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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

Litter louts found guilty of dropping rubbish

Four people have been fined after being found guilty of littering in the borough.

Fines totalling over £1,400 were handed out at South Sefton Magistrates Court on February 27 after all four failed to pay fixed penalty notices after being caught dropping rubbish.

Paul Carter, 48, of Waterloo plead guilty by post and was fined £322.

Craig Keevil, 46, of Southport was found guilty in absence and was fined £392.

Makala Smith, 29, of Eccles, was found guilty in absence and was fined £392.

Emma Wilkinson, 39, of Chorley, was found guilty in absence and was fined £392.

Cllr Paulette Lappin, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regulation and Compliance, said: “People need to think twice before just throwing their waste away and court cases like these highlight what can happen if you are caught.

“Littering is an unsightly act and we will not hesitate to fine those who do it.

“Please take it home or use a bin or face the consequences.”

For more information about littering, visit www.sefton.gov.uk/bins-recycling/litter-and-fly-tipping.

Sefton launches major bid for Future High Street funding

Sefton Council is bidding for a slice of the £675m Future High Street Fund with bids planned for both Southport and Crosby.

The Future High Street Fund was announced in last November’s budget and aims to support and fund local areas’ plans to make their high streets and town centres fit for the future.

In this first round, Sefton will include bids for both Crosby village and Southport town centre and builds upon the Council’s ambitions for its town centres encapsulated within its agreed regeneration frameworks and 2030 Vision.

The Future High Street Fund aims to help Councils, their communities and the private sector work in partnership to develop and sustain town centres to enhance their vitality and viability.  The fund also includes the opportunity to bid for part of a £55m Heritage High Street Fund.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Skills and Regeneration, said: “Building on Sefton’s ambitions for its town centres, we are aiming to submit two bids to the Future High Street Fund for both Southport town centre and Crosby Village to help sustain them for the future. The bids will also support Sefton’s and the City Region’s ambitions for future growth.

“For Southport this will build upon Sefton’s success in securing around £10m of Heritage Lottery and Coastal Communities Funding for King’s Gardens, Southport Pier and the recently announced Townscape Heritage Scheme.

“For Crosby this will build on the significant private sector funding by St Modwen into the village centre. If successful, Sefton Council will continue to work in an inclusive way with private sector and community sector partners.”

Formal stage 1 bids for both projects will be made in the coming months with further details issued in due course.

Sefton awarded £500k to help bolster prevention of youth crime

Sefton Council has been awarded half a million pounds for its early intervention programme and ongoing work to prevent youth crime in the borough.

The £500,000 from the government’s Supporting Families Against Youth Crime fund with help the local authority to continue in-depth work with parents, carers and professionals around the dangers of children being exposed to gang culture.

The Supporting Families Against Youth Crime fund enables keyworkers, community groups, teachers and other professionals working with children and young people at risk, to intervene early on and help stop them from becoming drawn into gang crime, serious violence and the youth justice system.

Sefton Council will now use the £500,000 funding to continue with a range of initiatives, which will see teams work closely with young children who may be directly impacted by crime from an early age.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “I’m pleased that we’ve been given this grant. This much-needed vital funding will allow us to continue to help families in need to resolve problems that affect them and their community.

“We recognise that investing in people at an early stage, before problems become too serious, will help our families across the borough so they can make positive changes to their lives that will keep them safe and healthy and away from youth or gang crime. This funding will help us support initiatives that focus on early intervention and scaling up whole family working before problems escalate into something much more serious that could have consequences later in life.”

“However, the funding is only short-term and doesn’t substitute for a much needed sustainable approach to local government funding to tackle issues like this in our community.”

The grant is the latest recognition for Sefton Council’s Localities team after their partnership work around gang awareness was praised as an example of best practice by the government’s Victim’s Commissioner, Baroness Newlove.

For more information about Sefton Council’s Localities team and their work around early intervention and prevention, where they offer support at Family Wellbeing Centres, Libraries, Leisure Centres or community bases, please visit www.sefton.gov.uk/localities

Sefton Council Proposes Changes to Council Tax on Long Term Empty Homes

Sefton Council is running a consultation on a proposed change in Council Tax charges for empty homes across the borough.

New legislation will give Sefton Council additional powers to increase the Council Tax premium charged to properties that have been empty and largely unfurnished for more than two years from 50% to 100% with effect from April 1, 2019.

There are about 645 homes in Sefton that have been empty for two years or more (excluding those that are exempt from Council Tax, for example where the owner has gone to live elsewhere to receive care, or provide care to someone else).

The proposed increase in the empty homes premium is intended to encourage owners of long term empty domestic properties to bring them back into use and to increase the amount of Council Tax income raised from those that continue to leave their properties empty.

Cllr Paulette Lappin, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member Regulation and Compliance, said: “We are currently seeking views on the on the proposed changes to the premium charged in Sefton from April 1, 2019, as well as other potential changes to the premium that could be made in the future. Please take the time to give us your views and get in touch.

“As well as charging the empty homes premium, there are other Council initiatives to help bring empty homes back into use like the property accreditation scheme that also helps empty owners find tenants for their property.”

The consultation is open until December 3, 2018. For more information and to share your views please visit https://www.sefton.gov.uk/council-tax/council-tax-empty-homes-consultation.aspx

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