Big music career opportunities

There are some great opportunities being offered by the Big Music Project for people wanting to carve out a career in the music industry.Big Music project

Backed by young people’s charity UK Youth, the initiative offers people aged 14-24 the chance to get involved in the industry, promotes work experience opportunities, internships, jobs and offers some great chances to find out about the many different routes in to the industry.

The Big Music Project is supported by major names in entertainment such as radio station Capital FM and the BPI, the people behind the BRIT Awards, as well as Plan B, Ellie Goulding, Example, Chase & Status and MNEK.

UK Youth is offering organisations working with young people in each region of England, the chance to become Big Music Project Hubs and be part of a UK-wide music network.

Each Hub will be given free accredited training and resources to enable 10 young people to become Music Champions and run their own music projects and deliver peer education, which will ensure a wider group of young people have improved access to opportunities. To find out more about the hubs, email Lucy.

The Big Music Project aims to reach 4,500,000 young people.

It will host four national live events that will attract over 1,000 young people each, promote a nationwide music competition, offer over 250 placements, ranging from the short term to year-long paid internships across the music industry and organise a grassroots training and development programme.

I am committed to doing all I can to provide young people with the information they need to learn about job opportunities in our flourishing music scene. Two months ago, I held the first Skills and Schools Day with UK Music. You can learn more about the day here.

Hillsborough 25th anniversary

HillsboroughToday, I am joining families, friends and fans across Liverpool and the country to remember the 96 people who died at the Hillsborough disaster 25 years ago.

Our thoughts are with the families of everyone who died on that tragic day and their continuing fight for justice.

Without the bravery and determination of the survivors, family members and campaigners, the disaster might now be viewed as one more awful, sad chapter in history. Their determination has exposed many wrongs and created a national understanding of the need to expose the whole truth of what happened on that day.

Today, I pledge my support to this continuing fight.

Making an appointment to meet up

Labour MP PhotocallI hold surgeries every week across the constituency to meet people face-to-face who think I may be able to help. You just need to get in touch to book an appointment.

The first Thursday of the month:
Fiveways Medical Centre, 215 Childwall Road, L15 6UT

The second Thursday of the month:
UCATT, 56 Derwent Road East, L13 6QR

The third Thursday of the month:
The Fairfield Centre, Sheil Road, L6 3AA

The fourth Thursday of the month:
WAM, Wellington avenue, L15 0EJ

Surgery times are subject to change depending on parliamentary business.

Sometimes people want to raise a general issue with me, and sometimes people want to talk through a specific problem they are having, for instance with housing, health, work or benefits.

It is really useful when making an appointment to provide some brief information about what it is that you want to raise with me. It may turn out that we can sort out what you need over the phone or by email.

If we can’t, or you want to meet face-to-face, then it is helpful to bring with you any recent, relevant letters or information with you so that we can look through them together. If we need to keep copies of any correspondence, we will return originals to you.

We will then sit down and talk through what it is you want to raise, what I can do to help and agree our next steps.

Each person’s concerns will be different, and some issues can take longer to sort out than others, but we will agree when we meet when I will come back to you to let you know about progress.

To make an appointment, please:

Telephone: 0151 228 1628


How I can help

People get in touch with me to let me know what they feel about issues in the news or about issues that are on their minds as well as government policies and what they want Labour to do about them.Luciana with Cost of Cameron petition 11-1-14  wirral west

People also get in touch with me because they are having problems with housing, jobs, consumer services, benefits, gas, water and energy suppliers. immigration, anti-social behaviour, street cleanliness, schools and much more besides.

Sometimes, all it takes is for an MP to make contact and service providers can quickly work with you to solve a problem.

Sometimes, I am able to use the experience of others to provide you with the information or advice you need to solve the problem yourself.

And sometimes, I can put you in touch with councillors, or other organisations that are better placed to support you.

You will always receive a friendly welcome and a quick reply from myself and the staff I work with.

We aim to process casework enquiries within five working days.

We can’t guarantee to solve every problem, but we can promise to do our very best to work with you to find a solution.

There will be some things I can’t help with. Members of Parliament work with people who live within their constituency. We will ask you for your postcode when you get in touch. If you live in another MP’s constituency, we will give you the contact details for your MP.

I can’t interfere with the working of the courts, but I can, through the Law Society, help you make contact with a solicitor who may be able to help represent you.

And, of course, it is better to get in touch and ask me if you think I can help. If I can’t I will always let you know why and do my best to put you in contact with the person who can help.

To get in touch, please:

Four pillars of economic growth and prosperity

Over the coming weeks and months, you will be hearing a lot about Agenda 2030, Labour’s ambitious plans to put in place the policies and support needed to create economic revival.

Liverpool Port. #itsliverpool

Liverpool Port. #itsliverpool

We need to earn and grow our way to higher living standards through a high-productivity, high-skilled, innovation-led economy succeeding in the world, creating good jobs and opportunities, offering people a ladder up and the chance to make the most of their potential.

Our fast-changing world is creating global opportunities for us to grow and develop, but the Tories have shown themselves quite incapable of grasping the kind of scientific, technical and skills reforms required to take advantage of them.

Instead, they want to shrink the size of the state, rather than transform it in to a friend of innovation and change.

In Liverpool, we understand the need to adapt to the new opportunities, which is why the city council has been doing so much to build trade and upgrade our sea links to the world as well as prepare for the International Festival for Business in the summer.

The UK currently exports more to the Czech Republic – a country a tenth of the size and with less than a fifteenth of the population – than we do to fast growing Nigeria.

The Chinese students attending the University of Liverpool know that they can learn a lot in our city, but the UK needs to understand that there is much to be learnt from China. For instance, we like to think of ourselves as better innovators than China. But China is growing science spending by 36 per cent a year.

We need to transform our economy and back our businesses to make the most of the new opportunities there are and grow our way to higher standards of living for all.

Because we are not seeing the balanced and sustainable growth we were promised, prices are still rising faster than wages and the continuing cost-of-living crisis for many means that individuals are, on average, £1,600 a year worse off.

So business as usual is not an option.

To set a foundation for future success, the next Labour government will take a different approach founded on four pillars of success.

First, we will liberate the talents of all. Everyone – in every part of Britain – will have a platform from which to succeed.  Instead of prioritising a millionaires’ tax cut for the top 1 per cent, Labour will prioritise giving everyone a ladder up.

Second, Labour will prioritise investing in our science base so that we can compete in a race to the top through innovation, creating and developing goods and services which the world wants to buy.

Third, Labour will work strategically with business to encourage longer-term decision making in government and industry. That includes setting up a British Investment Bank and a network of regional banks to ensure businesses have the finance and growth capital they need.

Fourth, Labour will remain open to the world and seek to shape the forces of change in partnership with other countries – in Europe and beyond. We cannot claim to be pro-exports and be anti-EU. The European Union is our nearest and biggest market gives us access to other markets we couldn’t get into, or not so quickly.

This is a huge agenda of transformation and I look forward to hearing your views and sharing more details with you in the run up to the General Election.

United Nations World Autism Day

NAS Onesie-community-main-page

National Autistic Society supporters don their onesies

Today is United Nations World Autism Day and all this month Liverpool City Council, community groups and local people are making an extra effort to raise awareness of autism.

Mayor Joe Anderson is to be congratulated for wanting to make Liverpool an autism friendly city.

I will be linking up with the Liverpool Autistic Children’s Alliance on Friday to discuss how I can support the fantastic work people with autism, families and campaigners are already doing.

Today, there is a National Autistic Society ‘Onesie Wednesday’ event with autistic children at St George’s Hall in Liverpool.

On Saturday, Everton In the Community is promoting autism awareness at the Arsenal game.

The National Autistic Society says that while all people with autism share certain difficulties, the condition affects people in different ways. Some people are able to live relatively independent lives but others may have accompanying learning disabilities and need a lifetime of specialist support.

People with autism may also experience over- or under-sensitivity to sounds, touch, tastes, smells, light or colours. People with Asperger syndrome have fewer problems with speech but may still have difficulties with understanding and processing language.

Together, we can break down the stigma that surrounds the condition and all help make sure that our city and country are friendlier places for people with autism.

A break for mothers every day

Mothers Day singleOne of the biggest problems that parents have been talking to me about in the run up to Mother’s Day this Sunday is the cost of childcare.

Mums and Dads are facing hard times, with prices up 30 per cent since the election, fewer Sure Start places and some parents getting £1,500 less help with childcare support through working tax credits.

This is having a real impact on the ability of mums to go out to work and for work to pay.

At my recent What Women Want event, mums attending were calling for help with childcare but have got little comfort from the recent Budget.

Families struggling with childcare costs now won’t see any benefit from the Budget until after the General Election.

Families are under huge pressure with childcare costs and childcare availability. On top of tax free childcare Labour will extend free childcare for working families with three and four year olds by an extra 10 hours, to 25 hours a week, 38 weeks a year.

So, for the first time, a second earner will be able to work part time without having to worry about paying for childcare.

This increase in childcare support is worth £1,500 per child and will help mums to get back to work or work the hours they want. The 15 hour early years entitlement will remain universal for all parents and the additional support means families would be even better off under Labour.

Because we know how hard it is juggling working hours with school hours, we will introduce a guarantee in law to ensure that every parent has access to before and after school care through primary schools.

This weekend, mums will get a much deserved reminder of how grateful we are for all that they do, but mums need a break every day and not just on Mother’s Day.

A better deal for mental health

BUDGET WARNING: Joint letter on mental health

BUDGET WARNING: Joint letter on mental health

Labour leader Ed Miliband has forced the Prime Minister to admit that a ‘culture change in favour of mental health and helping with mental health problems is still needed in the way the health service work.’

The admission came in the wake of damning figures showing that the mental health budget is falling for the first time in a decade.

There have been some great advances in mental health in recent decades, with more and more people willing to speak out about their experiences, leading to a willingness to seek help and support early.

Imagine the frustration and distress caused when that help isn’t there because government pledges aren’t made good on the ground.

The country’s leading mental health charities recently joined forces to warn that the mental health share of the NHS budget is falling, services for children and young people are losing out, there are fewer mental health beds, and more young people are being treated on adult psychiatric wards.

That is unacceptable. There is no good reason for mental health to be losing out.

Labour will enshrine equality for mental health in the NHS constitution. That will send a message to commissioners and decision makers about the priority that mental health deserves.

It will ensure that those who are affected by mental health problems get the access to the treatment and care needed, when it is needed.


We can all benefit from apprenticeships

Every time a company in Liverpool Wavertree hires an apprentice, its bottom line gets an average boost of £1,941. The benefit is immediate, after wage and training costs are deducted.

AT WORK: James Crombleholme

AT WORK: James Crombleholme

That figure has been calculated by the Association of Accounting Technicians, which has pioneered apprenticeships in accounting.

New apprentices in Liverpool Wavertree gave local businesses a boost of £2 million last year. That was the net benefit from apprenticeships which began in 2012/13, so the benefit from all apprentices currently in training was larger.

I’m committed to encouraging and supporting young people into the workplace, whether on work experience placements from local schools, paid internships or on apprenticeships.

I was, therefore, delighted that James Crombleholme, who started work in October 2012 in my Wavertree constituency office, mad

e it on to the three-person shortlist for Apprentice of the Year organised by the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce.

Heather Msatida, who has recently spent two weeks on work experience with me from Archbishop Blanch school, interviewed James, who has now become a permanent Caseworker, about what being an apprentice involves.

What do you think makes a good apprentice?

I think that the main thing is dedication and hard work. If you don’t try, or appear enthusiastic about your job, then your employer may begin to doubt your commitment to the role. To have a chance of securing permanent employment after your apprenticeship,  you must demonstrate your willingness to succeed early on. Another important factor is for your employer to be enthusiastic about having an apprentice as well. Having a good structure and keeping track of your work are also important too; which again, comes back to dedication.

What advice would you give to someone who is planning on taking on an apprentice?

You have to know what you want to get out of it. Money? Skills? A chance of employment at the end? The key thing is to find a good provider who can recommend you good quality apprenticeships depending on what you would like to do, and what skills you possess. In addition, it is wise to speak to more than one apprenticeship provider, as you may find the quality of apprenticeships vary considerably.

How would you describe the process of signing up for an apprenticeship?

Decide what you want to do; that’s the first thing. The second thing is to contact the provider and take time to consider all of the options before you choose one. Once you have found the one that you know that you want, you should submit your CV, and preferably a covering letter to show your willingness to get the job. Hopefully, an interview will then follow.

What are the positives of taking an apprenticeship?

You’re getting paid – but that isn’t the only thing. You’re also obtaining vitally important skills and knowledge of the workplace, whilst at the same time achieving qualifications, which can help you get a future job. It can also be used as an alternative to university if that is not an option you wish to pursue.

People wanting to find out more about apprenticeship opportunities across Liverpool, can click here.

Pledging support for Earth Hour

Luciana Berger MPMP?s show their support for WWF's Earth Hour 2014 by making their wish for a brighter future for our planet. They will be joining millions of people across the UK in switching off their lights at 8.30pm on Saturday 29th March 2014 to show they care about protecting our natural world.Our natural world is precious to all life that inhabits it, and we need to do more to protect it.

There are simple things we can all do for the planet.

For instance, pledging support to Earth Hour, a global event to switch off lights for an hour to underscore how important sustainability is to us all.

It’s a great opportunity to bring together millions of people from across the world with one united goal – to help protect our planet.

Earth Hour sees millions of people around the world coming together to switch off lights for one hour in a symbolic act of support to show they care about our shared planet.

Last year, Earth Hour bought together over 10 million people in the UK, and 154 countries took part.

Iconic landmarks such as Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower and the Sydney Opera House all switched off and hundreds of local communities, schools and businesses took part.

I’ll be doing my bit at 8.30pm on Saturday March 29, and I hope that you will be able to join in.

You can pledge your support here.