Manchester International Festival (MIF) has announced its latest Factory Academy programme for the 2021/22 academic year to provide skills and training programmes in creative industries for people across the region.
First launched by MIF back in 2018, in partnership with a number of other cultural organisations in the city, the award-winning Factory Academy is known to be a key part of the vision to put skills and training opportunities at the heart of The Factory – Manchester’s new landmark arts complex.
Over the next five years, the scheme is aiming to deliver around 1,400 fully-funded training opportunities and create accessible pathways to work in an increasingly-important sector, while supporting the region’s economic recovery.
In 2021/22, the Factory Academy will offer places to 250 people across a range of programmes including bespoke pre-employment academies on subjects from construction to broadcast and film production, industry traineeships designed to immerse students in the creative and cultural industries, and opportunities to manage creative projects to develop key skills.
Alongside this, The Factory Academy will offer ‘Kickstart Wraparound Support’.
This support will combine students’ on-the-job learning and unique opportunities for personal development in a workplace setting.
The latest opportunity is a new 15-day training academy developed in partnership with Laing O’Rourke, Ryder Architecture, and other companies who are working to bring The Factory to life, and students will be given the chance discover what goes on behind the scenes at an innovative construction project, receive first-hand guidance from industry experts, and develop new skills for working in construction.
The course is fully-funded with no cost to participants, and is open to anyone in Greater Manchester aged 19-24 and on Universal Credit.
On completion of their training at The Factory Academy, students will have the chance to apply for a six-month paid Kickstart role with organisations working on the design and construction of The Factory.
Over 150 Greater Manchester residents benefited from the Factory Academy last year alone – its first year as an independent training provider – and despite the challenges of the COVID pandemic, an average of 50% of students have progressed into work or further study within three months of completing the course.
Gary Briggs – Acting Head of Skills and Training at MIF – said: “The Factory Academy creates unique opportunities that aren’t offered elsewhere through the partnerships we’ve developed with employers and the support we offer to help open their doors to trainees.
“Our courses are bespoke, not off the shelf, developed with industry experts with specialist knowledge and experience from a range of sectors, from illustrators to military trainers, sustainability experts to musicians and arts technicians.
“Our aim is to reach people that wouldn’t usually consider a career in the cultural industries and to remove some of the traditional barriers, including offering open recruitment days instead of written application forms, giving the highest quality experience with a focus on experiential learning and self-development.
“All the skills and knowledge you’ll acquire at a Factory Futures training programme align to employment within the creative industries and beyond and are transferable across the sector.”
Sir Richard Leese – Leader of Manchester City Council – added: “By providing new and innovative training and development opportunities for local people in the cultural and creative industries, the Factory Academy has a key part to play in helping us grow our own highly skilled workforce here in the city and in supporting the continued growth of the sector.”
Applications for the 2021/22 programme open from September, and you can find more information on the MIF The Factory Academy website here.
Featured Image – MIF
Police search for Moors murder victim Keith Bennett resumes as ‘skull is found’
Police are back searching for Moors Murder victim Keith Bennett after a skull was reportedly found.
12-year-old Keith was snatched by notorious serial killers Ian Brady and Myra Hindley in 1964.
The pair’s victims were five children, Pauline Reade, John Kilbride, Keith Bennett, Lesley Ann Downey and Edward Evans, all aged between 10 and 17 years old at the time of their murder.
The victims were buried on Saddleworth Moor, but Keith’s remains have never been found.
Now a major breakthrough may have come from an author, Russell Edwards, who alerted police to ‘potential human remains in a remote location’.
Specialist GMP officers have now begun initial exploration activity but say it is ‘far too early’ to confirm if human remains have been discovered.
Officers have also updated Keith’s brother Alan Bennett, who was just eight years old when his sibling vanished and who has dedicated much of his life to solving the mystery of the missing body.
MP Force Review Officer Martin Bottomley said: “At around 11.25am on Thursday 29 September 2022, Greater Manchester Police was contacted by the representative of an author who has been researching the murder of Keith Bennett, a victim of Ian Brady and Myra Hindley.
“Following direct contact with the author, we were informed that he had discovered what he believes are potential human remains in a remote location on the Moors and he agreed to meet with officers yesterday afternoon to elaborate on his find and direct us to a site of interest.
“The site was assessed late last night and, this morning, specialist officers have begun initial exploration activity. We are in the very early stages of assessing the information which has been brought to our attention but have made the decision to act on it in line with a normal response to a report of this kind.
“It is far too early to be certain whether human remains have been discovered and this is expected to take some time.
“We have always said that GMP would act on any significant information which may lead to the recovery of Keith and reunite him with his family. As such, we have informed his brother of the potential development – he does not wish to be contacted at this time and asks that his privacy is respected.”
A further GMP statement published by the Manchester Evening Newsadded: “We have always said that GMP would act on any significant information which may lead to the recovery of Keith and reunite him with his family.
“Officers met with Mr Edwards yesterday evening (29th September) and he was able to locate a site of interest and provide us with further details of the work he has been carrying out.
“We are at the very early stages of assessing the evidence which he brought to our attention, but have taken the decision to excavate an area of land with a view to determining what lies there.
“It is far too early to be certain whether human remains have been uncovered, but out of respect for Alan Bennett, who we regularly maintain contact with, we have informed him of this potential development.
“Alan does not wish to be disturbed at this time and we would ask that his request for privacy is respected.”
Featured image: GMP
Question Time audience stunned as first-time buyer says mortgage quote DOUBLED
Thursday night’s Question Time audience could be heard audibly gasping after a fellow crowd member revealed that her mortgage quote had doubled followed the recent mini-budget.
Taping in Manchester on 29 September, the current events and politics programme was discussing property when would-be first-time buyer Rabia revealed that her mortgage offer had jumped from an initial amount of 4.5% interest to a shocking 10.5% in just a matter of days.
As you can see in the incredible clip, both the audience and the panel are taken aback at the revelation.
The Greater Manchester resident said she is desperate to know what the government’s plan for mortgages is as following the latest revision, she says she simply cannot afford to put the money down on her first home.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer weighed in on the social media reaction, quote tweeting the clip from his party’s own account and stating that “the Tories must get back to Parliament and reverse their kamikaze budget” as the current economic mess is being “paid for by working people”.
To make matters worse, Rabia was given no clarification from her lenders, only that they were pulling her offers. Conservative MP and Minister for Local Government, Faith and Communities, Paul Scully had little information to offer her either, simply stating it is a short-term effect and that the market will stabilise.
Scully was subject to an entirely different reaction from the audience as well after his blind attempts to defend Prime Minister Liz Truss and Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng were met with laughter. Conversely, Richard Bacon was met with applause after he labelled the mini-budget “absurd”.
As if the anti-Tory sentiment wasn’t already at a high, the chancellor’s mini-budget – which saw the corporations, bankers and the generally wealthy benefit ahead of the working class – has seen fresh calls for a general election to be held as soon as possible.
Beyond declaring a so-called £2,500 limit on energy bills (which many have warned isn’t a guaranteed cap), there was seemingly very little in the way of policy that
For those still unclear as to what was announced in the divisive mini-budget, here is a quick summary:
Speaking in a speech at the Labour conference in Liverpool on Tuesday, Starmer said that the government “haven’t just failed to fix the roof, they’ve ripped out the foundations, smashed the windows and now they’ve blown the doors off for good measure.