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cooler through the weekend, but the weather is looking pretty good
Hello and welcome to Midlands Today. The headlines tonight:
Helping Harry Help Others ` the charity dedicated to the melory of
Harry Moseley gives a children's cancer unit a ?78,000 boost.
Mind the gap ` apprenticeshhps have trebled in over the last ten years,
so why are employers worried about a shortage of skills in our region?
Not just about England, our Premier League players `re
flying the flags for multiple nations in the World Cup.
A bumper crop of strawberrids, thanks to one
For us to have four players from four different continents in the
World Cup is a source of prhde. Will we be able to pull it out of the bag
tomorrow and at the weekend? You will hear all about it later.
The mother of Harry Moseley, the young Birmingham boy who raised
hundreds of thousands of potnds for charity as he battled
a brain tumour, has given a cancer unit appeal a ?78,000 boost.
Harry earned the title "Britain's kindest kid" before his
death in October 2011 as he became famous for makhng
Since his death, his mum Georgie has set up ` charity
shop and a family centre at a local hospice, in Harry's memory.
And this afternoon she handdd over the cash to help young people
like Harry having treatment in his home city.
He was important because he was ill and he made loads of braceldts and
made loads of money even though he had cancer.
They don't have as long a lhfe as us because they don't `` because they
have cancer. Harry raised thousands of pounds for cancer research. A
charity set up in his name `s `` has recently funded a room at this
hospice. This is the Harry Loseley centre which we were honourdd to be
able to support and give ?300,0 0 to help them create a home frol home
environment where families can be together in a time of need during
the final stages. The charity is helping out with another big`money
project. A cheque for ?78,000. Help Harry Help Others is teaming up with
the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. We are the largest unit outside London and
if we weren't able to work with partners like this charity we
wouldn't be able to help thd number that we want to or need to.
Some children have their radiotherapy in here but thdir
parents have to stay in the waiting room. There is nowhere Priv`te for
them to go. However, they whll soon have their own dedicated room where
they will be able to take thme out, tacked to the medics and it is the
charity that will fund this. The hospital is even giving up hts old
archive room and turning it into a treatment area. Back at Harry's
headquarters, his face beams. Always smiling.
Coming up later: Frozen veg with a difference, the University seed bank
which is securing the futurd of the nation's vegetables.
The number of young people on apprenticeships in the West Midlands
has trebled in the last dec`de, according to government figtres
Across the region, there ard now more than 60,000 apprentices,
but despite that increase, dmployers are increasingly worried about
In some areas it's so acute there's concern it could hold back growth.
Here's our business correspondent, Peter Plisner.
High`tech manufacturing in South Birmingham. This company makes
automated production equipmdnt. They have seen growth of 25% in the last
few years and they want to double their size within three years.
According to its managing dhrector, finding people with the right skills
isn't easy though. It is extremely difficult in our business as there
is only a limited pool of qtalified engineers in the marketplacd because
there are similar companies to us accelerating their growth as well at
this time. Part of the answer our apprdntices.
Jake started here last year and is already acquiring valuable new
skills. It is an expensive decision though and in the past we h`ve taken
trainees and graduates and we have formulated that now into school
leavers. Record numbers of new apprentices has meant the nded of a
new training centre which h`s been set up by the EEF. Jake and others
come here for the formal part of their training. We are the dmployers
organisation so we are employer driven and owned and we pride
ourselves on being responsive to the needs of our employers. That is
where we gain as we underst`nd their needs and we understand enghneering
and pride ourselves that we understand apprentices. This has
cost more than ?3 million to set up and trains in a variety of
disciplines. Here, apprentices are shown how to use lathes and over
there is the latest technology, machines that make components
controlled by computer will stop for people like Jake it is a grdat
learning experience. I am ldarning whilst on learning. I would probably
have gone to university and have had massive debt. The increasing number
of apprentices is already hdlping to bridge the so`called skills gap but
it is only part of the solution The Business Secretary has been in
Staffordshire today looking at the way one of the region 's biggest
employers has been ensuring they have a skilled workforce to deal
with manufacturing in the ftture. The Business Secretary met the
business brains of the future. This is the JCB Academy. It is the UK's
first academy dedicated to developing the skills of engineers
and entrepreneurs between 14 and 19. Later, at the headquartdrs,
Doctor cable discussed the importance of doing more to tackle
the skills shortage seen in some industries. More needs to bd done
because I want the recovery to be sustained and concentrated on
manufacturing and exports which will keep the economy going and we need
trained people to do that. Apprentices had been educatdd here
and are now amongst the first to graduate and work full`time to ``
for JCB. It prepared me for being in the working environment bec`use it
was so hands on. We were also treated as young adults as we were
in the workplace are ready. The skills relate to what I am doing now
as I have to run through projects in design. Run them into production.
JCB's chairman delivered his maiden speech in the House of Lords this
week. It takes time. I would be very keen and I mentioned it to dogs came
bowl `` Doctor cable and I would to any politician, industry nedds a
long`term strategy and educ`tion should be part of that. The ambition
to improve skills is reflected in investment in apprenticeships but
all sides agree much more ndeds to be done.
There are just a few hours to go until the World Cup
More than 100 players from the Premier League will be hoping
it's their country who'll bd lifting the trophy in a month's timd.
Fans of Stoke City have plenty of teams to cheer with four
of their stars representing four different nations.
Goalkeeper Asmir Begovic is already a hero to Stoke City supporters
after a string of fine performances in the Premier League.
But he's also one of the biggest stars
They've brought joy to a nation after qualifying for the World Cup
It will be very special for myself and the whole family. It has been a
lifelong dream of mine so to achieve it is great. We want to achheve
something at the World Cup. Hopefully we can be positivd and
achieved something. Wilson Palacios is in the Honduras squad for the
tournament whilst the American team features Geoff Cameron in ddfence.
And striker Odemwingie will come up against Begovic in their group. We
are in a global league which means players that we attract our global
superstars. For us to have four players from four different
continents playing in the World Cup is a source of great pride. I am
pleased and proud. Shawcross ought to have been there though. Begovic
is one of the best in the Premier League. It is great for our club.
Very proud. They are also ilmensely proud that players like Begovic will
be carrying their name to the World Cup.
A World Cup party organised by BBC WM is taking place now
in Birmingham City Centre, `nd Ben Sidwell is there for us now
Ben, who needs Copacobana bdach in Rio
Absolutely. The excitement hs greater in Brazil, I suspect. Plenty
of England fans are making their way over to the World Cup, incltding a
number from right here in the Midlands.
Wherever Robin Evans goes hhs England flag is never far bdhind. It
has travelled around Europe, Miami and is now heading for the big one
in Brazil. I can't wait. It is once in a lifetime. The one everxone
wants to go to, in Brazil. Fingers crossed we will do well. With
hundreds of flags making thdir trip to Brazil, the competition for pride
of place will almost be as competitive as the game on the
pitch. Quite a lot of peopld turn up and there is argy`bargy to try and
get there first and get the best place. A friend of mine is Dnglish
as well. In Detroit, Glen from Sutton Coldfield has been dhsplaying
his new `` his England flag, to the bewilderment of many Americ`ns.
There is not much of their height in the United States so I really had to
come back home for it or go to Brazil and watch it there.
Back at Stoke City, a permanent tribute to one of the club `nd
countries legends who has fond memories of Brazil. Playing them,
anyhow! When you think all the great saves goalkeepers have made and for
people to remember this one... It is something very, very special. Robin
and Glen and their flags will hope their World Cup memories ard just as
special. Robin has completed a 48 hotr treat
and has arrived in Brazil. Glenn is due to get there on Wednesd`y but
the question is, how will England do? Former Coventry and Aston Villa
midfielder, and what do you think? I think they will do better than most
people think. They will get out of their group. It will be a vdry good
competition for us. We never do well in South America historically. Can
we cope with the weather? That is the problem. It will be eight have
game for us and for Italy bdcause humidity is a problem. If wd can get
out of that game OK and then I am confident we can do well ag`inst
Uruguay and Costa Rica. With our exciting young talent, it is quite
exciting. For the first timd, no one expects anything and we might be
surprised. Is it a good thing that there is almost an apathy? The
atmosphere is building. Tomorrow night, and kick`off, the whole
nation will be right behind the country and if we get off to a great
start it will build and mount as the competition goes forward. The
atmosphere is building. Everything is fantastic. The Brazilians tonight
are opening the tournament `nd they are very colourful. If we c`n
surprise a view and progress into the tournament you never know. We
may do better than everyone thinks. Who will win? Brazil!
The University of Warwick h`s been tasked with securing the future
The government is funding a project to save the seeds of rare and wild
The aim is to preserve DNA that could help solve
Our science correspondent, David Gregory`Kumar, spent the day
This is a great store of gi`nt `` genetic diversity we can usd to
breed into crop varieties in the future. If there is less water in
the future there might be useful drought resistant genes in ` wild
lettuce stored here. The sedd bank is a living thing and the sdeds need
to be regenerated and grown into plants from which new seed hs
gathered. Seed can only be stored for so long and in order to store in
long`term it needs to be tested for viability. Periodically, depending
on the crop type, crops are taken out and they will be regenerated. An
important part of this is these fellows. Maggots are import`nt
because some of the vegetables will need to be pollinated by flhes. Take
these and turn them into flhes and they do the hard work for you.
Carrots, and lettuce, turnips and more. These 14,000 seeds lock and
key are a vital insurance against all sorts of threats from drought to
pest and disease. If we didn't have this then you couldn't do that.
These are equally if not more important for future breeding
activities. They don't tastd as good? No. Some of our rarest
vegetables kept alive so th`t people in the UK can keep on eating our
greens. Our top story: The charity dedicated
to the memory of Harry Mosldy gives a children's cancer unit a 78 `` 70
?8,000 boost. Woman`macro whll report from Herefordshire as
strawberry growers expect a bumper crop.
British strawberry growers predict a highly successful crop thanks to the
wet and mild winter. More than 51,000 tonnes of the fruit `re
expected to be picked at Brhtish farms this summer. We met a
strawberry grower from Herefordshire.
Looking for strawberries thhs summer than Herefordshire is your place.
Here they expect a bumper crop right before the kick `` picking. We have
just come out of the wettest winter for years and we have had a mild
swing `` spring with good lhght levels and we have been abld to
strike the strawberry crop three weeks earlier than normal. There
will be strawberries available for the next six months which is really
encouraging. The county produces 20% of this country is soft fruht and
this business is one of its biggest contributors with a turnover of 1000
tonnes of strawberries annu`lly While the weather may have played
its part, it can often play havoc and without modern farming lethods,
there might not be a thriving soft fruit industry. Water is a big issue
and we have been able to save it in these structures and recycld it
These poly tunnels and tabld top planting systems have protected the
crops. Also investment in ndw varieties has meant it is now
available out of season but still bursting with flavour. Less need for
imports. When it comes to plant breeding, this succulent and scented
fruit is judged on shape, shze, and aroma. This one is the queen of the
crop and is a perfect heart`shaped. It is naturally sweet and h`s a
distinctive and fresh aroma. And... It is so tasty. But it is also
valuable to the local and n`tional economy. Horticulture in thhs region
uses 3% of land to produce one fifth of the region 's agricultur`l output
of which 110,000 tonnes is fruit and 870,000 tonnes of vegetables.
British very sales alone have doubled in the past decade. That is
why this gem is a nation 's little treasure, perhaps.
Sutton Coldfield has this evening become only the fourth town
in the country to be bestowdd with an official "Royal" title.
Royal Sutton Coldfield is the region's second "royal" town.
Royal Leamington Spa was gr`nted the patronage in 1838 by Queen Victoria.
The announcement has just been made at Westminster.
We wish to reassert something we claim never to have lost and which
we have enjoyed down the centuries. That the Royal town of Sutton
Coldfield bears this title hn perpetuity as clearly documdnted
throughout our history. An historic moment. Kath, dhdn't the
town already have a royal town of some sort?
Well, it is Royal already. Henry VIII was the one who granted its
Royal Charter. It has been largely forgotten no particularly as it has
become part of Birmingham. Two years ago, the local paper launchdd a
campaign to end this confushon once and for all and this afternoon they
were busy putting together tomorrow's triumphant front`page. It
will now be known as the Roxal Sutton Coldfield Observer. We asked
people to prove that Sutton Coldfield is Royal and we got an
avalanche of people sending in information about family hehrlooms
and keepsakes and evidence of the Royal past of the town. Well, with
me is Elizabeth Allison, thd chairman of the local civic society.
Welcome to Royal Sutton Coldfield. How does that sound? It is great
news and so many people herd will be delighted to it. May I pay tribute
to the people who put in so much effort to achieve this end `nd not
least our MP, Andrew Mitchell, and Marion Baxter who collated `ll the
evidence and took it to London to present it. Why does it matter? It
is certainly not snobbery btt people just believed it was their right as
it was granted in the 16th century. It had been preserved in melory over
the years. The civic societx played a small part in restoring the Royal
town signs on certain occashons It is based on what people truly
believed they were entitled to. A lot of support? Yes, a very popular
campaign here. Thank you. All Royal Sutton Coldfield needs now hs a
Royal visit and I imagine a letter is winging its way to the P`lace as
we speak. Jeremy Houghton is an artist with a
royal seal of approval. He hs now painting at Windsor Castle for the
Queen but it is his links whth rural life in the Cotswolds which led him
to explore the role of horsds in World War I.
Horses have always played a role in Jeremy Houghton's life. Frol a boy
growing up in Broadway to an artist who paints them today. But ht was
his grandfather's photo collection that inspired his latest exhibition
from the meadows of the Cotswolds to the fields of the Somme. It was a
rule, equestrian village and horses were part of its way of lifd. They
help recreate the story. It is a vivid relevant photo. Insidd this
gallery of Broadway, the role of horses through the war is told
through paintings. They looked like photo negatives. With this
exhibition I have tried to still `` tell the story of life before,
during and after the war. Prewar you have scenes like this. Yes, it is an
important part of the narrative of the exhibition. You didn't have a
say in the matter as horses were owned by the state. 1.2 million
horses were used in the war, transporting artillery and len. Many
started life in rural places. This could be a farming lead with horses
who was ploughing the fields and then, because of the circumstances,
they find themselves in the middle of the Somme stuck in the mod ``
mode with bombs going around them. A really gritty, dark side to what was
quite a miserable war. Todax, Jeremy shows hp through paintings of races,
hunting and parades. 100 ye`rs ago, the same horsepower was being used
in the war effort. It has been perfect weather to ripen
strawberries. Any chance it will stay that way? Not as high `s it was
a couple of days ago, Mary. Turning cloudier over the weekend btt
otherwise pleasant. However, the pollen level is rocketing at the
moment as the temperature rhses by a couple of degrees by tomorrow. As
the high`pressure pulls awax to the Atlantic it allows a frontal system
to push down from the North. This is what could produce the odd spot of
rain. Nothing major. This evening and tonight, plenty of late sunshine
and clearer skies as we head into the night. Cloud flitting in and out
but it is dry and warm. Starting off with clear skids
tomorrow morning so bags of sunshine. Through the day the cloud
will start to thicken. The best part of the day is the morning, like
today. Very nice temperaturds indeed! The cloud will edge in
through the evening tomorrow and perhaps in the afternoon.
That brings in a clutch of showers but they will be very light. Towards
the tail end of tomorrow night it will be drier. Again, very warm To
the weekend and it will be largely cloudy for Saturday. The odd spot of
rain but temperatures not that high because of the cloud. Simil`r values
on Sunday but there should be more sunshine then.
The headlines, Iraqi forces launch air strikes against Islamist
militants advancing on Baghdad. And the charity dedicated to thd memory
of Harry Mosley gives a children's cancer unit a ?78,000 boost.
The first elephant born at Westminster Midlands Safari Park has
been named in honour of Cancer fundraiser Stephen Sutton. Stephen
or Sutton were frontrunners in a competition to name the elephant.
Stephen died last month and raised more than ?4 million. We hope you
can join us later.