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Issue:- Saturday, 08 August 2015

Sefton Apprentice Graduation

ADVANCED and Higher Apprentices from Sefton attended the UK's biggest apprentice graduation last week to formally recognise and celebrate their achievements.

The high profile event at the Liverpool Anglican Cathedral on 30 July 2015, saw around 1,000 apprentices and their friends, family and employers attend an official graduation organised by the Liverpool City Region Apprenticeship Hub. The ceremony recognised apprentices who achieved Advanced or Higher level apprenticeships in the period, running from 1 May 2014 to 1 May 2015.

Speakers on the day included entrepreneur and star of BBC's The Apprentice, Neil Clough, who reached the semi-finals of the show in 2013. He said:- "pprenticeships are massively beneficial, not only to the apprentices who are learning skills and earning while they learn, but also for what they bring to the economy, by getting more people into business and helping businesses to thrive and succeed, which is why it's so important to recognise this achievement with events like this graduation ceremony."

Stephen Roberts, General Manager of Crowne Plaza and member of the city region's Employment and Skills Board said:- "It is the Government's ambition, and mine, for it to become the norm for young people to achieve their career goals by going into an Apprenticeship or to University or, in the case of some Higher Apprenticeships, doing both, and for there to be 2 routes to success that are equally recognised as stretching, challenging and rewarding."

The Apprenticeship graduation ceremony is part of a nationwide campaign to give apprentices the same recognition that university students receive upon the completion of a degree.

It has also helped to raise awareness of the great employment opportunities available to young people from the 6 Liverpool City Region boroughs, Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, St Helens, Wirral, who choose the apprenticeship route. This is the second time the event has taken place, following the huge success of the inaugural celebration last year.

Almost 10,000 learners started a Higher Apprenticeship in England during 2012/13, with key employers including Jaguar Land Rover, Barclays, Ford and BT offering apprenticeships. When combined, an Advanced Apprenticeship is equivalent to 2 A level passes and higher Apprenticeships from levels 4, 5, 6 or 7 form the equivalent of Foundation degree level right up to Masters Level.

Charity seeks volunteers for UK wide beach litter count

THE UK's leading marine charity, the Marine Conservation Society (MCS), is looking for volunteers to register now for a citizen science project that involves a trip to the beach!

The Great British Beach Clean takes place over 18 September to 21 September 2015 and it is the only UK wide beach clean that not only spruces up hundreds of beaches around the coast, but records the litter finds as part of a global beach clean event.

Plastic bottles and carrier bags, nappies, balloons, and tiny plastic pieces can be found on almost every beach in the UK; either washed up, blown there or dropped. Our beaches have never been so filthy, and most of the litter found can be traced back to us; the general public!

"Beach litter has steadily risen over the two decades we've been recording it on UK beaches.  Last year's Great British Beach Clean attracted almost 5,500 volunteers to over 300 beaches. It's a citizen science project that has become the most respected and long standing beach litter survey in the UK." says MCS Beachwatch Officer, Charlotte Coombes.

In 2014 tiny bits of plastic were the most frequently found litter items on UK beaches. There was a 6.4% rise in beach litter between 2013 and 2014 with wet wipes having the biggest increase at almost 50%!

"Taking part in the Great British Beach Clean really can make a difference. In previous years when we've highlighted increases in dog poo bags and sewage related debris found on beaches we have seen drops in numbers subsequently. We hope we'll see fewer wet wipes in 2015 following our mini campaign showing why these material squares should go in the bin not the loo." says Charlotte Coombes.

MCS says cleaning and surveying a beach only takes a couple of hours at most. Each beach has a coordinator who explains how to fill in a simple data form, and then it's just a case of grabbing a litter picker and a bin bag and filling it up with rubbish!

Volunteers are also asked to record any branded items they find, to enable MCS to approach specific manufacturers and retailers and look at ways they can work with them to reduce the amount of rubbish from their products reaching our beaches.  "Beach litter is a serious environmental problem. But the solution is in our hands. The  1st step is to register as a volunteer. We want the 'Great British Beach Clean' weekend to offer a snapshot of what the future could look like for the British seaside by reducing the amount of litter that reaches our shores." says Charlotte Coombes.

MCS beach litter projects are supported by players of People's Postcode Lottery. Clara Govier, Head of Charities at People's Postcode Lottery, says:- "It's really important for everyone to learn about the dangers of marine litter and I'm delighted that players of People's Postcode Lottery are supporting the Marine Conservation Society who are tackling this important cause. I would urge anyone who has the time to spare to take part in this beach clean."

The Great British Beach Clean; be part of the biggest and most influential fight against marine litter in the UK.   Find out more at:- MCSUUK.Org/GreatBritishBeachClean or telephone them on:- 01989 566017.

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