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Free weekend bus travel pilot off to a fast start

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THE TRAWSCYMRU network has seen a huge increase in passengers across the network since the Welsh Government launched its free weekend bus travel pilot in July, figures have shown.

The Welsh Government funded pilot applies to all buses on the extensive TrawsCymru network and will continue every weekend until at least May 2018. When compared with data from the previous year, increases of well over 100 per cent have been recorded across the network, with the T4 service between Newtown and Cardiff currently boasting the greatest increase.

The highest increases in total daily bus passenger numbers (including child and concessions) were recorded on the following days and services:

TrawsCymru T4: Newtown – Brecon – Merthyr Tydfil – Pontypridd – Cardiff
Saturday, August 26: 1,971 bus passengers used the service compared with 461 on Saturday, August 27 the year before – an increase of 328%

TrawsCymru T5: Aberystwyth – New Quay – Cardigan – Fishguard – Haverfordwest
Sunday, July 9: 555 bus passengers used the service compared with 146 on July 10 the year before – an increase of 280%

TrawsCymru T5: Aberystwyth – New Quay – Cardigan – Fishguard – Haverfordwest
Sunday, August 20: 389 bus passengers used the service compared with 126 on August 21 the year before – an increase of 209%

TrawsCymru T1: Aberystwyth – Lampeter – Carmarthen
Sunday, August 13: 437 bus passengers used the service compared with 169 on August 14 the year before – an increase of 159%

TrawsCymru T4: Newtown – Brecon – Merthyr Tydfil – Pontypridd – Cardiff
Saturday, August 12: 2,130 bus passengers used the service compared with 874 on Saturday, August 13 – an increase of 144%.

Welcoming the news, Economy and Infrastructure Secretary Ken Skates said: “The TrawsCymru network covers large areas of Wales, some of which would otherwise be inaccessible by public transport and it’s extremely encouraging to see this pilot boosting summer passenger numbers.

“From Bangor to Cardiff, Fishguard to Wrexham, this scheme provides a perfect opportunity for people from across Wales and beyond to jump on a bus and spend their weekends enjoying the diverse beauty of Wales and I am delighted it has already proved so popular.

“For those who are yet to take full advantage of the pilot, there’s still time to find out where your nearest service could take you. I’ve been keen that this pilot, at the very least, serves to increase the awareness of what bus services are available locally and today’s figures suggest that to be the case. I look forward to seeing how this TrawsCymru increase has impacted other services later this year.”

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Busy week for Young Ambassadors

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IT’S been a busy few weeks for Ceredigion Sporting Young Ambassadors.

The Silver Young Ambassadors received training during the October half term holidays in readiness to go back to their schools and clubs to deliver sporting activities. The Active Young People Training involved planning, delivering and evaluating sessions and health and safety.

A very important aspect of the course was Disability Inclusion as all activities offered through Ceredigion Actif are inclusive. There are disabled Young Ambassadors involved with various programmes across the county.

Four Gold Young Ambassadors attended the Wales Gold Young Ambassador Conference at Cardiff City Football Stadium. This was an opportunity for Gold Young Ambassadors from around Wales to come together and plan for the year ahead.

Eddie Roper (Ysgol Bro Pedr), Sioned Rimmer, Dwynwen Davies and Elinor Thomas (all Penweddig Comprehensive School) were able to share their ideas and good practices in Ceredigion as well as receive a motivational speech from World Champion Inline Skater, Jenna Dowing. Osian Davies was involved with the planning and running of the day as part of his role on the National Young Ambassador Steering Group. Osian is a Platinum Young Ambassador for Ceredigion.

Alwyn Davies, Active Young People Manager said, “These were two fantastic opportunities for our Young Sporting Leaders in Ceredigion. They have shown great enthusiasm and motivation to become Young Ambassadors and are developing into confident role models in our schools and our community clubs.”

Councillor Catrin Miles, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Learning Services, Lifelong Learning and Leisure said, “The aim of the training and conference was to enhance confidence in leadership skills of Young Ambassadors around Ceredigion schools. 15 Young Ambassadors attended the Active Young People Training and four Gold Young Ambassadors attended the Gold Young Ambassador National Conference. This is a great opportunity for our young people and I’m very proud of them all.”

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Aspiring hairdresser hoping to shine

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BAYLEY HARRIES will be competing in a prestigious competition which allows young trainees and apprentices the opportunity to show off their skills in a huge variety of vocational careers.

Bayley is a Level 2 Hairdressing apprentice at Hyfforddiant Ceredigion Training (HCT). She will be competing in the UK National Regional Heat for Wales which will take place in Wrexham on Monday, 26 November.

The competition is run by World Skills. This is an organisation which aims to inspire young people interested in vocational careers to achieve their full potential in their chosen career route. If successful, Bayley will have an opportunity to compete in the Wales National Final in Cardiff on 16 December.

Carys Randell, hairdressing training advisor at HCT is thrilled to see Bayley taking part in the prestigious skills competition, saying, “We wish Bayley the best of luck at the competition and we would like to say a huge thanks to her employer, Sioned Rees, for all of the fantastic help and support she has given to Bayley in preparation for the competition. She couldn’t have come this far without it.”

Bayley is no stranger to showing off her skills at a competitive level. In 2017, she won the Level 1 hairdressing competition at the Urdd National Eisteddfod. She won again this year, competing in the Level 2 category.

Councillor Catrin Miles, Cabinet Member for Learning Service and Lifelong Learning said, “It’s wonderful to see Bayley come so far with the support of her employer and the staff at HCT. We wish her the very best in the UK National Regional Heat at the end of the month.”

HCT offers a range of vocational courses for people of all ages, including Hairdressing, Childcare, Business Administration, Information Technology, Carpentry, Plumbing, Electrics, Blacksmithing, Agriculture, Motor Mechanics, and Welding.

For more information, find ‘Hyfforddiant Ceredigion Training’ on Facebook, or visit the website: http://www.ceredigion.gov.uk/public-it/hct/index.html

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Apprentices start their career within the county

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FOLLOWING a successful recruitment campaign held over the summer, four young people from Ceredigion recently took their first steps in careers.

The four successful applicants started with Ceredigion County Council in early November as apprentices in Human Resource Business Administration, Social Care and Youth Work.

Alanah Lloyd, Apprentice Human Resource Business Administrator, talked about why she applied and how she is settling in, “I applied because I wanted to gain a qualification and earn a wage at the same time. I wanted to work for the Council where there are opportunities to progress. Everyone has been very supportive and I’m settling in well.”

The newly established apprenticeship programme proved popular, with the Council receiving significant interest and a high level of applications. As one of the largest employers in the area, the Council plans to expand the apprenticeship programme to develop more opportunities for the residents of Ceredigion. The programme aims to provide quality opportunities to young people helping them to earn, learn and develop careers in their home county as an alternative to college and university.

Councillor Ray Quant MBE, Cabinet Member with responsibility for People and Organisation said, “The number of applications and enquiries the Council has received shows the high level of interest in apprenticeship opportunities for the people of Ceredigion. I am delighted to see our four apprentices start and look forward to seeing how they develop over the coming months. The Council is committed into investing in people’s futures.”

The Council will be attending the ‘Ceredigion Careers Festival’ on Tuesday, 19 February at Aberystwyth Arts Centre from 9am to 4pm to talk about apprenticeships and careers. The event is organised by Careers Wales and is open to pupils in Ceredigion from years 9 to 13, and parents are also welcome to attend.

For more information about apprenticeships at Ceredigion County Council, contact on apprentice@ceredigion.gov.uk

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