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Southport and  Mersey Reporter -  Your free online newspaper service covering the Merseyside region - (Greater Liverpool).
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Issue:- 20 January 2010

Search starts for 133 apprentices...

UP to 133 apprenticeships are set to be created in Liverpool under a new city council funded scheme to encourage businesses to take on new recruits.  20 firms have successfully applied to be part of the Liverpool Apprenticeship Scheme business grant initiative – and the search is now on for people to apply.  The posts are across a wide range of professions including, joiners, electricians and computer technicians through to accounts clerk and hospitality staff.

Firms taking part include:-

► Elmfield Training who are recruiting 60 people to give them the skills to work in sustainable energy

► North Liverpool Regeneration Company (NLRCO), which has agreed to take on 10 people and train them in joinery, brick laying and plastering

► The council’s joint venture partner Enterprise Liverpool, which runs refuse, highways and street maintenance in the city, which will employ eight apprentices at their Newton Road depot in Old Swan

Councillor Nick Small, the council’s cabinet member for employment and skills, said:- “I am delighted that we have had such a great response to our business grant initiative and that local firms have taken up our offer.  This is a key initiative in our commitment to increase the number of apprenticeships across the city.  At a time when cuts in funding are being made across the board it is even more important that we support our young people in gaining the skills they need to obtain employment.  We want to have a highly-skilled and motivated workforce ready to take advantage of any improvement in the economy in future years.”

The apprenticeships range from 12 months to 3 years.  The scheme is being funded by £300,000 from the city council.  A one-off payment of up to £3,000 per recruit is paid on condition that the apprentices are from Liverpool and aged 16 and over. Pat Broster, Executive Director at Groundwork Merseyside, said:- “Unemployment is one of the biggest contributors to the cycle of economic and social decline within communities and the apprenticeship scheme endeavours to break this cycle amongst young people.  It also provides participating businesses with the opportunity to enhance their workforce whilst forging strong links to their local community.”

Andrew Keates from Andrew Keates & Associates, who are taking on a trainee accounts clerk, said:- 'We are delighted to be working in conjunction with Liverpool City Council to provide an apprenticeship for a young local person within our firm.  In our opinion an apprenticeship is vital in providing a professional education for a young person as well as enhancing our own workforce as we continue to work within the local community.”

The scheme is being promoted by the city council and is supported by the National Apprenticeship Service, the TUC’s unionlearn and Liverpool Chamber of Commerce. 

Laura Robertson-Collins , Regional Development Worker for TUC’s unionlearn, said:- “Unionlearn are very pleased to be working with the City Council and with employers in Liverpool to help promote apprenticeships that provide high quality work and learning opportunities for young people. Unionlearn see trade union involvement with apprenticeships as crucial to ensure high quality learning experiences are provided and that young people are adequately paid and fully supported in the workplace”. 

Carole Crosby, Deputy Chief Executive of Liverpool Chamber, said:- “Liverpool Chamber has a long history of training, supporting and placing apprentices within the local economy.   We have seen first hand the real difference an apprenticeship can make both to the young person and the company that hires them and believe this initiative is a great boost for all involved.”

The business grant scheme is particularly supporting employers which help fill recognised skills gaps or target potential areas for economic growth in the city such as the Superport, low carbon economy/environmental related work and the knowledge and visitor economies. 

Applications are open until Friday, 21 January 2011, through the council’s JET (Jobs, Education and Training) Service and application details can be found online at:-  Assessment Days will take place during National Apprentice Week from 7 February to 11 February 2011.


RESEARCH by an Edge Hill University academic has been used to influence the outcome of case currently being heard at the highest court in the Europe Union.

Francesco Rizzuto, Head of Law and Criminology, has had his work cited by Advocate-General Mazak in support of his ‘Opinion’ delivered to the European Court of Justice in December 2010 regarding the power of national competition authorities.

An expert in the field of the implementation of EU law, Francesco has developed a framework to explain the relationship between the Commission and national competition authorities in the regulatory system put in place to enforce EU competition law. He has also published research on EU telecommunications law and on the impact of EU law on national parliamentary law.

His research in the field of competition law has been published in a number of important journals and has now been used in the highest court of law in the EU.  “This is a very satisfying achievement as it is not every day that an academic’s work is used in the deliberations of the Court of Justice of the European Union. EU law is my main area of research and it is an honour to have my work recognised in this way. It may influence how EU law is interpreted by the Court of Justice and therefore implemented in the Member States.”


UNISON, the UK’s leading public sector union, said that talks aimed at averting industrial action by 1,250 National Grid employees over the 2010 pay claim, had broken down.

UNISON members voted by a margin of 4 to 1 to back an overtime ban and withdrawal of goodwill, and members of Unite and Prospect unions also voted by substantial majorities for similar action.

Unless more talks take place, the industrial action, which centres on a dispute over strings attached to a pay offer, plus unconsolidated wage rises and worse terms for new starters, will begin towards the end of this month.

UNISON’s National Secretary, Mike Jeram said:- “This is the second year running that the pay talks have broken down and members have voted for industrial action. The senior management of this company seem determined to ride roughshod over their staff. It is worth remembering that staff were recently praised by National Grid’s Chief Executive for their contribution to the company’s 45% increase in half yearly pre-tax profits.  At a time when directors of major companies and banks are getting undeserved, sky high bonuses, it is heartening that the National Grid’s staff are prepared to fight for a fair pay increase. These are responsible, professional employees committed to the safe and secure delivery of the nation’s energy, but they are not going to be treated like doormats.”

The action would hit National Grid’s gas operations in England, Scotland and Wales, where members work to repair leaks, maintain and replace pipelines, and bring gas into the country.

The union is calling on the employers to drop the strings, and get back into talks with a more realistic offer, and avoid industrial action, as members are struggling with price hikes for everyday goods like food and fuel, as well as the recent VAT increase.


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