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Liverpool commemorates the City's 1st black Citizen

A monument recognising Liverpool's 1st black Citizen has been unveiled in the City at Liverpool Parish Church in a special ceremony to commemorate the life of the 1st recorded black resident of Liverpool.

Research by Liverpool historian Laurence Westgaph has revealed the details of a man known only as Abell, who lived in the City more than 300 years ago. Records show that Abell was buried in the Churchyard of St Nicholas' Church (the Parish Church), on 1 October 1717.

The stone unveiling took place on Saturday, 3 October 2020, to mark the Anniversary of Abell's funeral and to coincide with the start of Black History Month.

During the 18th century, Liverpool was part of the slave trade triangle with West Africa and America and the West Indies. Thousands of enslaved Africans passed through the City and the trade generated great wealth locally.

As well as being a port where enslaved Africans passed through, there is written evidence of a growing resident black population at this time.

Earlier this year, Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson, authorised the creation of the City's own Race Equality Taskforce. The Council and its partners have also launched a project to ensure City streets named after affluent slavers were to be given special plaques to explain their links to the trade.

Cllr Rothery, who will unveil the stone, said:- "It is well documented that Liverpool has the oldest black community in Europe. Black people have played a pivotal role in the development of our City, a role which continues to this day. As a City we are facing up to the grim injustices of our past and by setting them in their context, we are a better place. In a year that has exposed the divides that continue to exist between communities across the globe based on race and colour, it is hoped that we can continue to learn and grow from our shared history and truly make Liverpool a City for all."

Rector of Liverpool, The Revd Canon Dr Crispin Pailing, said:- "We cannot hide from our past, and there is no institution from this era of our history which is free from the taint of this horrific trade. We cannot give justice to Abell and other enslaved Africans, but we can give them the dignity of naming them when we can, and we can give them status within the history of our City."

Liverpool historian Laurence Westgaph said:- "This gesture by St Nicholas Church records in stone the presence of black people in this town for more than 300 years and at a time when Liverpool's population was less than 10,000 people. Since then there has been a black presence in this great City, demonstrating that people of African descent have been resident and contributing to Liverpool life since the beginnings of the town's rise from a struggling seaport to the second City of the British Empire and beyond."

Saturday's ceremony was attended by members of the black community, including Cllr Anna Rothery, who, in 2019, became the City's 1st black Lord Mayor.

Hugh Baird College chosen as the only provider in Liverpool City Region to deliver new T-level qualifications

THE Government has chosen Hugh Baird College as the only education provider in the Liverpool City Region to deliver new world class technical qualifications called T-levels. T-levels are a new, 2 year qualification that students can undertake as an alternative to A-levels, other post 16 courses or an apprenticeship. They will spend 80% of their time in the classroom and 20% on a 45 day placement with a relevant employer. The new T-levels have been created in collaboration with industry experts so students gain the skills they need to succeed in the workplace and companies can access the workforce they need to thrive. Upon completing a T-level, the student will be able to start their career straightaway, pursue further study at University or begin a high quality apprenticeship. From September 2021, students will be able to study T-levels in:- Electrotechnical Engineering, Digital and Health Care, at Hugh Baird College, with applications for the courses opening in October 2020. In addition to the College's impressive links with employers in the sectors above, Hugh Baird College was chosen by the Government's Department for Education for the quality of their technical education.

Hugh Baird College Principal and Chief Executive, Rachael Hennigan, said:- "We are extremely pleased to have been selected as the sole provider in the Liverpool City Region to deliver the new T-level technical qualifications. This endorsement by the Department of Education reinforces our continuing work with the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership in order to address the skill gaps in the Region's labour market. By offering this new technical pathway, we are further enhancing the College's aim to provide students with a route to well paid and successful careers upon leaving Hugh Baird College."

To find out more about T-levels at Hugh Baird College, register for their Virtual Open Week, on 12 October to 15 October 2020, by visiting:- HughBaird.AC.UK/Register.

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