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A new portal can help you find the right apprenticeship in the Liverpool City Region

Finding and taking up one of a huge range of apprenticeships available across the Liverpool City Region is set to get much easier from today (Tuesday 5th March 2019) as Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram launches the UK’s first one-stop web portal for apprenticeships.

The UCAS-style portal – www.be-more.info – has been created thanks to the Metro Mayor’s powers relating to the skills agenda, and brings together apprenticeship opportunities from employers so that prospective apprentices in the Liverpool City Region can find the local information they need in one place.

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said:

“This is the first website anywhere in the country bringing together such a wide range of information about apprenticeship opportunities and how to apply for them, and we have built it here, in the Liverpool City Region, specifically for our residents.

“In my election manifesto I promised to simplify the way people access apprenticeship opportunities through an easily accessible, online apprenticeship portal for the city region and I’m proud to have fulfilled that pledge.

“Visitors to the site will be amazed at the type of apprenticeships we have in the city region, it’s not just the traditional trades, you can study at degree level and beyond in subjects ranging from Clinical Engineering – to becoming a Paralegal. There is certainly much more on offer in terms of opportunities and qualifications than when I did a traditional bricklaying apprenticeship.”

The portal was built in consultation with current and prospective apprentices and is part of the Combined Authority’s plans to ensure that the city region develops the skills that its economy needs.

The Metro Mayor is committed to increasing the number, breadth and relevance of apprenticeships across the Liverpool City Region, enabling more employers and learners to access and benefit from apprenticeships.

The new web portal, which is the first of its kind, is being launched to coincide with National Apprenticeship Week, and not only offers opportunities, but also features details on how to apply for an apprenticeship, how to get there, and even what specific travel benefits may be available.

This new online facility will also be a useful tool for employers across the six constituent local authorities (Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral) to advertise their apprenticeship vacancies.

Councillor Ian Maher, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Portfolio Holder for Education, Employment, Skills and Apprenticeships, said:

“Ensuring that we can recruit the right number of apprentices in the right sectors is absolutely crucial to ensuring that the Liverpool City Region economy has the skills it needs to thrive in the 21st century.

“One of the key messages we have to get out there is that apprenticeships have changed and can now be a route to highly-skilled, highly-paid careers in almost every sector of the job market.  This new portal is a vital part of our efforts to boost recruitment to apprenticeships by making it much easier and simpler to find out what opportunities exist and how to apply for them.”

Alex Ennion from Wirral is in the first year of a three year Healthcare Science degree apprenticeship with Aintree University Hospital. He said:

“When I complete my degree, I’ll be a specialist rehabilitation engineer so I’ll be going out into the community in the North West fitting equipment for patients who have traumatic brain injuries or conditions like Motor Neurone Disease or Multiple Sclerosis. By already being in a full time job, I’m working with a lot of cutting edge technology in this field a lot sooner than I would through the traditional route.

“I’ll be helping people by fitting assistive technology in their home which can help them to live more independently. These can be tablets that allows the user, who can only move their upper neck, to use their eyes to turn the TV or the lights on or off themselves.”

Aidan Matear is a 24 year old patient at Aintree University Hospital with cerebral palsy. He uses his natural eye movements to control his laptop and said:

“This equipment has been life-changing for me – it has made it easier for me to communicate and made it possible for me to complete my degree. It has enabled me to fulfil my dream of becoming a writer. Having this technology specifically configured for me and tailored to my abilities has reduced some of the barriers I face in day-to-day life and I am immensely grateful to the team at Aintree Hospital.”

Ruth Hoyte, Director of Workforce & Organisational Development at Aintree University Hospital, said:

“Apprenticeships are helping us to build a strong future workforce by developing the skills of our existing staff and offering job opportunities to our local communities. That’s great news for Aintree, our patients and the NHS as a whole. It’s fantastic to see apprenticeships being promoted across the Liverpool City Region and we’re pleased to support the launch of this new portal.”

Paul Smyth, the Apprenticeship Lead for Aintree University Hospital, said:

“We’ve had 200 apprentices through the door at Aintree University Hospital studying at a variety of levels and from different backgrounds. It makes perfect sense to be able to share our opportunities on a portal that local people can access. I think that is particularly important when you’re trying to decide whether to do an apprenticeship or take an academic route. Here you can weigh up your options and decide what’s going to be best for you. ”

To find out more information about apprenticeships across the Liverpool City Region go to www.be-more.info

Sefton residents are invited to give their views on bus services in the area

Residents in Sefton have the chance to give their views on bus services in the area in the first consultation phase of a new bus network review in the borough.

This initial consultation phase of the review will run from Wednesday, February 27 until 5pm on Tuesday, March 26.

Members of the public will be able to give their thoughts and feedback via an online survey which can be access from the Bus Network Review webpage at www.merseytravel.gov.uk/busreview.

There will also be two drop-in events taking place in where residents can speak to representatives from Merseytravel about bus services across the area, how they  use them and what might encourage residents to use them more. The two events are listed below:

  • Southport Chapel Street – Wednesday, March 6, 10 to 3pm
  • Bootle New Strand – Thursday, March 7, 10 to 3pm

Merseytravel, as part of its Bus Strategy, is committed to carrying out regular bus network reviews across the Merseyside bus network, with the aim of creating an improved and simpler network.

The first set of reviews took place from 2016 to 2018. Going forward, there will now be a regular cycle of network reviews, ensuring that the bus network delivers the aspirations of the Liverpool City Region.

Historically bus routes were considered on a piecemeal basis. The idea of these network reviews is to consider the commercial network and the supported network – that which relies on public subsidy via Merseytravel – as a whole. This will ensure that the network best reflects the needs of the public and adapts to plans for future housing, leisure and employments developments.

As part of the Bus Alliance with Arriva and Stagecoach, and with support from other operators, Merseytravel is working through these network reviews with the aim of getting more people using the bus by creating a better bus experience.

Part of the review will look at the current supported bus network and consider how increasingly limited public resources can be focused where there is most need.

To help this, we are looking for feedback and information from the public about how they use the bus network in the area, particularly any supported bus service. The first stage of review is to gather feedback on bus services in the area, which will help inform any potential changes.

Cllr Liam Robinson, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Transport Portfolio Holder, said:

“The original set of bus network reviews helped us to begin to shape the bus network in Merseyside to better fit the needs of residents and businesses, while facing up the challenges we face in trying to fund supported services.

“By listening to the feedback gained in those reviews, we were able to work with commercial operators as part of the Bus Alliance to see where existing routes could be adapted to cover any changes. This has not been the case across the country, where some local authorities have taken the tough decision to withdraw all supported services.

“This latest cycle of bus network reviews will help us to continue to adapt the bus network so that it reflects the aspirations of the Liverpool City Region and we would encourage everyone to give their feedback through the appropriate channels to help shape the network in the best way possible.”

New Apprentice Travelcard could save LCR apprentices more than £400 a year

Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram has officially launched one of the country’s best discounted travel schemes for young people in training.

The Apprentice Travelcard will give all those on apprenticeships aged 19-24 half-price bus travel across Merseyside, in line with the great affordable fares 16-19 year olds already enjoy.

Announced earlier this year by Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram alongside Bus Alliance partners Stagecoach, Arriva and other Merseyside bus operators, the Apprentice Travelcard is aimed at removing one of the main barriers to entry for young people wanting to start apprenticeships – access to affordable transport.

The Apprentice Travelcard will allow holders to purchase weekly and four-weekly passes in line with great value Solo fares for under-19s, allowing unlimited travel across the Merseyside bus network and potentially saving users more than £400 a year.

The roll-out comes just a month after the Metro Mayor launched a ‘Big Bus Debate’, a large-scale public conversation about the bus system in the Liverpool City Region and how new devolved powers could be used to drive improvements in service and give greater control to passengers.

Holders of the Apprentice Travelcard must be enrolled participants on registered apprenticeship schemes.

Application packs are available from training providers and at Merseytravel Travel Centres, further details are available at merseytravel.gov.uk/apprentice

Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram said: “Apprenticeships are a vital pathway to work for young people across the Liverpool City Region, leading to skilled and well-paid jobs.

“But we know that the cost of travel has been putting some off taking-up apprenticeship opportunities. That’s why I’m so pleased that we’ve been able to introduce this scheme which could save hundreds of pounds a year for apprentices under the age of 25.”

Phase 2 of a programme of platform upgrades starts in November

A programme of platform upgrades to prepare the Merseyrail network for the arrival of new, state of the art trains in 2020 has begun. Phase 1 is underway and progressing well as Network Rail makes vital upgrades to platforms and realigns track on the Ormskirk Line.

Phase 2 will take place between 12 November and 16 December with the closure of Bank Hall station.

Train services will not be disrupted on this line as they will continue running through the station, although they will not stop there. High quality rail replacement buses will be in operation between Bank Hall and Sandhills stations to keep passengers moving to/from Liverpool, Kirkby, Ormskirk and Southport.

Alternatively passengers may prefer to make their own way straight to Bootle Oriel Road or Sandhills stations to start their journey.

These vital works need to happen to ensure that station platforms across the Merseyrail network are compatible with the new trains and their ground breaking, sliding step technology that will provide unassisted access for all.

This will mean that wheelchair users can board the train without a ramp and passengers with prams and cycles can get on and off the train with ease. This technology represents a pioneering approach for the UK.

There are 11 phases of work scheduled between October 2018 and June 2019. More information about each phase, rail replacement services and alternative travel options will be made available nearer the time.

Merseytravel, Merseyrail and Network Rail have worked collaboratively on this project and significant planning work has been carried out to minimise the time needed to complete these important works and reduce disruption to passengers.

Businesses and organisations are advised to think about what they may need to put in place to support staff and customers.

Get a first look: full-size replica of new Merseyrail trains on public display

People from across the Liverpool City Region are being invited to come and experience the new trains coming to the Merseyrail network.

A realistic, full-scale mock-up of one of the train carriages will be on public view on the Wirral and in Liverpool City Centre.

The detailed and lifelike replica train is fully interactive, with working doors and an automatic sliding step which will bridge the gap between the train and platform edge, making the network more accessible to all users – including wheelchairs users.

Visitors will be able to walk along the open and spacious aisles, try the new wider seats and even take a look at the state-of-the-art technology inside the driver’s cab.

Staff will be on hand to talk through the features of the new trains, designed and built by Swiss company Stadler.

These features – chosen with the input and guidance of Liverpool City Region residents and rail network users – include phone charging points and bike racks.

The mock-up trains will be on display
• Pacific Road, Birkenhead, CH41 1LJ: 1-14 October, Mon-Sun 8.00 to 17.30, Tues 8.00-19.30
• Liverpool Lime Street, L1 1JD: 5-18 November, Mon-Sun 7.00 to 18.30

More information can be found at the following link: merseytravel.gov.uk/newtrains

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