LONDON Mayor Pledges £1.3m To Help Businesses Launch 2,000 New Apprenticeships

Clayton Sullivan-Webb, managing director of Grundon Waste Management and Lisa Dixon, managing director of JLD Driver Training (pictured right), celebrate being shortlisted for the  Apprenticeships 4 England Employer Awards 2016 with some of Grundon's apprentices.

Grundon’s entry focused on its driver training programme, which currently has 17 drivers studying for their Level Two Apprenticeship in driving a Large Goods Vehicle (LGV). A further three apprentice technicians are also undertaking training.

Clayton Sullivan-Webb, managing director of Grundon Waste Management and Lisa Dixon, managing director of JLD Driver Training (pictured right), celebrate being shortlisted for the  Apprenticeships 4 England Employer Awards with some of Grundon’s apprentices.
Grundon’s entry focused on its driver training programme, which currently has 17 drivers studying for their Level Two Apprenticeship in driving a Large Goods Vehicle (LGV). A further three apprentice technicians are also undertaking training.

|CRIMSON TAZVINZWA, AIWA! NO!|Apprenticeships4England|Sadiq Khan confirms his pro-business credentials as he pledges £1.3m boost to London schemes for young people
•New apprenticeships to be created in retail, hospitality and construction
•Sadiq calls on Ministers to devolve adult careers provision to City Hall

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, who campaigned to be London’s most pro-business Mayor ever has today reaffirmed his commitment to delivering skills and training for London’s young people by announcing £1.3 million in funding to help businesses create 2,000 new apprenticeships.

In the UK, apprenticeships are funded through a levy that is paid by all businesses with an annual pay bill in excess of £3 million. However, apprenticeship starts in London have fallen by 21 per cent since the Government introduced the levy in April 2017. London’s businesses contribute more to the apprenticeship levy than any other region – but two in five of these businesses don’t spend any of the available levy funds, and a further two in five spend less than half.

This means that money is being returned to the Treasury, rather than being invested in young Londoners, with retail, hospitality and construction among the most affected sectors.

Speaking today at Skills London, the capital’s largest careers fair, Sadiq announced that he is investing £1.3m in pilot projects designed to help employers spend their levy funds on high quality apprenticeships, or else transfer the money down the supply chain to smaller business, to keep the benefits of the funding in the capital. Through this process, the Mayor expects to boost his credentials as the pro-business Mayor and help businesses create 2000 new training opportunities for London’s young people, with a particular focus on retail, hospitality and construction industries.

The Mayor is calling on apprenticeship funding to be devolved to London alongside funding and responsibility for adult careers services. This would include the devolution of the London area-based delivery of the National Careers Service. He also wants to see London’s share of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, which will replace valuable European funds following Brexit, to be fully devolved to London.

Sadiq is already working hard to help young Londoners succeed. He has set up his Construction Academy to improve construction skills. He has also expanded the London Enterprise Adviser Network and is investing £114m in new buildings and equipment for skills training across London.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said: “From biotech, engineering and construction to retail, hospitality and healthcare, London needs workers with the skills to support the rich variety of our economy.

“Given the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, ensuring a better and more responsive skills network – as well as continued access to global talent – is more important than ever.

“Apprenticeships are a key part of my commitment to being London’s most pro-business Mayor and giving young Londoners the skills they need to succeed – they benefit individuals, businesses and the whole London economy – so I’m delighted to be able to announce further funding to unlock more opportunities across the capital.

“Now we need the government to recognise our success and devolve adult careers services provision to City Hall.”

London has a strong, dynamic, global economy, but the region’s employment rate has lagged-behind the national average for three decades. More than 230,000 working-age Londoners are unemployed, with particularly high rates of youth unemployment. Ensuring an effective and responsive skills system is critical to tackling this issue.

Sadiq believes that an effective skills system is critical to meeting the needs of London’s businesses. Employers repeatedly report skills shortage vacancies and skills gaps in their workforce, impacting on growth and productivity.

London First Chief Executive, Jasmine Whitbread said: “Every young Londoner should have the chance to be a part of our capital’s success. Skills London will bring together more than 200 employers, 35,000 youngsters, and a record 55,000 career opportunities – including apprenticeships and on-the-job training.

“We’re delighted the Mayor is taking action to boost apprenticeship numbers in the capital, particularly in the construction sector, which is facing chronic skills shortages.

“London fares best when in charge of its own destiny, so it’s good news the Mayor will take control of the adult education budget. This should be extended to the National Careers Service to ensure business, educators and civic leaders are working together to give our young people the very best start in the world of work.”

Anthony Impey, Chief Executive of IT and telecoms business Optimity and chair of the GLA Apprenticeship Group said: “The Mayor’s announcement comes at a critical time for London’s businesses, who are already struggling to recruit the people they need, even before the full impact of Brexit. Never has the need been greater for companies to develop their own talent, and apprenticeships provide an excellent way to do this.

“I have first-hand experience of the immense benefits apprenticeships can provide organisations of any size, not least their return on investment. I’ve also seen the huge impact that it can have on young Londoners, by supercharging the start of their careers and giving them access to some of London’s most exciting sectors. The Mayor’s support is vital to ensure that these advantages are available to as many as possible.

“London’s global competitive advantage rests on its ability to be a world-class place to recruit and develop talent, and the Mayor’s ambition for apprenticeship plays a key role in achieving this.”

Mary Vine-Morris, London Director of the Association of Colleges said: “London is a city open for business – the Mayor’s new investment in apprenticeships makes that clear.

To continue to be one of the best cities in the world to work and to live, it is vital that London works with employers to ensure a strong pipeline of skilled workers.

For too long there has been too little investment, politically as well as financially in London’s apprenticeship offer. That is why we welcome the drive to make better use of London’s levy spend. Rather than it going back to treasury unspent, it would be better being used to create more meaningful opportunities for London’s young people to get into work and to get on in life.”

Sarah Beale, CITB Chief Executive said: “Construction apprenticeships offer huge opportunities to young people, enabling them to earn as they learn, avoid the debt of student loans and gain the practical skills experience employers want.

“CITB estimates that London will require an estimated 10,000 construction workers between now and 2022 with plant operatives, civil engineers and scaffolders among the most in-demand roles. Creating new, high quality construction apprenticeships to help young people fill these job roles is welcome news.

“CITB is supporting the development of the Mayor of London’s new Construction Academy. We look forward to working with the Mayor and partners across industry to give London’s young people the best possible chance of starting rewarding construction careers.”

With the Adult Education Budget set to be devolved to City Hall from 2019/20, the Mayor will have £311 million to provide the targeted, high quality skills training Londoners require.

This will be supplemented by £71 million from the European Social Fund. This money will be used to help young people and adults who may have missed out on opportunities due to circumstances beyond their control and now need a second chance to access education, training and employment.

Sam Gurney, TUC Regional Secretary, London, East and South East, said: “It is crucial that young Londoners have access to quality apprenticeships, which provide genuine training and pay a fair rate for the job.

“We welcome the Mayor’s new funding and hope that it will support Londoners to gain the skills our city needs.

“In particular we welcome work to increase the number of women, BME and disabled people taking up apprenticeships in areas like construction and engineering where they are seriously underrepresented.”

Apprenticeshipsapp4womenapprenticeshipsdirectory

England stretch lead v Sri Lanka, 3rd Test Cricket

Image result for Niroshan Dickwella and Kusal Mendis unsuccessfully appeal for the wicket of Joss Buttler. (AAP)

cbtf bizFor land, Niroshan Dickwella scored twin centuries within the third and fourth game in Hambantota whereas his gap partner Danushka Gunathilaka notched a …


After some early stumbles on day three, England look well in control of the third Test against Sri Lanka in Colombo.

CRIMSON TAZVINZWA, AIWA! NO!|England suffered a top order collapse before reaching 4-110, an overall lead of 206 runs, at lunch on day three of the third and final Test against Sri Lanka on Sunday.

Chasing a 3-0 series sweep, the tourists lost Keaton Jennings to the very first delivery of the day from Dilruwan Perera, who struck twice more to keep Sri Lanka in the contest.

England appeal for the dismissal of Angelo Mathews for 88 CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES

England appeal for the dismissal of Angelo Mathews for 88 CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES

Ben Stokes was lucky to be batting on 32 at the break, having been dismissed twice and then brought back after Lakshan Sandakan was found to have overstepped on both occasions.

Jos Buttler was batting on 38 at the other end, having combined with Stokes to steady the English innings with their 71-run partnership for the fifth wicket.

Earlier, Perera jolted England when he trapped Jennings lbw for one immediately after play began at the Sinhalese Sports Club.

The off-spinner dismissed Rory Burns for seven in identical manner and substitute fielder Kaushal Silva took a sharp catch at short leg to dismiss Jonny Bairstow, who followed his first innings 110 with 15 in the second, as England slumped to 3-35.

England’s crisis further deepened when Joe Root offered a return catch to Malinda Pushpakumara to depart for seven.

Buttler, then on 27, was adjudged leg-before to Dhananjaya de Silva but the batsman managed to overturn the decision after replays confirmed the ball would have sailed over the stumps.

Stokes was caught in cover when on 22 and then in the slip in the final over before lunch but the all-rounder survived after replays confirmed Sandakan had overstepped.Source AAP

BRITAIN; ‘Vassal state’… ‘a betrayal’… Brexiteers react to May’s deal

Leading Brexiteers have launched ferocious attacks on Theresa May’s reported Brexit deal, accusing her of “a betrayal of the Union” and calling for a Cabinet mutiny.

|MATT WITHERS, THE NEW EUROPEAN|

AIWA! NO!|A deal has been reached by negotiators in Brussels and go before a crunch Cabinet meeting tomorrow.But the hardline Leavers in May’s party have already pounced on her before it has even been published, urging Cabinet members to reject it.

Former foreign secretary Boris Johnson said he would vote against the deal, claiming it was “vassal state stuff” and urged the Cabinet to “chuck it out”.

He said he expected the deal to be “pretty much” what had been agreed a few week ago “we are going to stay in the customs union on this deal, we are going to stay effectively in large parts of the single market and that means it’s vassal state stuff”.

He told the BBC: “For the first time in a thousand years, this place, this Parliament, will not have a say over the laws that govern this country. It is a quite incredible state of affairs.”

He added “I don’t see how you can support it from a democratic point of view, I don’t see how unionists can support it, and I don’t see how you can support it if you believe in the economic and political freedom of this country.”

He claimed the deal was “making a nonsense of Brexit so I hope the Cabinet will do the right thing and I hope they chuck it out”.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, the leader of the pro-hard Brexit European Research Group of Tory MPs, said the reported deal represented a betrayal of Theresa May’s promise to maintain the integrity of the United Kingdom.

“White flags have gone up all over Whitehall. It is a betrayal of the Union,” he said.

“If what we have heard is true, this fails to meet the Conservative Party manifesto and it fails to meet many of the commitments that the prime minister makes.

“It would keep us in the customs union and de facto the single market. This is the vassal state.

“It is a failure of the government’s negotiating position, it is a failure to deliver on Brexit and it is potentially dividing up the United Kingdom.

“It is very hard to see any reason why the Cabinet should support Northern Ireland being ruled from Dublin.”

Former party leader and Brexit hardliner Iain Duncan Smith warned that if reports of the deal’s contents were true the Government was “breaking their own agreed position and will be bringing back something that is untenable”.

He added that “if the Cabinet agrees it, the party certainly won’t”.

Asked if the Government’s days were numbered he said: “If this is the case almost certainly, yes.

“Because they are in real trouble if they bring back something that is unacceptable to the party.

“The Government puts itself in an impossible position, because they are trying to promote something they themselves said they would never promote. And that makes it impossible.

“How can you ask the party to vote for something which you yourself as prime minister and the Cabinet said they would never ever allow?”

Brexit at last or is it?

brexit latest
Brexit latest: Boris Johnson has launched an astonishing attack on Theresa May(Image: GETTY )

Brexit: the storm makes land

|GARY GIBBON, CHANNEL 4 NEWS|

AIWA! NO!|We have two documents in Downing Street being read tonight: the Withdrawal Agreement (500 pages or so) and the outline political declaration (some four pages or so).
That tells you how much work is still to be done in working out the future relationship. The negotiators haven’t even been able to hand in half their homework. The EU always said it would be like this. Brexiteers sometimes suggested the whole thing – settling the past and mapping the future – could be set out and agreed by now.

There is talk that the plans laid out for the U.K. wide temporary customs arrangement could operate like a sliding scale. You want truly friction-less trade? You have to go for extra rules from Brussels which have a single market flavour. So if you don’t do that, the logic runs, and go for something a little more light touch, that leaves Northern Ireland more subject to checks with east/west trade across the Irish Sea. This might look to some Brexiteers like an EU plan to suck the U.K. into its magnetic and regulatory orbit. And it will look to the DUP, who are sounding very war-like this evening, like the kind of betrayal they were complaining about in the letter to Theresa May – which The Times got its hands on last week.

Ministers now have the challenge of making sense of the detail while not being allowed to take the documents away from No 10. If they choose to resign do they go big picture or hit on a detail? Or do they, as happened at Chequers, go along with sullenly only to walk out a couple of days later?

The storm that has been out at sea for months has started making land. Theresa May has decided this is as good as it gets in the time available. If she can bring the Cabinet onside without major casualties she will take it to the country and her MPs and the Commission will take it to the member states. There will be pained faces and arguments for changes to the text amongst the EU27. There will be much hotter discourse here and it started with a vengeance as the news flashed up of a “technical deal.”

The ERG leadership is deploying lines about betrayal that must box those using them into a rebellion if we get to a Commons vote you would think. And if the DUPs rhetoric is a guide to its actions, inflicting defeat would be like pushing over a house of cards.

But this is day one and the vote, if we get there, could be end of November or beginning of December under government plans.

France tells Theresa May to FORGET backstop review clause – EU will DECIDE

French Minister for European Affairs Nathalie Loiseau | Ludovic Marin/AFP via Getty Images

Andrea Leadsom, the Commons leader, has warned the Prime Minister that MPs would not support any deal that would keep Britain locked in a backstop arrangement with Brussels.

She told BBC Radio 5 Live the UK “cannot be held against its will” in a possible customs union with the EU, adding: “It cannot be a decision that can be overturned by the European Union, it must be capable for the United Kingdom to decide to leave that customs arrangement.”

|AIWA! NO|French Europe minister Nathalie Loiseau said any decision taken to end the backstop arrangement cannot be made by the United Kingdom alone and must involve the remaining 27 European Union countries.
Brexiteers in Mrs May’s Cabinet have demanded the inclusion of the mechanism that would unilaterally trigger a UK exit from any customs union arrangement in the backstop, the insurance policy to prevent a hard border in Ireland.

EU negotiators rejected this and reportedly told their UK counterparts that the European Court of Justice would have to be involved in the arbitration of any potential mechanism.

Ahead of the meeting, Ms Loiseau rejected the possibility of an independent mechanism being included in the backstop to help the Prime Minister with her domestic negotiations.

The French Europe minister told reporters: “If we end any sort of temporary arrangement this is to be bilateral decision from the EU27 and from the UK at the same time and we have to know in that moment what sort of solution there is for the Irish border.”

Technical-level negotiations will continue between the British and EU teams as they move “closer and closer” to seal a Brexit deal, according to one EU diplomat.

A technical deal is once again within days of conclusion but Mrs May is struggling to win political backing from her Cabinet as further splits emerge in her Conservative Party.

Why we need to remember the Black and Asian people who fought in World War 1

These soldiers volunteered to help the British army despite what the British empire did to their home countries

Serving submariners hold wreaths of poppies during the Submariners Remembrance Service and Parade (Photo: Henry Nicholls/AFP/Getty Images)
Serving submariners hold wreaths of poppies during the Submariners Remembrance Service and Parade (Photo: Henry Nicholls/AFP/Getty Images)

|HABIBA KATSHA, i|AIWA! NO!|This year marks the 100 years since the end of World War 1 in November 1918.

Since then Every year we remember those who risked their lives for us to live a better life in Britain. However, it seems that the people of colour who fought in the war played a less significant role in WW1 and this isn’t true. 

Until recently, I didn’t know that people of colour fought in the battle and this is the case for many other British people. The lives of soldiers of colour are just as important as their English counterparts and it’s time we started telling their stories. Serving with ‘great gallantry’ During WW1, the British empire was still intact so black individuals from British colonies travelled from their respected countries to come and fight for Britain.

Britain was often referred to as “the mother country” and people came from countries such as Ghana, Nigeria, Gambia, and Jamaica to help defeat the Germans.

The British West Indies Regiment (BWIR) was a unit made up of volunteers from British colonies in the West Indies. The BWIR made their mark in the military, especially in Palestine and Jordan. The name of former Northampton Town player Walter Tull is inscribed on the Arras Memorial.

Tull was killed on March 25th 1918 during the second battle of the Somme (Photo: Pete Norton/Getty Images) 

The British Imperial Governor General Allenby sent a telegram to the then-Governor of Jamaica, William Henry Manning stating: “All ranks behaved with great gallantry under heavy rifle and shell fire and contributed in no small measure to the success of the operations.”  

Towards the end of the war, in November 1918, a total of 15,600 black men, had served in the (BWIR). A Black Brit who deserves an honourable mention is Walter Tull who died serving in the war. Tull was not only a soldier but a football player too.  

The footballer was born in Kent and was the first black outfield player to feature in the English top flight. He went on join the British Army and became the first black officer to lead white troops into battle. Tull suffered from shellshock and died in action in 1918 aged 29.

South East Asians also played a significant role in the first world war. Indians had a large presence in the WW1 as it’s estimated that 1.3 million Indians served in world war one and 74,187 Indian soldiers died. Indians troops helped various divisions in European, Mediterranean, Mesopotamian, North African and East African theatres of war.

Victoria crosses The Indian troops managed to break through the German defence by recapturing the town of Neuve Chapelle after the British had lost it. The Indian army fighting in the trenches suffered 34,252 total casualties during the trenches. Victoria Crosses is the highest award for gallantry that a British and Commonwealth serviceman can achieve.

Darwan Singh Negi and 10 other Indians received Victoria Crosses. He was given the title of subedar in Urdu which is the equivalent of British captain. Both of his sons went on to follow in his footsteps to become soldiers and joined the Indian army. As a person of colour, these stories make me proud of my Black and British heritage.

These soldiers volunteered to help the British army despite what the British empire did to their home countries. At a time when race and racism are touchy subjects in the UK, stories like these highlight how people of colour have contributed to Britain and that needs to be recognised. 

UK ‘X FACTOR BOYS: Sound issues are technical not sabotage

“I don’t think ITV would want to waste money and time to mess up any one particular act. There are way too many people behind the scenes.

“Technical glitches do happen, and it is beyond anyone’s control,” 24-year-old Jamaican Dalton Andre Harris added.

The X Factor boys with mentor Louis Tomlinson (REX).

|Laura Hannam, Yahoo Celebrity UK|AIWA! NO!| X-Factor was hit with major technical issues last week. For ten minutes of live television, faulty sound transmissions left boys contestant Anthony Russell and overs contestant Danny Tetley sounding like ‘Daleks.’
But despite emerging reports that these contestants feared it was part of a sabotage to oust them from the show, the boys rubbished the claims.

“It happened, it’s television. Despite certain reports, I didn’t say anything about people trying to get me out of the competition.

“Because we are all winners at the end of the day. I’ve been showcased on television. These things happen,” 28-year-old Liverpudlian Russell told us.

“I don’t think ITV would want to waste money and time to mess up any one particular act. There are way too many people behind the scenes.

“Technical glitches do happen, and it is beyond anyone’s control,” 24-year-old Jamaican Dalton Andre Harris added.

The boys have the first-time judge and former X Factor contestant Louis Tomlinson as their mentor. Harris said he’s surprised at how ‘real’ and ‘supportive’ Tomlinson has been.

Russell, Murray, and Harris outside the Build Ldn studio. (REX)

“Going in I thought it would be more business geared but I think it’s a bit more personal with Louis. Today I feel a bit iffy about certain things and I’m able to text him and get an almost instant response,” he said.

While 21-year-old Brendan Murray from Galway says Tomlinson often relays One Direction stories and examples when giving guidance.

“At his house, we had dinner with him and he told us about the early One Direction days. He told us how nervous they were in their first rehearsals, it was nice to hear that side of the story,” Murray said.

And they’ve already got some X Factor winner fans.

“James Arthur reached out to me and offered his support – he’s a good lad!” Russell said.

“Little Mix reached out which is crazy. They think I’m a good singer which is just so flattering to me! I met them and they said they were rooting for me!” Harris added