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Category: Unorthodox Education Updates

Four Killed’ In Beirut University Clash

In Beirut today, violent clashes between opposing groups of protesters left four people dead and at least 25 injured. Reports state that two students were fatally shot at Beirut Arab University, although some sources put the death toll at four. Both Reuters and al-Jazeera have differing figures for the number of wounded, although it is accepted that some were shot. The fighting continued for three hours, but after this time, most of the rioters moved off. The military has now introduced a night curfew to try to quell further altercations. The student demonstrators started throwing missiles and furniture at each other during the day, as the ongoing power struggle in Lebanon became all the more violent. Lebanese troops tried to dispel the crowds by shooting into the air and evacuating students, however, this effort wasn’t successful. Opposition TV station al-Manar blamed pro-government gunmen for the students’ deaths, while Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of the opposition Shia Hizbullah movement, urged his followers to leave the university area. Cars were burned in the street during the disturbances, and there are unconfirmed reports that students were fired upon by snipers. Civilians are now becoming increasingly concerned with the possible emergence of a civil war, particularly after the 170 people who were wounded during Tuesday’s general strike. Hizbullah has been holding demonstrations for two months, in an effort to force Prime Minister Fouad Siniora out of office. Mr Siniora has refused to allow opposition groups to have a veto-wielding share of the cabinet, exacerbating the situation further. The violence on the streets occurred whilst Mr Siniora was attending a conference in Paris where donors promised over $7bn to rebuild the country following last year’s 34-day war between Hizbullah and Israel.

Apprenticeships Pay – But You’re Not Rich Yet

Apprenticeships present an enticing opportunity, providing a salary while pursuing education, and with the added benefit of the employer covering the cost of training. This alleviates the need to seek a large loan to pay for it, resulting in a debt of thousands of pounds.

However, it is crucial to note that, despite the financial benefits, the apprenticeship stipulates that you support yourself throughout the duration. This can range from 12 months up to five years, with payment being variable from one scheme to the next. From April, the national minimum wage for apprentices will be £3.70 an hour for those under the age of 19 or above 19 and in their first year of training. While this may be adequate for those living at home, it may not be sufficient to cover travel costs, which can erode earnings.

It is suggested that the individual checks their contract to see if they can receive help with financing travel expenditures and other relevant costs, including equipment and clothing. The contract may also clarify information on statutory holiday pay and sick leave or additional benefits offered by the employer, such as a pension plan, a car, or entertainment opportunities.

Statistics from a government investigation into apprenticeship pay revealed that in 2016, the national average hourly wage for a level 2 or 3 apprenticeship, equivalent to GCSEs and A-levels, was £7. Least paid apprenticeships were in hairdressing and childcare, while the highest earners were in management, customer service, health, social care, sport, and retail. However, some apprenticeships command considerably more income, such as Transport for London apprenticeships, which start at £17,802 per annum.

Even though apprentices do not qualify for student discounts, the National Union of Students offers an apprentice extra card, while reduced travel costs may be available. For those based in London, the Apprentice Oyster photocard offers 30% off particular journeys.

Degree-level apprenticeships can be financially rewarding, with some starting pay matching the average wage. On the other hand, without government loans, apprentices may be restricted to living at home, limiting the range of opportunities available to them.

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