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City Deal to create 1,500 apprenticeships

The Black Country's new City Deal will create 1,500 apprenticeships in high-value manufacturing jobs, providing support for almost 3,000 long-term unemployed people in the area to help them find a job.

Speaking on behalf of the local authorities, Councillor Roger Lawrence, Leader of Wolverhampton City Council said:

The City Deal is an excellent example of how the Black Country’s public and private sector work together for the benefit of all. The changes that will come about as a result of the deal will make a real difference to tackling youth unemployment and providing the skills for the jobs of the future.

Chair of the Black Country LEP, Stewart Towe, said feedback from businesses suggests that assisting the growth of high-value manufacturing is critical to the prosperity of the Black Country.

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  1. Peter Bearne

GCSE results day, full report

The number of teenagers getting top GCSE marks in the East Midlands has fallen for the first time in the exam's 24-year history.

Thousands of students got their results today, the number getting five A-Cs dropped very slightly to 69.4%.

Meanwhile, a row has erupted about the English results after many students were awarded lower than expected grades. Teachers have accused exam boards of marking them too harshly.

Exam board reassures students who received lower than expected grades

There was disappointment for some today with lower than expected English marks, for the students themselves it could mean the difference between getting the essential grades to take them onto college.

For the teachers, some may feel they let their students down because they had predicted higher grades than the ones they eventually got.

Schools themselves have to meet targets on A - C grades at GCSE so this could affect their figures. As for the exam boards they deny they have been too harsh. This is what one exam board had to say today:

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