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Southport and  Mersey Reporter -  Your free online newspaper service covering the Merseyside region - (Greater Liverpool).
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Issue:- 14 February 2013


THE Liverpool Empire's Stage Experience project for 2013 has been announced. Young people from across the region are being offered the chance to perform on the Liverpool Empire Stage in a production of the much-loved musical Grease!

Stage Experience is an annual two week summer school programme during which, over 100 lucky young people will work alongside industry professionals to stage a full scale musical production in just 2 weeks.

Set in 1950's America, Grease is the story of wholesome good girl Sandy and Greaser renegade Danny, who fall in love over the summer and never expect to see each other again. But, when they both discover they are attending the same high school, social differences challenge their romance.

The hit musical features well-known favourites Summer-Lovin', Hopelessly Devoted to you, Greased Lightening and We Go Together.

The project dates from 12 August to 24 August 2013, culminating in performances on 22 August, 23 August and 24 August 2013. Potential participants will need to audition, and these will take place on Sunday 10 March. Those who wish to audition need to first complete an application form, available to collect at the Empire's Box Office or to download a copy, visit:- and click on:- 'Creative Learning'.

Previous Stage Experience projects including Bugsy Malone, West Side Story and Annie all received rave reviews and the number of applications and auditions have increased year on year. Many participants have taken part in the project every year since its inception in 2007. The young people will be supported throughout the project by a professional Director, Choreographer, Musical Director and technical team.

Auditions are free and open to everyone between the ages of 11 and 21, regardless of experience. Applicants will not need to prepare anything for their audition, but will take part in 3 group workshop activities of dance, drama and singing. The closing date for applications is 28 February 2013. Places for auditions are limited, so please apply early to avoid disappointment.


Employers in Liverpool could be missing out on funding for Apprenticeships

KAPLAN, a leading training and education provider, is highlighting to local businesses in Liverpool that they could be missing out on tens of thousands of pounds in Apprenticeship Grants for Employers (AGE) being offered by the National Apprenticeship Service and accessed through Kaplan. The funding has been ring fenced for employers who have not hired an apprentice in the last 12 months, but want to grow their business by employing a 16 to 24 year old.

Over 13,000 businesses in Liverpool are eligible for the Apprenticeships Grants, which can be made to any business with fewer than 1,000 employees. The grant of £1,500 for each apprentice is in addition to existing funding for apprenticeship training, which is already met in full by government for young people aged 16 to 18 and 50% for those aged 19 to 24.

Statistics released by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills show that apprenticeships have increased in popularity in recent years, with both businesses and young people valuing these work-based pathways into careers. More than half a million (520,600) people started an apprenticeship in 2011/12, up 13.9% on the preceding year, which means employers in every sector are able to tackle skills shortages and recruitment issues by accessing new talent.

Kaplan training centre manager for Liverpool, Andrew Fitzsimmons, says:- "The new Apprenticeship Grant, in addition to existing funding for training, will help more local businesses in our area to take advantage of the business benefits of recruiting apprentices, including increased productivity, improved competitiveness and a committed, competent and skilled workforce. Kaplan has a track record of success in helping employers who haven't previously employed an apprentice, or have not employed an apprentice in the last 12 months, to find and develop the right talent for their business."

Kaplan's team of funding experts helps businesses to access these grants from the National Apprenticeship Service and is available to take questions and provide advice to ensure that local employers take advantage of this opportunity to grow their workforce.

Andrew Fitzsimmons continues:- "Kaplan's training centres in Manchester and London are already working with companies to access this funding, and we want to ensure that Liverpool is not left behind."

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