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Offering learning opportunities to refugees living across the borough

As part of Refugee Week (June 17 – 23), Sefton Council is highlighting the excellent work it does to support refugees through further education. 

A number of courses are offered to refugees living in the borough which support them on their journey of learning English and also helps them integrate into our communities.

Classes are accessed through the Council’s Sefton Community Learning Service, which provides educational courses to communities across the borough. The service offers high quality adult learning programmes to help people make positive changes, support personal development and help communities thrive.

Celebrating Refugee Week also ties in with Sefton’s Year of Friendship with the Council focusing on ‘learning’ across the borough throughout June. 

Sefton Community Learning Service has provided education to a number of refugees in the borough.

These learners began their journey without English speaking skills and have progressed rapidly through the levels. They have now enrolled on other courses designed to improve their Mathematics and ICT skills.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said: “Developing communications skills has given refugee learners in Sefton independence and confidence. This has allowed them to meet new friends and increased their chances of gaining work experience and employment.

“Learners say they feel welcomed and believe tutors have not only supported them with their English skills but with all aspects of UK life and British values.”

Debbie Parkes, Curriculum Manager-ESOL and Education and Training, said: “We have been involved with the Syrian Resettlement Programme for over 2 years now and continue to welcome new students to our classes. The refugees arrived in this country with little or no understanding of the English language and culture. They have faced many challenges whilst in this country and have required help in adjusting to the area and life in England. In some cases, learning again has been a whole new experience.

“They have adapted well and can now communicate in the English language and make themselves understood. I feel privileged to have the refugees learning here at Sefton Community Learning Service”.

If you would like to know more about our refugee programme or any other courses at the Sefton Community Learning Service, please contact us on 0151 934 4546.

https://www.sefton.gov.uk/schools-learning/community-learning.aspx

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Major high-rise training exercise in Bootle, Merseyside

A Bootle tower block will host a major training exercise at the end of this month as Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service lead an exercise to test their response to a major incident in a high rise building.

 Irlam House, on Church Walk in Bootle, Merseyside will be the scene for the exercise, which will involve around 13 fire engines, 10 support vehicles and an Aerial Platform Ladder (ALP) vehicle. In addition to Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service, Lancashire Fire & Rescue Service, Cheshire Fire & Rescue Service and North West Ambulance Service will be taking part in the exercise.

 The exercise will take place on Thursday June 27, between 10.30 and 2.30pm and will simulate a fire on an upper floor of Irlam House. There will be a small amount of pretend smoke similar to dry ice for realism, but no fire effects.

 The exercise aims to test a number of areas and give new firefighters the opportunity to experience a realistic fire and evacuation scenario in a high-rise building. The exercise will test operational procedures for high rise fires, evacuation methods and the lines of communication during a major incident. This will also be an opportunity to test new equipment such as the latest Aerial Ladder Platform (ALP) and procedures such as methods of entry and search techniques. Around fifty students will be acting as residents requiring evacuation during the exercise with around 200 ‘players’ in the exercise in total.

 Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service aims to keep any disruption to a minimum and will be asking local residents and businesses to avoid parking at Church Gardens for the duration of the exercise if possible. The Service is publicising the exercise widely in the hope that residents will be aware of the exercise and realise it is not a real fire, avoiding false alarm calls to fire control. However, if there is any doubt, members of the public should always dial 999.

 The exercise will be thoroughly evaluated and any learning outcomes will be shared both locally and nationally in an effort to improve safety for all and hopefully reduce the possibility of future high-rise fires.

Group Manager Gary Oakford said:

‘This is a great opportunity for us to carry out a large exercise in a realistic setting. While the risk of a serious fire in a high rise building in Merseyside is low thanks in large part to our preventative work in the community, the Grenfell Tower tragedy is a constant reminder of what can happen when those risks become real.  

 With this exercise we aim to test current procedures and national guidance, ensuring that they are robust, effective and fit for the future. We would like to thank the local community and One Vison Housing for giving us the opportunity to carry out this exercise which will ultimately keep everyone in Merseyside safer.’

A spokesman from One Vision Housing said:

‘We are delighted to support such an important exercise and continue our successful partnership working with Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service. This training will help ensure the safety of our customers and the wider community in the future.’

For free fire safety advice or to request a home fire safety check, call 0800 731 5958.

Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service also provides free smoke alarms for Merseyside residents aged 65 or over or those referred by partner agencies.

The Council is recruiting school crossing patrols

Sefton Council’s School Crossing Service is currently recruiting school crossing patrols across the borough. 

The local authority is appealing to parents, carers, grandparents or anyone who may have a few hours to spare each week.

The school crossing patrols are there to provide a safe passage across the road for children or anyone needing assistance at a designated site.

They operate at the start and end of each school day and the role is term time only.

On offer for this much valued service is £9.43 per hour plus travelling expenses where applicable. Those successful would also be entitled to holiday pay plus a retainer fee when the schools are closed. There is no upper age limit.

We would welcome parents who would like to Job Share with another parent for school run purposes.

If you, or anyone you know would be interested please call 0151 288 6153 and ask for Samantha Moss, Senior School Crossing Supervisor.

Liverpool City Region Combined Authority launches £18 million skills capital fund

Liverpool City Region Combined Authority has launched an £18m fund to enable local colleges and learning providers to improve their facilities.

 This is the third Liverpool City Region skills capital investment prospectus, with more than £30 million already invested in 40 schemes across the city region. 

 Of the £18m available, it is expected that £8m will be invested in new sites and premises, up to £2m in learning and skills equipment, and £3.5m in improvements to existing learning facilities.

 The £18m funding comes from the Local Growth Fund.  Local Growth Funding is awarded to the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and invested through the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s Strategic Investment Fund.

 Colleges in the Liverpool City Region will also benefit from up to £3.5m of dedicated funding for maintenance of their campuses and up to £1m for investments in low carbon technologies. Low carbon investments will decrease colleges’ carbon footprint and reduce energy costs over time with savings re-invested for the benefit of learners.

 Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “Our skills capital investments into local colleges and providers have allowed them to improve their facilities. This investment gives them the right environment and tools to deliver the technical and vocational training our employers and learners in the city region need to compete in the 21st century economy. I look forward to supporting further skills capital investments that provide new learning and apprenticeship opportunities for local residents.”

 Mayor Joe Anderson OBE, Liverpool City Region Portfolio Holder Education, Employment and Skills said: “Today’s launch of a further £18m of skills capital investment will deliver the learning facilities our learners and job seekers need to gain the technical skills our local employers are looking for, so they can compete for high quality jobs across the Liverpool City Region.”

Minister for the Northern Powerhouse and Local Growth, Jake Berry MP said:

“We’re committed to boosting economic growth across the whole of the Northern Powerhouse and building a Britain fit for our shared future. 

 I’m delighted to see a further £18m from the Local Growth Fund invested in skills capital projects in Liverpool City Region. This funding has already enabled significant improvements across the Region’s colleges, for everything from maintenance of the new buildings at Hugh Baird College to investments in low carbon technologies at Wirral Metropolitan College. Together we are truly equipping our young people for the opportunities the future has to offer.”

 Chair of the Liverpool City Region LEP, Asif Hamid MBE said: “I am extremely pleased to see Local Growth Funding being allocated to our City Region Colleges and learning providers. This investment will enable them to enhance and develop their facilities ensuring our future workforce is equipped with the necessary talents and training for the jobs of today and tomorrow.”

 The first Skills Capital Prospectus operated from February 2015 to March 2017 with £19.3m invested in over 30 Skills Capital projects, including eleven major refurbishment and new build projects. The Combined Authority committed a further £11.9 million for nine projects from the second Skills Capital prospectus launched in December 2016.

Previous investments have included:

  • supporting Hugh Baird College to convert a former church into a new health engagement and training hub in Bootle;
  • Wirral Metropolitan College’s low carbon infrastructure to improve energy efficiency through Combined Heat and Power plants and battery storage technologies;
  • The Greenbank Project’s refurbishment in Sefton Park for learners with learning difficulties and disabilities;
  • North West Training Council’s new advanced manufacturing training centre for apprentices;
  • St Helens Chamber’s Clickworks supporting digital pre-employment training;

Riverside College’s Idea Centre which focuses on the skills required for the automation and digital aspects of  manufacturing.

Sefton Council celebrates the invaluable work of foster carers in the borough

The work of the borough’s foster carers was celebrated at the annual Sefton Fostering Service Conference held at the Formby Professional Development Centre on June 5.

 Foster carers and staff from Sefton’s Children’s Services enjoyed a programme of events which included a talk from Liverpool author Ron Clarke, who told his moving story about being fostered at a young age and how this affected his journey into adulthood.

 Presentations throughout the day also included information about key changes to the service, development opportunities and concluded with workshops and personal stories from people with fostering experience.

 After the event, Dwayne Johnson, Sefton Council’s new Chief Executive, said: “This annual event is a great way for the Council to recognise foster carers for the invaluable work they do for our looked after children. It’s also a chance for people to come together and share their experiences.

“I really hope that the presentations given today have not only been informative, but have also lifted the spirits of our foster carers who have taken on this challenging but rewarding role.

“Anybody who is thinking about being a foster carer with Sefton Council should know that you will become part of our amazing fostering network which comes together regularly and which makes sure you get all the support you need.”

 If you would like to know more Fostering at Sefton Council please get in touch with the team; 0800 923 2777 or visit seftonfostering.co.uk.

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