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Alana Spencer supports apprenticeship campaign

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THIS summer, the Welsh Government is helping to support 1,000 brand new apprenticeship vacancies for people of all ages across Wales.

The vacancies, which will be posted on the Apprenticeship Matching Service on the Careers Wales website throughout the summer, will offer young people and adults the chance to secure an exciting career in a wide range of disciplines including ICT, creative industries, construction and STEM, where skill shortages are particularly prevalent.

The job roles will all be apprenticeship opportunities with qualifications to match, with a particular focus on technical and professional skills. Some of the apprenticeships that are available now include journalist, associate scientist, quantity surveyor, ICT and computing, digital and marketing.

The Apprenticeship Programme in Wales is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.

Alana Spencer, 25, winner of BBC One series, The Apprentice in 2016 is a supporter of the Welsh Government apprenticeship programme.

She said:“Young people leaving school are so lucky to have so many opportunities available to them. Apprenticeships have so many great benefits and allow young people to kick-start a career in a field they love, while also gaining some fantastic experience and industry relevant skills and qualifications that will help them to progress their career in the future.

“When I left school at 16 I was adamant that I didn’t want to follow the traditional university route into a job. I also didn’t know anything about apprenticeships at the time so didn’t even consider them as a possible avenue into becoming a chocolatier.

“When I was first starting out I had no-one to teach me so I spent my days learning how to cook by practising and perfecting recipes at home. I would then road test them with family and friends as well as at local events.

“It was exceedingly hard work and really challenging at times but thoroughly rewarding. However, there have been times when I didn’t think I’d make it and would’ve been grateful for the opportunity to get some advice and support as well as some practical, hands-on experience before venturing out alone.

“These days apprenticeships are the perfect answer when it comes to wanting to launch a career in a field you’re passionate about while also obtaining all the tools you need to succeed in the future. They are a win – win for everyone.”

Wales has developed a highly successful apprenticeship programme over recent years. Apprenticeships are increasingly becoming a viable alternative to traditional academic routes into employment, helping people of all ages gain on the job experience while studying for a nationally recognised qualification.

With results day around the corner, the Welsh Government is urging people in Wales to consider how an apprenticeship can be the first step of a worthwhile, skilled career path.

Minister for Skills and Science, Julie James, said: “Apprenticeships are the start of an exciting and rewarding career and can benefit anyone of any age, giving them an opportunity to gain practical, on the job experience while gaining all the skills and qualifications they need.

“Apprenticeships are a key investment for employers who can train their workforce in the specialist skills they need within their organisation. Overall, apprenticeships play an important role in increasing the nation’s overall skill set and driving economic growth, making sure that Wales remains competitive on the world stage.

“The Welsh Government is working in conjunction with training providers across Wales to highlight 1000 apprenticeship vacancies in organisations from various sectors within small SMEs to larger global conglomerates over the summer period.

“The job roles available offer all the benefits of an apprenticeship with qualifications to match, and there is a particular focus on improving technical and professional higher level skills. The Welsh Government is rebalancing its investment towards the priority areas that deliver higher returns and the range of opportunities that will be available over the summer reflect this.

“The roles available are open to people of all ages and provide access to high quality training for individuals who want to achieve their full potential. We already have a strong record of quality apprenticeships and our goal is to build on this and offer apprenticeships in sectors that drive growth and prospects of increased earning power.”

For more information about becoming an apprentice, visit careerswales.com and following the apprenticeship link or to find out how your business could benefit from recruiting an apprentice, visit Skills Gateway for Business at https://businesswales.gov.wales/skillsgateway/apprenticeships or call 03000 603000.

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Police appeal following Aberystwyth RTC

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POLICE are investigating a road traffic collision which occurred at approximately 6.20pm on Wednesday, December 20, 2017.

A silver MG ZT, which had been reported as stolen, collided with another vehicle in Rhydybont, Aberystwyth.

The occupants of the MG walked away in the direction of Min Y Ddol.

Police would like to speak to the man in the image as he may have information that could assist the police investigation.

Anyone with information that can help officers with their investigation is asked to report it by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.”

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Family pay tribute to Aberporth man

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THE FAMILY of Phillip Rasmussen, from Aberporth, who tragically died in Spain on April 1, have paid tribute to the 47-year-old.

They said: “We are devastated by the loss of Phillip, and he will be dearly missed by us all.

“Phillip was a loving husband to Elissa and father to Rhys, Beci and Dylan.

“He lived life to the full and will be remembered for his energy and passion towards all aspects of life. He was a keen sailor, cyclist and loved to travel.

“He began his professional career as a chartered accountant and spent the last ten years working as Chief Financial Officer for IQE plc, a role which he truly loved and made his own.

“We would like to thank everyone for their support at this difficult time. It has meant so much to the whole family.

“We would now like time to grieve and would ask to be given privacy in which to do so.”

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Big Welsh Walk aims to tackle loneliness and isolation

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THE BIG WELSH WALK takes place in June to promote the benefits of walking groups; reducing loneliness and isolation, as well as improving fitness and general wellbeing.

Starting in Devil’s Bridge, Ceredigion on Saturday (Jun 2) there are four walks to choose from, ranging from 6 to 20 miles. Participants can challenge themselves through the stunning landscapes, highlighting breath taking scenery along the way.

Most of us will experience loneliness at some point in our lives. For many people, especially the older generation, this isn’t a fleeting experience, but one that can define and shatter your life. The need for action is increasingly understood and Ramblers Cymru is working hard to combat this through leading local walking groups.

Within in the UK, research shows that more than 9 million people always or often feel lonely, that around 200,000 older people have not had a conversation with a friend or relative in more than a month and up to 85% of young disabled adults – 18-34 year olds – feel lonely.

With around 20 million adults also failing to meet UK government recommendations for physical activity, walking is the obvious answer to help combat loneliness and isolation whilst also maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Ramblers Cymru is working to change this by encouraging people to join their local walking group.

Local resident of Ceredigion, Dwynwen Belsey, walks with Aberystwyth Ramblers each week. She said: “It’s well-established that walking is good for you, but it also helps people develop social skills, and build confidence too.

“Life has its ups and downs and walking helps because it has a therapeutic effect,” explains Dwynwen. “The difference walking with the group has made to me, is fantastic. I have the confidence to volunteer through leading walks and helping maintain the public footpaths so that more people can enjoy the benefits of walking”.

Director of Ramblers Cymru, Angela Charlton, said: “It’s inspiring to hear about groups like Aberystwyth Ramblers and the fantastic work they are doing locally to improve the health and wellbeing of people in Ceredigion. Loneliness and isolation is becoming a real issue people from all walks of life in Wales are faced with. Our vision in Ramblers Cymru is to work towards combatting this and ensuring we encourage people to use group walking as a way to a healthier lifestyles, mentally and physically”.

You can find out more about the local walks led by Ramblers Cymru by visiting www.ramblers.org.uk/wales and to join the Big Welsh Walk www.ramblers.org.uk/bigwelshwalk

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