Merseyside appeals for homes for two special dogs this Valentine’s
STAFF at the Dogs Trust on
Merseyside are hoping that this Valentines Day will bring a lifelong
partner for 2 special dogs at the rehoming centre.
Tom Jones, a 10 year old Staffordshire Bull Terrier Cross, and
Rosalie, a 18 months old Labrador Cross have been at the rehoming
centre for several months and have their paws crossed that love will
be in the air for them on the 14th.
Georgina Lowery, Dogs Trust Merseyside Rehoming Centre Manager,
says:- "Tom Jones and Rosalie are lovely dogs who are getting
overlooked in kennels. They have an awful lot of love to give so it
would be fantastic if this Valentine’s Day they could find two
special families to give them all the love that they deserve. They
are not looking for a home together but, as you can see, they
certainly became good chums on their photoshoot!"
Mr. Jones or Tom to his friends was found taking himself for a walk
one day. Sadly no one ever claimed him, so he is now looking for his
forever home. He loves tummy rubs and has a lovely singing voice
that would charm the socks off anyone. Tom can live with children
over 10 years of age.
Rosalie is a fabulous girl with boundless energy. She loves playing
with her doggy friends in the free run and going for long walks.
Rosalie is only young and still needs some basic training so would
benefit from a home with someone around for most of the day. Rosalie
gets on well with other dogs so can live with the right companion.
She would prefer an adult-only home.
If you would like to offer a home to Tom Jones or Rosalie, please
visit the centre at:- Whiston Lane, Huyton, Liverpool L36 6HP or
call:- 0151 482 6425 for further details on how you can help.
seen fastest at Southport and Ormskirk
PATIENTS attending A&E at
Southport and Ormskirk hospitals are being seen faster than at any
other hospital in the North West. On arrival patients receive
an initial assessment within 15 minutes and are either discharged,
transferred to another hospital or admitted to a bed for further
treatment within 4 hours.
Between October and December 2011, the Trust was the region’s best
performing non-specialist trust with nearly 98% of patients waiting
less than four hours in A&E. The figures also show that in the
last nine months more than 97% of Trust patients were seen within
the Government's 4 hour target.
Medical Director Dr Geraldine Boocock said:- "This is an
outstanding team effort by the doctors, nurses, managers and other
health professionals who care for the more than 70,000 people who
attend our A&E departments each year.
It is worth remembering too that a performance like this, particular
during the colder months of the year, simply isn’t a matter of
chance. It is the result of working together and recognising the
importance of a good experience for patients."
The on-going £3m-plus refurbishment of A&E at Southport had provided
an additional challenge, she said. A new resuscitation area opened
in November and work to create a triage area is getting under way.
Dr Boocock added:- "All our staff also work against a
continuing background of high A&E attendances. A&E is a
service for people with life-threatening and emergency conditions,
such as heart attacks, strokes, breathing problems and serious
We need to make sure we can concentrate on helping these emergency
cases and always urge patients to consider using other services such
as their GP and local walk-in centres when appropriate."
Once in a
lifetime opportunity to carry the Paralympic Flame with thanks to
Sainsbury’s in Southport
CUSTOMERS at Sainsbury’s
Southport have their final opportunity to nominate teams or
individuals to be a part of the London 2012 Paralympic Torch Relay.
The Southport store, situated in Lord Street launched it’s public
nomination campaign on Wednesday 11 January. It’s the last of three
campaigns run by the London 2012 Paralympic Torch Relay Presenting
Partners. The final campaign, involving Sainsbury’s stores across
the country, will give customers the chance to nominate a team or
individual from their local community who they feel has inspired
Sebastian Coe, Chair of LOCOG, said:- "All around the UK there
are teams or individuals that embody the Paralympic values and make
a difference to the lives of others. The London 2012 Paralympic
Torch Relay aims to recognise the contribution of some of these
amazing people. “The Sainsbury’s nomination process is the final of
the three campaigns run by our Paralympic Torch Relay Presenting
Partners so if there is a team or individual in Southport that you
feel deserves recognition for their contribution, then I would
encourage you to nominate them."
Sainsbury’s Southport customers can nominate individuals or teams by
picking up a leaflet in-store (which is freepost), calling the
helpline on:- 01299 382 074 or visiting the stores
Nominations close on Tuesday, 14 February 2012. But only
100 places are available for customers through Sainsbury’s
nomination campaign. They will then have the once in a lifetime
opportunity to carry the Paralympic Flame on a very special 24 hour
relay from Stoke Mandeville in Aylesbury, the spiritual home of the
Paralympic Movement, to the Olympic Park in Stratford, East London,
where the Flame will be used to officially open the Paralympic
Games. The relay will take place overnight from 28 August to 29 August
Sainsbury’s Southport Store Manager Marc Gordon added:- "This
a great opportunity for our customers in Southport to get involved
in build up to the Paralympic Games To have the opportunity of
carrying the Paralympic Flame and help launch this year’s games
really would be a great honour for an individual or team from
Southport. We’re looking for nominations of people who have really
made a difference by inspiring those around them. It’s quick and
easy to nominate, so we hope the nomination process is a big success
with our customers."
New powers to tackle PAYE dodgers
NEW powers to tackle
employers who try to dodge paying their PAYE or National Insurance
contributions (NICs) have come into effect this spring. From April
2012, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) can require employers to pay a
security, where there is serious risk that they won’t pay over their
PAYE tax deductions or NICs. The new power will be
targeted at employers who deduct money from employees’ pay packets,
under the pretext of paying their employees’ income tax and NICs,
but have no intention of paying it to HMRC. These employers often
build up substantial PAYE and NICs debts, and ignore HMRC’s attempts
to contact them. In many cases, the business becomes insolvent, to
avoid tax, and sets up a new company soon after, to continue trading
(known as a "phoenix company"). This is an extension
of a power that has already been successfully used for VAT,
insurance premium tax and environmental taxes, and will not affect
employers who have genuine payment difficulties. The required
security will usually be either a cash deposit from the business or
director, or a bond from an approved financial institution that is
payable on demand. HMRC will calculate the amount of the security on
a case-by-case basis, depending on the amount of tax at risk, the
employer’s previous behaviour and other risks. Businesses that
fail to provide a security face a fine of up to £5,000, which will
be enforceable by the courts. More information on the new
measure can be found on the HMRC
website. Employers who
have genuine problems paying their PAYE and NICs should contact HMRC
as soon as possible.
Government needs to boost the credibility of apprenticeship schemes
as Banks boost places
THE Forum of Private
Business has urged the Government to simplify the entire
apprenticeship system in order to make them more business-friendly
and appealing to industry leaders. This call by the Forum comes as
number of major high street banks announced that will create new
apprenticeship schemes and offer more places to young people.
The Forum says training courses such as apprenticeships need to be
seen as more worthy, with better information provided to bosses
about courses and their effectiveness. It’s also urging
decision-makers to incentivise small businesses that take on young
people and reward those that do; to work more closely with employers
on delivering training provision in terms of local need; and to
simplify other aspects of these types of training schemes.
The Forum also reiterated in its submission previous calls on
government to help improve the employability of pupils through
better education, and additionally to formulate a plan which would
bring together skills offerings in one place, with support from
dedicated staff, such as on the new Business Link website.
The Forum’s Jane Bennett said that:- "Our members value
on-the-job training, and our latest research backs this up.
Apprenticeships are an attractive training method for employers, but
we think the Government could boost their appeal by making them much
more business-friendly. The problem is that the majority of courses
are not flexible, which is essential for small firms. There is also
a lack of information available to small businesses about course
benefits and therefore they find it difficult to navigate a complex
system made up of numerous courses. Clear information on the
effectiveness of courses is also especially important because small
firms need good quality that increases competency. We would also
like to see small firms who recruit apprentices to be given
financial help to cover training costs and at least some of the
wages. BIS research suggests companies see payback after three years
– that’s too long for small firms. While we welcome apprenticeship
subsidies for those that go through the NAS, we feel they should be
extended to those who carry out in-house training, either through
tax or subsidies."
The Forum also suggests closer co-operation between business and
education providers to allow a more tailored approach to local skill
needs, and also welcomed the announced reduction on health and
safety compliance for apprenticeships, but urged more in this area.
A more proactive approach in reaching out to businesses will better
shape the schemes being offered, and the benefits to small firms
will become clearer in the process,” added Miss Bennett.
"Training providers must work must work with small businesses to
better understand the needs of the local community and create
courses which reflect the job opportunities in the labour market.
Recent announcements on reducing health and safety compliance for
small businesses that employ apprentices are welcome, but this
reform should go further in cutting red tape, by reducing employment
law burdens, and making it easier to let unsuitable apprentices go.
As well as recommendations on apprenticeships, we believe improving
the skills system more generally would help to improve the quality
of training schemes. Small firms need work-ready recruits who have
the basic skills. This we know is not always the experience of our
Yet, on Tuesday, 7 February 2012, the Prime Minister announced round
2 of the Higher Apprenticeship Fund which will support thousands of
apprenticeships up to degree equivalent, helping deliver the world
class skills firms need to drive growth. Plus the announcements by
the Skills Minister, John Hayes, during National Apprenticeship
Week, at a financial services sector roundtable, held at HSBC in
Canary Wharf, might be in part addressing what the Forum is saying.
That event in Canary Wharf was looking at the creation of new
apprenticeship routes into employment and the Banks have now
announce plans to further engage with the Government’s educational
and back to the work reforms. These reforms include:-
► Barclays will create 1,000 new
apprenticeships across England and Wales with a major programme
launching in April
► HSBC will create an extra 688
apprentices bringing the total number of employees within its
apprenticeship scheme to 1,000 by the end of 2012
► Santander will launch an apprenticeship
scheme that will see up to 50 people offered places at the bank.
Speaking from the breakfast roundtable at HSBC, Skills Minister John
Hayes said that:- "I am delighted that these banks are
investing in apprenticeships which will help them secure the
high-quality skills they need to create economic growth and provide
new pathways to excellence for the brightest and best young people.
Creating a highly skilled workforce that can take on the best in the
world means seeing apprenticeships as an access route to the
Antony Jenkins, Chief Executive of Barclays Retail and Business
Banking, said:- "Tackling youth unemployment is one of the
biggest challenges facing the UK economy. As a large employer we
want to create opportunities which raise young people’s skills and
aspirations, and help them to support future prosperity. We are
really excited about this programme because it will give many young
people their vital first job opportunity, which they can then go on
to develop into rewarding long-term careers."
John Morewood, head of Apprenticeships at HSBC commented:-
"Apprenticeships complement our graduate schemes and help us
continue our journey of professionalising our workforce. For many
employees who wouldn’t have had the chance to gain a professional
qualification, apprenticeships will give them increased skills and
career opportunities as well as a nationally recognised
qualification. Driving up the capability of our employees is a key
element of our Strategy. Furthermore, HSBC aims to have 1,000
employees within its apprenticeship scheme by the end of 2012."
Cameron Bird, Resourcing Director, Santander UK today said:-
"Santander welcomes the Government’s efforts to develop a new
generation of apprenticeship schemes that will support young people
into work and meet the needs of British businesses for skilled,
motivated employees. In 2012, Santander will launch an
apprenticeship scheme that will see up to 50 people offered places
at the bank. The scheme will provide both internal and external
applicants the benefits of a formal work-based training programme
which will lead to a recognised qualification. Both school leavers
and older applicants looking for a new career will be eligible for a
Plus data released on 31 January 2012 has also confirmed the record
growth in apprenticeship starts, with 457,200 starting an
apprenticeship in the full 2010/11 academic year. This represents a
63.5 per cent increase on 2009/10 figures. Growth took place at all
levels of learning, for all age groups, and across all sectors and
all regions. According to the National Audit Office, every £1 of
public investment in apprenticeships delivers a return of £18 to the
Also this week The Prime Minister has opened the bidding for the new
Employer Ownership pilot, inviting employers in England to apply to
access up to £250m of public investment and secure more control over
how skills training is designed and delivered. As well as announcing
that small firms will be offered an incentive of £1,500 to hire
their first young apprentices. This is expected to support up to
40,000 new apprenticeships over the next year. Add to that,
successful applicants to the Barclays Apprenticeship programme will
receive 12 months training and support and progress to a permanent
position. During their training, apprentices will also work to
achieve a competency qualification in Financial Services similar to
an NVQ, a BTEC Award in Customer Service, and qualifications in
numeracy and literacy.
So what are your views? What do you our readers think about
Apprenticeships and do you think more value on-the-job training and
entry to Apprenticeship programs made more simple?
Do you think that the Government
fears some schools have used vocational qualifications worth the
equivalent of multiple GCSEs to boost their ratings and it's removal
of many of them from league tables has devalued them? So if yes,
will that also affect Apprenticeships?
Why not email your views on this
topic to us via:-
let us know what you think!