Supporting Apprenticeship and Internship Placements in Medway – Free info session

Thursday 22nd May, 10am – 11.30am
Brook Theatre, Chatham, Kent, ME4 4SE

You are invited to join a free information session to find out about the Creative Employment programme scheme and how Medway based creative organisations and businesses can have access to apprenticeship and internship placements supported by Medway Council.

Reserve your place a.s.a.p. by contacting or phone 01634 338319. Spaces are limited.

Creative Employment programme – Application information

The Creative Employment Programme (CEP) is a £15m Arts Lottery fund that aims to support the creation of 1,600 traineeships, 2,900 formal apprenticeships and 2,000 paid internship opportunities for 16 – 24 year old unemployed people wishing to pursue a career in the arts and cultural sector.

Medway Council is looking at putting in a consortium application to obtain the funding for the whole of Medway. If approved, Medway Council will be responsible for managing the grant, including all reporting requirements.

Creative organisations have got the opportunity to recruit and train up apprentices and interns.


The CEP offers up to £1500 of the total wage costs for every new apprenticeship that is for a minimum of 12 months and 30 hours per week, if the apprentice is aged 16 – 24 years and paid at least Apprentice Minimum Wage rates. Weekly hours are inclusive of college time.

Cost on an apprentice minimum rate: £2.68/ hour due to go up in October + on costs

The CEP offers up to £2000 of the total wage costs for every new apprenticeship that is for a minimum of 12 months and 30 hours per week, if the apprentice is aged 16 – 24 and paid at least the National Minimum Wage (relevant to the apprentice’s age).

All apprentices must be (at the time of making their application for an apprenticeship) unemployed.


The CEP offers up to £2500 of the total wage costs for every new internship that is for a minimum of 26 weeks and 30 hours per week, if the intern is aged 18 – 24 and paid at least the National Minimum Wage (relevant to the intern’s age).

All interns must be (at the time of applying for the internship) registered unemployed and claiming unemployment related benefits

Although the apprenticeships and internships must take place within the creative sector, they may be for any opportunity within the sector, including support roles such as finance, administration, HR, catering etc 

The Available Funding

The CEP will offer funding towards the wage costs for apprenticeships and internships. You may apply for funding for apprenticeships only, internships only, or both.

Individual applicants must use the entire grant to contribute towards the wage costs of the apprentice or intern. It cannot be used for training costs. Training costs will depend on the sector and type of training. More info will be provided during the information session on the 22nd of May.

Medway Council will top up the apprenticeship opportunity by £500 if you are new to Apprenticeships and if the apprentice is 18 to 24 years old.

The National Apprenticeship Service will provide a top up to eligible employers (less than 1000 employees, who are new to Apprenticeships or haven’t enrolled a new recruit or existing employee on an Apprenticeship programme in the previous 12 months), in respect of qualifying apprentices, with an individual value of £1,500

The Wage Incentives will provide an additional top up of £2275 if the person you recruit on an internship is 18-24 years old and has been claiming benefit for more than 6 months.

How to apply

An information session will be held on the 22nd of May 2014 at the Brook Theatre, Old Town Hall, Chatham, Kent ME4 4SE if you would like more information.

You will be asked to fill in a “creative employment pledge form” that will be available from the 22nd of May.

The electronic version will need to be sent back to and the paper version to be sent back to Solène Ferreira, Medway Council, Gun wharf, Dock Road, ME4 4TR, Chatham by 4th June 2014 deadline.

All placements to start after the 1st of September 2014 and no later than the 31st of March 2015.

The timing’s off …

Utility bills. Make us despair, do they not, with them just going up and up and up … well, actually – we were switched to a water meter late last year, and have just had our direct debit reduced by £20 a month – saving us c.£200 a year! We’ve also taken a keen interest in our gas bill, but more on that later.

A tap. Where water comes from.

To help you also save money on your water bill, a company called Save Water Save Money, working with 14 Water Companies, has made free devices available – ranging from shower heads  to children’s teeth brushing timers – and has fulfilled thousands of orders by running an on-line campaign with Money Saving Expert. These can reduce individual household bills by more than £100 if customers have a water meter.

Save Water Save Money Managing Director, Tim Robertson, said: “This promotion has been a phenomenal success. It just goes to show that while there’s so much emphasis on high value energy saving measures, householders understand it’s the small devices that can make a big impact on their bills, without affecting their water use or experience, and regardless of whether they are on a water meter or not.”

For more information or to claim your free water saving products, please visit the Save Water Save Money website here

And so onto the gas: We, like many others, had our hot water and heating on a timer. A few hours in the morning, a few in the evening. But by taking a few minutes each day to monitor our usage, it turns out that only having the water on the timer for an hour morning and evening, while keeping the heating ON but the thermostat lower, the house stays warmer and less energy – 40% less on some days – is used.  We reckon it’ll save us potentially £500 a year on our gas bill! I just wanted to share that with you, because I’m guessing there are lots of you out there, like me, who thought that timers were the more efficient way of heating your home.

Central heating. Where warm comes from.

Viva la energy revolution!

By women, for women: Introducing Rebecca Robertson of Evolution for Women.

**Sponsored Post**

Rebecca Robertson is on a mission. With a background in financial services spanning thirteen years, her mission is to empower women, in an increasingly difficult economic climate, to take control of their finances. One of her main goals is to increase the amount of women advisers available to other women, thereby reducing the ‘hard sell’ image generally associated with financial advice.

Evolution for Women offers free consultations and advice, dedicated to putting the family first – including evening and weekend opening hours and appointments to fit in between the school run. A philosophy that clients are for life is the driving force behind the company and Rebecca is passionate about delivering a detailed and personal service. From the initial appointment to any follow up enquiries, she takes a great deal of pride in being contactable and responding in a timely fashion.

With women living longer than ever before, managing the purse strings and juggling family with highly paid jobs or managerial roles, their need for advice traditionally given to men has grown. Where previously the focus may have been on male finances, independent female clients, whether married, single or divorced, are seeking a more empathetic financial partnership.  This is where Rebecca can help: Good parent portfolio reviews; Money Maximiser meetings; bespoke insurance policies; guardianship for children; long term family assets protection and Family Income Benefit are all areas of expertise to give families a secure financial footing.

From the humble beginnings of a temporary cashier in the Alliance and Leicester Building Society, the quick learning Rebecca was soon flying high within the company. Other roles in respected institutions such as The Bradford & Bingley Building Society, The Mortgage Times Group and Charcoal Brokers followed, including being head hunted twice.

Having been made redundant when 14 weeks pregnant, the seedlings of Evolution for Women began to sprout in Rebecca’s mind and she finally created the company in February 2011. Refining her operating model ever since, the days of building someone else’s empire are finally over. The Evo Academy is under construction, giving an opportunity to other women, with or without previous financial services experience, to gain qualifications and step onto a rewarding career path, thus expanding the Evolution for Women ethos.

Rebecca’s passion and commitment to providing an effective and personable service is clear. She says: “My business has become my 7th baby after my little girl, dogs, cats and husband. All of which I love and think the world of. I have a very clear path for Evolution for Women and believe we will be the hand bag of financial services for women.”

After a decade working for the pinstripe brigade with their “do now, do quickly” attitude, Rebecca has decided to do things differently: She’s going to put the service back into the financial services industry and a feminine touch to finance!

What would you do with your lottery winnings?

I love the KissFM breakfast show – although I only listen in the car on the school run – but Ricky, Melvin and Charlie always come up with a great discussion idea. Last week, the week that 18 millionaires would be made on the lottery show, they asked the question: What would you do with your million?

My top 3:

A car, the greenest money can buy. Just because, for once in my life, I’d like to have one that works properly: I’ve yet to own a car that doesn’t have little niggles, such as the headrest being stuck, or the seat belt being stuck, or the cd not playing properly, or the right rear passenger door not opening. One I can just have picked up if it goes wrong and repaired immediately, instead of the usual umming and ahhing about booking it into a garage or doing it myself. When I say by myself, I mean, hunting around for spare parts and hoping the eldest, who did two weeks work experience at Fords, can do it for me.  And if Ferrari can make a green version of the 550 Maranello, I’d be extremely grateful to them.

Ferrari 550 Maranello

Ferrari 550 Maranello (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A new house. A big one, yes, with the gym, pool, dance studio/club, 5 a side footie pitch, cycle paths, pitch and putt and so on … Most importantly, a dedicated writers room, theatre and a film studio – complete with a production crew of my own. I’m not sure how much I’d actually have left out of just one million here … maybe forget the gym and the footie pitch …

Employ household staff: In particular – a chef! No out-of-the-freezer meals for me any more. A proper home cooked meal, by someone who can do good old standard English fayre like a roast dinner but also a delicate Oriental dish, and a sweet and spicy Indian too! Add in housekeeper and chauffeur and I’m a happy little bunny. (And I help the employment figures too!)  This is my idea of heaven and probably the first thing I’d do, even while still living in a semi …

Claiming back PPI? Why give some of it to a third party?

I was recently asked the question: Which of the PPI claimback companies would I recommend?

The short, simple and to the point answer was: None of them.

Because why on earth would you claim back possibly thousands of pounds that you’re owed, just to give anything from 10% to 30%, maybe more, to a third party – when you can do what they do just as easily?

I was working for a bank at the time and the question was posed by a customer. She’d been advised by her union that they would do her PPI claim back for her – for 30%! I believe the average payout is a little under £3000, so she may have ended up paying them aproximately £900 to make a phone call or send a letter she could do herself!

The bank I worked at had a dedicated unit with a free phone number for customers to call; the form is provided and the banks are under orders from the government to deal with the complaints as quickly as possible, irrespective of who make them: Claim back companies do not take precedence over customers going direct themselves and therefore will not be any quicker.

So do yourselves a favour if you think you may be owed money because of mis-sold PPI – contact the provider direct. There are plenty of free guides and templates to help, such as the one on the website.

PPI in itself is not a bad thing; in fact, some people have cause to be extremely grateful for it. However, do shop around if you want cover in case you lose your job or are unable to work due to illness or accident. These are some on line providers, recommended by the Guardian: British InsurancePaymentcareiProtectHelpuCoverColumbus and Ant.  British Insurance advised the Guardian that around £25 a month covers £1,000 worth of bills, but you can choose according to your individual needs.