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Issue:- 27 October  2011

Homeless football club kicks off new season

LIVERPOOL Homeless Football Club are getting to ready to start their 5th season with a growing number of teams.  The club organises a regular football league for homeless people, helping improve both their health and self esteem.

It began in 2007 as an initiative by the city councilís football development section and the Liverpool County FA and has grown steadily. This season will have 150 players in 18 teams, 3 more than last season, who will play in 3 divisions.

This seasonís big kick-off was on Tuesday, 25 October 2011, at the Power League, Whittle Street , Everton. It forms part of the national Kick it Out Week of Action. Kick It Out works throughout the football to challenge discrimination, encourage inclusive practices and works for positive change.

Gee Walker, mother of Anthony Walker, was attending the seasonís start, along with club patron, Chris Foy, the Premier League referee, and representatives of Liverpool and Everton FC.

Councillor Wendy Simon, cabinet member for culture and tourism, said:- "It is a great achievement for the homeless club to be starting its fifth season and going from strength to strength.  Football should be open to all. Everybody in our community should be able to take part and the Homeless club provides an opportunity for a part of our community who previously may have been excluded to play football. That is why it is very appropriate the Homeless club, which has a very diverse multi-cultural membership, should be contributing to the Kick it Out Week.  The Homeless club is a great example of equality of providing equality of access to the sport and they can look forward to another successful season."

The season will have 7 match day fixtures, on a monthly basis, plus an end of season tournament with all matches played at the Power League on Whittle Street.


University entries in record fall

FIGURES show the biggest fall in university applications in more than 30 years, 9% below last year's level, according to UCAS. From the 26 universities that provided figures, 15 universities reported a decline in applicants with one university, City University London, saying applications were down by more than 10%.  The figures are the first evidence of how would-be students are being put off by fear of debt when fees rise to a maximum of £9,000 next year. Some schools report teenagers from poorer families are proving more hesitant about applying than middle-class pupils. This will concern ministers, who claim their finance package is designed to favour the least well off.

Figures from the Office of National Statistics on Post 16 education out later this week are expected to show an increase in the number of young people interested in apprenticeships and school-leaver recruitment schemes run by professional firms as an alternative to university.  Sarah Thwaites, Deputy Chief Executive of Financial Skills Partnership, said:- "Young people may see apprenticeships as an attractive option due to rising university costs. They can be seen as part of the solution to bridge the so called Ďskills gapí identified by George Osborne, and there needs to be more co-operation across a myriad of stakeholders. We believe that employers and training agencies need to be actively involved in bridging this gap."

More young people are now looking at alternative ways to enter the job market. They are keen to identify opportunities whereby they can enhance their CVs and differentiate themselves from the competition.  Sarah Thwaites said:- "We know from first-hand experience and our strong relationships with careers advisers and teachers, that young people are confused as to where to start to find out about opportunities. We have recently launched the Directions portal which enables young people to obtain first-hand experience of the world of work in financial services, accountancy and finance. They get to access the opportunities that our sector can offer, understand the skills and behaviours that our industry wants, and build crucial relationships with their future employers. Such initiatives are vital in giving young people the right start in their chosen careers."

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