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A story published on the government website this week speaks about the Hundreds of employers who are now behind traineeships.

The government is urging even more to get involved in helping to unlock the potential of motivated young people who are not yet work ready.

Traineeships: help 16-23 year olds gain the vital work experience needed in order to get an apprenticeship or other jobs giving unemployed young people work preparation, training and work experience as well as English and maths qualifications.

Skills and Enterprise Minister, Matthew Hancock MP said: “We introduced traineeships to unlock the great potential of young people. Employers involved in the programme are now helping their trainees to develop the skills that are required in the workplace. They can then build on this and begin their career with an apprenticeship or other sustainable job.

“With National Apprenticeship Week starting next week (3-7 March 2014), there has never been a better time to start thinking about offering a traineeship or an apprenticeship.”

Funded projects are being delivered nationally, one project introduced in 2013 was The skills support for the workforce, which is backed by the ESF. The fund excists to support employers by upskilling the workforce.

Traineeships and apprenticeship programs aimed at the logistics industry are avilable through National Safety Training Services with the content tailored to the needs of the business and the individual.

Employers who want to find out how they can take on their first trainee and help develop talented young people with the practical skills for the workplace can access SSW (Skills support for the workforce) by calling 01482 644855

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A logistics firm has been fined £250,000 after a worker was killed when he fell through a warehouse roof in Wythenshawe.

Michael Sweet, 48, from Stockport, was cleaning out the guttering at Aramex (UK) Ltd on the Ringway Trading Estate near Manchester Airport on 12 December 2011 when he stepped on a fragile panel and fell to the concrete floor below.

Aramex and Mr Sweet’s employer, roofing contractor Gary Edwards, were both prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after an investigation found no safety measures had been put in place.

Manchester Crown Court heard Aramex had hired Mr Edwards to fix a leak when water began to drip into the warehouse and offices, as he had previously carried out work for the company. He arrived on site with Mr Sweet and they were asked to fix the leak and clean out the guttering.

Later that same day, Mr Sweet fell through the warehouse roof when he stepped on a clear roof panel, designed to let light into the warehouse. He died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.

During an interview under caution, Mr Edwards admitted that the only safety equipment he had provided for cleaning the warehouse roof had been a pair of gloves.

Safety measures could have included placing boards over the fragile roof panels, using harnesses, erecting scaffolding or hiring a cherry picker. However, Mr Edwards failed to implement any of these or to carry out a risk assessment for the work.

The HSE investigation found Aramex had also ignored its own health and safety guidelines. The company failed to supervise the work or assess how it would be carried out, despite knowing the roof was fragile.

Aramex (UK) Ltd and Gary Edwards each pleaded guilty to single breaches of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

Aramex, of Heywood Distribution Park in Heywood, was fined £250,000 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £20,000. Gary Edwards, 55, of Silverdale Road in Gatley, received a four-month prison sentence suspended for one year, which means he will be sent to prison if he commits another offence in the next year.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Ian Betley said:

“Michael Sweet sadly lost his life because neither Aramex nor Gary Edwards put enough thought into his safety while working on a fragile warehouse roof.

“Mr Edwards had carried out work at the warehouse on several previous occasions and so knew the roof could be dangerous, but he failed to take any action to keep Michael safe.

“Aramex was also aware of the risks but simply left the two men to it, rather than carrying out its own assessment of how the work would be carried out and monitoring what was being done.

“Companies and individuals have a legal duty to ensure the safety of workers they employ or who carry out work for them. If Aramex and Mr Edwards had taken their responsibilities seriously then Michael’s life could have been saved.”

Information on preventing workplace falls in available at www.hse.gov.uk/falls.

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Businesses are being urged to join a major programme of training to equip the Humber's workforce with the skills to maximise the region's economic opportunities. The Skills Support for the Workforce programme will provide bespoke training to boost the skills of workers in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) up to July 2015. Up to 3,000 workers are expected to benefit from relevant training under the initiative, led by Hull College Group and delivered in partnership with other colleges and specialist training providers.


Hull College Group has secured a £3.5 million contract, funded by the European Social Fund, to increase skills levels and the capacity of SMEs in sectors identified as key to the Humber economy now and in the future by the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

The priority sectors are chemicals; ports and logistics; food and agriculture; renewables; construction; engineering and manufacturing; creative digital; tourism; and health and social care.

The programme is already under way and was promoted to an audience of employers at Hull's Guildhall on December 12, 2013, with a further event at the CATCH training facility in Stallingborough, North East Lincolnshire, on December 16.

Hull College Principal Graham Towse said the programme was a 'truly collaborative partnership' involving Bishop Burton College, East Riding College, Grimsby Institute, North Lindsey College and a number of specialist training providers.

He said the chance for businesses to boost the skills of their workforce came at a time of major opportunity for the region, with huge investments being made in renewable energy and a fast-growing digital sector, adding to the strength of well-established industries, such as manufacturing, chemicals, food and health and social care.

'The Humber is on the cusp of an industrial revolution and skills are our absolute top priority,' he said. 'This programme is about supporting the long-term growth and sustainability of the region's economy and its businesses.'
Project Manager Vicki Isaac said the training was totally free to businesses with fewer than 250 employees in the key sectors and would be tailored to the specific needs of eligible companies. Any employee aged over 19 can benefit from the training.

The programme is also being supported and promoted by Humber Chemical Focus, Renewables Network, Bishop Burton College and the Humber Education Business Partnership who are acting as sector leads. These organisations will also provide feedback on how companies have been helped, to build a picture of the skills support needs of SMEs within the region's key sectors.

Mike Parker, Chair of the Humber LEP Employment and Skills Board, said: 'We urge SMEs to take advantage of this offer to work with colleges and sector leads from across the Humber.

'Not only will businesses be able to access bespoke training packages to help their businesses to grow, the partnership can collect useful information to see if there are common themes we could use to help SMEs in the future. Through great partnership work we could see hundreds of SMEs closer to reaching their potential.'

Lynn Benton, Employment and Skills Manager for the Humber LEP, said: 'To develop a vibrant economy we need to have a skills system that supports growth. This programme will improve the supply of skills and also identify skills gaps that we need to fill. It offers totally flexible, bespoke training that really meets the needs of employers.'

Employers who want to take advantage of free training under the Skills Support for the Workforce programme can contact National Safety Training Services, if the courses delivered by them is the type of training you are looking for or if you would like information on other types of funded training supported by the fund in Hull and the Humber then please get in touch with Hull college SSW team on 01482 598731 or e-mail SSW@hull-college.ac.uk

Further information about the programme can be found at www.hull-college.ac.uk/employers/SSW

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Hull College has secured a contract for £3.5 million to deliver the Skills Support for the Workforce (SSW) and Local Response Fund (LRF). The project is funded by the European Social Fund ESF. The focus for the funding will be to deliver workplace learning courses across the Humber region to meet individual, employer and regional needs by up skilling the workforce.

The project will be delivered in partnership with Bishop Burton College, East Riding College, Grimsby Institute, North Lindsey College and a number of specialist providers to engage with learners and key employment sectors as identified by the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

The contract started in July 2013 and will run until July 2015. The programme is aimed at supporting employed individuals aged 19 and over in a small medium enterprise (SME). It will enhance their skills and career prospects to reduce the risk of long term unemployment and welfare dependency while boosting the local economy.

To ensure the greatest impact to local businesses and the economy, the programme will target key growth sectors in the region as defined by the Humber LEP including
Chemicals, Steel, Food Processing, Engineering, Manufacturing and Healthcare. Support will also be prioritised for key local employment growth sectors including Construction, Transport, Business Services, Health, Hotels and Catering, Retail, Financial and Business Services, Gas, Electricity and water, Paper and Publishing.

Lord Haskins, Chair of Humber Local Enterprise Partnership said: “This Skills Support for the Workforce is aimed at SMEs which play a vital role in the Humber economy and it is important that the Humber LEP supports them to grow. SMEs need to take advantage of this £3.5 million funding to up-skill their staff and I encourage all employers to make contact with their local provider about their training needs, since this is a real opportunity for their employees to gain new skills and qualifications.”

80% of all employers in the Humber area are SMEs and one of the aims of the Humber LEP is to increase the number of employers who train their staff.

The Renewable Energy sector and other developments offer companies in the Humber region unprecedented opportunities to expand and grow. It is estimated that over the next 5 years up to 22,000 jobs will be created in the region. The up-skilling of the workforce is vital in enabling existing companies to take advantage of the new opportunities that the renewable industry and its supply chain offers. The allocation of £3.5 million for Skills Support for the Workforce (SSW) will enable companies across the region to develop their staff for the short and long term needs of their companies and will contribute to making a real difference within their productivity.

The Humber Skills Support for the Workforce funded project is delivered in in partnership with the Hull College Group as prime contractor and the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). Other colleges working in partnership are North Lindsey College, Grimsby Institute, Bishop Burton College, East Riding College along with private providers to meet the needs of the regional training priorities.

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