A COLEG SIR GÂR student who scooped gold at a national skills competition and is in the running to represent the UK at WorldSkills Abu Dhabi, has been commended by Assembly Member Joyce Watson.
Elizabeth Forkuoh, a hospitality, supervision and leadership student at the college’s Pibwrlwyd campus in Carmarthen, won a gold medal at The Skills Show in Birmingham and as a result was chosen to train in the WorldSkills UK squad.
At the show, Coleg Sir Gâr was awarded the highest ranking college in Wales and the second highest ranking college in the UK as a result of gaining six learners in the UK squad. The college also won five gold medals at the show.
Elizabeth’s brother Bruno, was also one of the college’s gold winners as in the Team Manufacturing competition.
A congratulatory event was held at the Senedd for competition hopefuls which Elizabeth couldn’t attend due to a WorldSkills preparatory training programme, which resulted in Mrs Watson’s visit to Coleg Sir Gâr.
Joyce Watson, AM for mid and West Wales, said: “Elizabeth is already a gold standard student and hopefully she will be one of the three chosen to represent the UK at Abu Dhabi or at EuroSkills in Gothenburg.
“The fact that Elizabeth spoke virtually no English when she moved to Wales from Italy is testament to her being at the top of her game and shows her intellectual abilities and overall roundedness.
“The education and experience within industry that she is undertaking is a contributing factor to her success.”
Elizabeth looks up to her mentor Paul Wilson, who has been with her from the beginning of her competition journey. “I don’t think I’d have won gold if it wasn’t for the training,” she said.
“Paul instils good discipline and is someone who believes in me. The whole process has been a positive experience and I think winning gold in Birmingham was the high point for me.”
Paul Wilson, skills mentor at Coleg Sir Gâr added: “It’s been a privilege to mentor Elizabeth. “She has such a professional attitude that it’s been a pleasure to mentor her.
“She has the ability to cope with stressful situations and has the right aptitude and approach to be very successful in industry.”
If Elizabeth is chosen to compete for the UK in Abu Dhabi she will defer studying hospitality at university for a year as she describes the opportunity as a ‘chance in a lifetime’.
Poison arrow frogs at New Scientist Live
ABERYSTYWTH UNIVERISTY scientist Dr Karen Siu-Ting discussed poison arrow frogs at New Scientist Live last Thursday (Sept 28).
Dr Siu-Ting is an IRC ELEVATE-MSCA Co-fund Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) at Aberystwyth University.
Her research into poison arrow frogs featured as part of ‘Ask a Biologist’, hosted by The Royal Society of Biology.
An evolutionary biologist from Peru, Dr Siu-Ting specialises in amphibians and combines field work in the Amazon rainforest with laboratory and computational analyses to address biological questions.
She is currently working on a project on poison arrow frogs between Aberystwyth University and Dublin City University.
Apply for six-month traineeship scheme
IF YOU’D like to earn as you learn hands-on skills to prepare you for a career in practical conservation or estate management, apply now for Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority’s Skills in Action traineeship scheme.
The project, which is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Skills for the Future scheme, will provide two six-month salaried apprenticeships with the National Park Authority’s Ranger and Warden Teams.
Skills in Action Project Coordinator for Pembrokeshire Coast Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority, Tom Iggleden said: “The successful candidates will be learning the skills and experience that are essential to be successful in obtaining employment within a highly competitive sector.
“The main duties of the placement will include practical hands-on work-based experience in conservation and estate management.”
The six month traineeship will see the successful applicants learn a wide variety of skills including traditional hedgelaying and modern conservation methods that are essential to the work of the National Park Authority.
This is an extension to the original three-year project which has helped many of the 15 previous trainees gain employment.
The closing date for applications is October 24 with interviews to be held on November 6.
Application packs are available from the National Park Authority’s website atwww.pembrokeshirecoast.wales/jobs or by contacting contact Joanne Morgan by calling 01646 624856 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Committee concerned at £12.7m error
A £12.7M alteration to the cost of the Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Bill has been described as concerning by a National Assembly for Wales committee.
In the original figures submitted alongside the Bill the Welsh Government identified savings of £4.8m over a period of four years if the Bill was passed.
But the estimates were challenged by children’s charity SNAP Cymru which claimed the Welsh Government had misinterpreted figures it had provided concerning disputes and resolution services. The Welsh Government admitted the error and revised the figures from the original saving to a cost of £7.9m – a difference of £12.7m.
The Finance Committee asked the Welsh Government to delay the financial resolution on the Bill, the mechanism by which government gains support to spend the money enacting the law and the government agreed.
“A £12.7m swing from a saving to a cost is very concerning, as it shows a government which doesn’t fully understand the figures it quotes,” said Simon Thomas AM, Chair of the Finance Committee.
“It also throws into doubt any future costs connected to Bills which come before this committee as we are left wondering whether the government has done its sums right.
“We are grateful to SNAP Cymru for highlighting the inaccuracies and acknowledge the steps taken by the Minister subsequently, but we will need further reassurance that such errors will not happen again.”
The Bill’s aim is to improve the quality of support available to children with additional learning needs through a person-centred approach which would identify needs early on and make sure the right support, monitoring and evaluation was put in place to help them.
The Finance Committee welcomed the actions taken by the Welsh Government to address the situation. But Members were concerned and surprised that inaccuracies as significant as this were raised and that SNAP Cymru was not consulted on the final figures before they were published.
The Committee acknowledges that revisions have since been made and the Minister’s assurances that the revised figures are robust, however, it is concerned at the need to have made this level of changes to the original costings.
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