Michael Portillo to take BBC railway trip
Published: 30th Apr 2012 12:41:58
Former Conservative cabinet minister Michael Portillo is to present a documentary about cuts to the UK railway network for BBC Radio 4.
Portillo will present One Way Ticket: The Beeching Cuts Revisited for Archive on 4 on Saturday at 20:00 BST.
It will examine the cuts to the network recommended by Richard Beeching, chairman of the British Railways Board, in 1965.
Portillo also presents the BBC Two series Great British Railway Journeys.
As part of the Radio 4 programme, Portillo travels along the Settle to Carlisle line, which lost many of its stations during the Beeching era.
He also hears from former transport ministers about the impact Beeching's plans have had on government rail plans and policy over the past five decades.
The programme is being made by independent production company Made in Manchester.
Producer Ashley Byrne said: "Michael loves the railways and his passion for their history and heritage really comes through in this programme."
Portillo, who was Defence Secretary in the 1990s, recently caused controversy when he said he would not vote for the Conservative party's London mayoral candidate Boris Johnson.
He told the BBC's This Week he would back a candidate "who endorses a third runway for Heathrow airport".
Independent Siobhan Benita is the only candidate to do so, while Mr Johnson wants a new airport in the Thames Estuary.
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Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Michael Portillo to take BBC railway trip [Online] (Updated 30th Apr 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1425526/Michael-Portillo-to-take-BBC-railway-trip [Accessed 30th Jul 2014]
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With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com