Mersey Maritime Apprentice Olivia (Livvy) Weston got a chance to visit No.10 Downing Street and the House of Commons after meeting the Shipping Minister, John Hayes, MP on an official visit.
The 18-year-old Apprentice, who has been with Mersey Maritime since finishing her A-levels last year, spent a day in Westminster. She visited Mr Hayes at the Department for Transport, watched a Parliamentary debate in the House of Commons and had her photo taken in front of the famous black door of No.10 Downing Street.
Former Halewood Academy pupil Livvy said: “I felt very privileged meeting Mr Hayes and visiting Parliament. His staff were extremely kind in showing me round and talking to me about their work supporting Government. It’s certainly something I’ll remember forever!”
The Shipping Minister is very supportive of apprenticeships following his time as Minister of State for Further Education, Skills & Lifelong Learning in 2010. Livvy’s invitation to visit Parliament followed a visit to Mersey Maritime by Mr Hayes.
Mr Hayes said: “Apprenticeships are incredibly important for today’s young people and I was delighted to be able to support and encourage Livvy. I hope she found her trip interesting and beneficial.”
Mersey Maritime is a strong advocate of apprenticeships and took Livvy on as its first apprentice in September 2014. Following the apprenticeship, Livvy will qualify with a City & Guilds Advanced Level 3 in Office Administration & Marketing.
Chris Shirling-Rooke, Acting CEO at Mersey Maritime, said: “The Shipping Minister is always very supportive of Mersey Maritime and we cannot thank him enough for inviting Livvy to Westminster. It was a very generous gesture.”
Mersey Maritime Limited
Mersey Maritime is the private-public sector partnership that represents the interests of the shipping, ports and logistics sector on Merseyside, including improvements to the movement of freight across the region. It represents the interests of a cluster of 1700 businesses employing 28, 000 people, with a combined turnover of £2.6bn. The organisation receives funding via the European Regional Development Fund (see below), matched by private sector income raised through membership, events and consultancy services. www.merseymaritime.co.uk
Maritime Sector Development Programme
The programme is open to Merseyside-based SMEs. These are defined as businesses with a registered office address in Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens, Wirral or Knowsley (some postcodes excepted). They must engage in economic activity, being self-employed persons, family businesses, partnerships or associations. They must employ fewer than 250 staff and have an annual turnover not exceeding EUR 50m, or an annual balance sheet total not exceeding EUR 43m.
SMEs may qualify for assistance from the programme if they operate in the following sub-sectors: Building, repair and maintenance of ships or boats; Business services; Cargo handling; Defence; Education, training and skills; Engineering and fabrication services; Leisure and Recreation; Navigation and safety; Offshore and underwater services; Oil and gas; Port operations, Professional maritime services; Renewable energy; Research and development; Ship management;Shipping, freight and forwarding agents; Storage and warehousing; Transport by land, air or sea; Wholesale distribution and other specialist maritime sectors.
The European Regional Development Fund
The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) is making a real difference to people and businesses in the North West. The Current ERDF programme, which is worth €755 million, is enhancing the competitiveness of the region’s economy by supporting growth in enterprise and employment. ERDF is managed by the Department for Communities and Local Government. ERDF’s Maritime Sector Development Programme has been extended to 2015. It aims to support productivity, business growth and job creation among small to medium sized enterprises on Merseyside, helping to enhance the competitiveness of the sub-region both nationally and internationally. For further information please visithttps://www.gov.uk/browse/