
Bangers and mash 2676 155g 89g 8g 14g
Fish and Chips 2053 81g 34g 26g 8g
Chili con carne 2500 132g 59g 14g 5g
Shepherds Pie 2629 134g 52g 18g 7g

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