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News Report Page 6 of 15
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A-Level student wins place on prestigious Higher Apprenticeship programme

HUGH Baird College A-Level student, Ethan Hughes, will soon embark on an exciting career having secured himself a place on Scottish Power's Higher Apprenticeship engineering programme. Ethan, who studied A-Level Maths, Physics and Chemistry at the College's South Sefton Campus, said:- "When considering the different opportunities after College I knew I didn't want to go down the traditional route of University, but I wanted my next step to give me the opportunity to gain a high-level qualification, that's when I found out about Higher Apprenticeships."

Higher Apprenticeships provide students an opportunity to gain a Level 4 qualification or above, with some employers even offering students the opportunity to progress to Level 7 (which is postgraduate degree level). A Higher Apprenticeship can take from 1 to 5 years to complete, and involves part time study at a College, University, or a training provider. According to government figures, 90% of apprentices in England stayed on in employment after completing their qualification; 71% with the same employer.

After a very long and vigorous application process, Ethan successfully secured his place on the Power Engineering Apprenticeship programme at Scottish Power. During the programme, apprentices work alongside Scottish Power's craft and engineering workforce and assist them in the safe operation, maintenance and construction of the network. Upon successful completion of the programme, Ethan will become a qualified Project Engineer within the power industry with a HNC in Electrical Engineering.

Ethan Hughes, said:- "The application progress was very long and vigorous. I sat multiple tests, had a video interview and was then invited to an assessment day. At the assessment day I was required to participate in a group activity, the exercise was to see how well each candidate worked in a team. The final stage of the interview procedure was a face to face interview at the Scottish Power's Tuebrook site. After this, I was offered the role based on my hard work and determination through the process. I am over the moon to have been offered a place on the programme and I can't wait to start my training! It was really important to me that my next step involved getting experience as well as gaining a qualification."

Joe Poole, Hugh Baird College, South Sefton Campus Director of Curriculum, said:- "We are all incredibly proud of Ethan for securing such a prestigious apprenticeship opportunity with Scottish Power. We have no doubts that he has the personality, drive, ambition and emotional intelligence to be hugely successful."

For more information on A-Level courses available at Hugh Baird College, South Sefton campus please visit:- HughBaird.AC.UK or alternatively call:- 0151 353 4444.

Train fares are set to rise again in January 2020

TRAIN fares are set to rise again on the 2 January 2020 by around 2.8%, according to the Retail Price Index for July. This new fare rise announcement comes shortly after a 3.1% increase in January 2020. Over the last 10 years the cumulative fare increase has been 37%. Despite spending over ₤6bn each year, commuters are yet again at the mercy of train companies. The fare rise will affect commuters all over the country, particularly the 39% of professionals nationwide who have failed to go to work due to expensive rail fares. All regulated fares will increase, including all weekly, monthly and annual season tickets purchased by commuters in the UK. London commuters who hit the weekly cap on contactless or purchase season tickets will also see the same fare rise as the rest of the country. It is unclear if Transport for London will continue to freeze fares for single journeys, however the scope for any fare freeze is limited and unlikely to benefit commuters. For example, an annual season ticket from Manchester to London sets you back a staggering ₤15,437, up nearly ₤500 from an already eye watering ₤14,958 in 2018. Moreover, the prohibitive upfront cost of many annual season tickets means that most commuters rely on monthly and weekly season tickets, contactless or pay as you go. As a result, they miss out on the up to 30% savings an annual ticket offers over a year of use. With fare rises and the best value ticket out of reach, it's little wonder many commuters will now unfortunately spend more than 10% of their income on travelling to work. By disrupting the current transport industry, Commuter Club, a London UK fin tech start up wants to bring a stop to commuters' losing battle with expensive, increasing rail fares and unreliable journeys. Irina Iovita, CEO of Commuter Club said:- "The cost of commuting in the UK is 1 of the highest in the world. Commuters told us commuting is in their top 3 expenses and with real wages being stagnant at best, commuting is becoming less affordable every year. It's time for the industry to deliver fair fares to its most loyal, but frequently forgotten customers, the commuters. The rail industry must consider alternatives to increasing prices by 3% every year. Transport for London has shown it is possible to freeze some fares, but sadly the freeze of pay as you go journeys will do little to help commuters who frequently hit the weekly cap as they are regulated fares. As we've seen in many industries, innovation and technology are the key to lowering costs and passing these benefits to the end consumer. We want to fight for the commuters' cause, starting with purchasing a yearly ticket for them and enabling them to pay in monthly or weekly instalments. This allows the everyday commuter to lock in fair prices for 12 months and prevent them from paying thousands of pounds upfront. We believe everyone has the right to a better and cheaper commute and we're proud to have helped over 20000 commuters save more than ₤10m on our platform."

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