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AM welcomes record Jobs Growth Wales success

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jobs growthREBECCA EVANS AM, Assembly Member for Mid and West Wales, has welcomed newly published figures which show the Welsh Labour Government’s flagship youth employment programme, Jobs Growth Wales achieving record results, with 96% of graduates securing work after leaving the programme.

The figures show that Jobs Growth Wales, which is part funded by the European Social Fund, has so far created 9,345 job opportunities, with 7,748 young people filling these jobs. The figures also show high levels of sustained employment amongst young people who complete their 6 month opportunities. The figures, which for the first time have been broken down into the programme’s different strands, show that 96 per cent of young people who have taken part in the graduate strand progressed immediately into sustained employment.

Mrs Evans said: “These new figures show that Jobs Growth Wales continues to go from strength to strength.

“As well as creating much needed job opportunities for unemployed young graduates during tough economic times, Jobs Growth Wales is also helping Welsh businesses to grow because every job created is a new post which allows the business to expand.”

It is not just graduates who have benefited from the scheme. Young people taking part in the Third (voluntary) sector strand also experienced high levels of sustained employment upon completing a six month opportunity.

Sixty eight per cent remained in work, or went into an apprenticeship or further learning when they left the programme.

Mrs Evans said: “From the outset of the scheme I was clear that disabled young people and young people who may need more intensive support in work should be able to reap the rewards of Jobs Growth Wales. I am glad that the new figures show that this is happening.”

The self-employment strand of Jobs Growth Wales also remains well ahead of target, with 173 young people who have taken part.

Mrs Evans said: “I am glad that Jobs Growth Wales is also supporting young entrepreneurs to turn their business dreams a reality.”

In the programme’s largest strand, the private sector strand, 78 per cent of young people progressed into sustained employment, an apprenticeship or further learning upon completing a six month opportunity, maintaining the record high recorded in the previous month.

The latest figures come as work accelerates on a new Work Programme specifically for care leavers, young people still in care and young people who have offended. The Moving Forward scheme will use £3.4 million from dormant bank accounts to create 440 job opportunities for vulnerable young people.

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Boris Johnston being treated in intensive care after ‘condition worsens’

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BORIS JOHNSON is being treated in intensive care after his condition worsened yesterday, with Downing Street warning that the Prime Minister may need to be put on a ventilator as he fights off coronavirus infection.

He was transferred to an intensive care unit at around 7pm yesterday on the advice of doctors after being taken to St Thomas’ Hospital for treatment just under 24 hours earlier.

Mr Johnson was conscious on admission to intensive care, Downing Street said, and asked Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab to stand in for him.
“Since Sunday evening, the Prime Minister has been under the care of doctors at St Thomas’ Hospital, in London, after being admitted with persistent symptoms of coronavirus,” a spokesman said in a statement issued at 8.10pm.
“Over the course of this afternoon, the condition of the Prime Minister has worsened and, on the advice of his medical team, he has been moved to the Intensive Care Unit at the hospital.
“The PM has asked Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who is the First Secretary of State, to deputise for him where necessary.
“The PM is receiving excellent care, and thanks all NHS staff for their hard work and dedication.”

The news sparked a flood of well-wishes on social media, with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeting: “My thoughts are with the PM and his family – sending him every good wish.”

The news followed mounting questions over whether Mr Johnson was well enough to continue leading the government, with Number 10 insisting he remained in overall charge of efforts to combat the coronavirus outbreak.

The Prime Minister posted on twitter at 1.20pm that he was in “good spirits and keeping in touch with my team”. But in a sign of the seriousness of his condition, Mr Raab – who chaired the daily coronavirus ‘war cabinet’ yesterday morning – admitted he had not spoken to Mr Johnson since Saturday.

It comes as the latest official figures showed 5,373 patients have died in hospital after testing positive for coronavirus in the UK, as of 5pm on Sunday – an increase of 439 on the previous day.

Foreign Office Minister James Duddrige appeared to call on the Prime Minister to stand back from his duties to recover, posting on twitter: “Take care boss. Get well.
Come back fighting. But for now rest, look after yourself and let the others do the heavy lifting.”

And Mental Health Minister Nadine Dorries, who herself recovered from coronavirus, said many of its sufferers would be “felled” by symptoms of fatigue and fever.

At yesterday’s daily press briefing on coronavirus, Chief Medical Officer for England Professor Chris Whitty declined to say, under repeated questioning from journalists, whether it was appropriate for the Prime Minister to lead the government from a hospital bed.

Prof Whitty insisted he was “absolutely not going to discuss any individual patient,” and said he was not Mr Johnson’s physician.
But he later added that some patients of his were able to “handle massively complicated things from their hospital beds”.

The Prime Minister first experienced symptoms and was confirmed as having coronavirus last Thursday, with his cough and high temperature continuing for 11 days.
Having previously been described as “mild”, Downing Street said yesterday that his cough and fever were “persistent”.

Mr Raab said the Prime Minister had “a comfortable night” at St Thomas’, across the River Thames from parliament, where he was taken at around 8pm on Sunday.

The decision was made on the advice of Mr Johnson’s private doctors and was a precautionary measure to undergo tests, and not an emergency admission.

But his official spokesman did not deny reports that the Prime Minister had been given oxygen, and would not comment on whether he was being treated for pneumonia.

Coronavirus patients not being allowed visitors in hospital, but Downing Street said a ministerial red box with official papers had been delivered to the Prime Minister’s hospital bed – despite Downing Street saying Mr Johnson would “follow the advice the same as anybody else”.

A report in Russian media that the Prime Minister had already been put on a ventilator was dismissed as “fake news”.

Downing Street insisted it had been “transparent throughout” about Mr Johnson’s health, and would communicate any change in the Prime Minister’s condition to the public.

In his twitter post yesterday afternoon, Mr Johnson wrote: “I’d like to say thank you to all the brilliant NHS staff taking care of me and others in this difficult time. You are the best of Britain.
“Stay safe everyone, and please remember to stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives.”

At the daily coronavirus press conference in Downing Street, Mr Raab said ministers and officials were continuing to work “full throttle” to ensure the Prime Minister’s instructions were implemented.
“He’s in charge, but he’ll continue to take doctors’ advice on what to do next,” he said.

Mr Johnson had been expected to leave isolation on Friday, with the pound trading lower on currency markets over fears about the impact that his extended absence from Number 10 could have on the response to the coronavirus outbreak.

His fiancée Carrie Symonds, who is pregnant, revealed on Saturday that she was recovering after also contracting the virus.

Earlier, former Prime Minister Tony Blair said it would be “hellish” for Mr Johnson to be in hospital at the peak of the crisis.
Asked by the BBC’s Today programme whether the Prime Minister should give up control of the government to focus on his recovery, Mr Blair said: “I’m not going to second guess them on that.

He knows the state of his own condition and he will be judging it carefully himself, I’m sure.”

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said the Cabinet “hope and expect [the Prime Minister can get back to Number 10 very soon”.

Mr Jenrick told Today: “He has worked phenomenally hard, as have many people across the country. This has been a uniquely intense period and I know for him personally it will be very frustrating that he has had to go to hospital to have these tests.

“He will want to be back in No 10 leading from the front, which is his way. But he remains in charge of the government; he will be updated regularly in hospital, as he has been as he’s self-isolating.”

Meanwhile, the Labour MP for Rochdale Tony Lloyd, who served as shadow Scottish Secretary during the final months of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, has been admitted to
Manchester Royal Infirmary for treatment of coronavirus.In a statement issued by the Labour Party, Mr Lloyd’s family said he was “stable and responding to the treatment and dedicated care that he is receiving from the brilliant doctors, nurses and other healthcare staff.”

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Cemeteries re-open to public

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Following the issuing of revised guidance by Welsh Government
yesterday evening (Friday, 3 rd April), all 11 of Pembrokeshire County
Council-owned cemeteries will be re-opened to members of the public
from 8 am tomorrow, Sunday, 5 th April.

The grounds of Parc Gwyn Crematorium in Narberth will now also be
accessible at their normal hours (10 am to 5 pm) although the Chapel
of Remembrance will remain closed until further notice.  

Welsh Government is in the process of making amendments to the
Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions Wales) Regulations 2020
which clarify the arrangements for funerals and crematoriums.
This includes the revision that cemeteries can remain open but social
distancing must be taken into account.

The list of persons who may attend a funeral – namely members of
the deceased’s household, close family, and a friend (only if no
household or family members were attending) plus carers of persons
attending – is also being changed.

The revised legislation states: ‘This will now include the person
arranging the funeral and anyone invited by that person (or any carer
of any of those persons) who may attend a funeral (and will be
considered to have a reasonable excuse for leaving their homes).’
The numbers of mourners attending funerals at Parc Gwyn
Crematorium or burials in any Pembrokeshire County Council-owned
cemeteries remains unchanged at 12.

The Council’s 11 cemeteries are:
 Rosemarket
 Llangwm
 Freystrop
 St Ishmaels
 City Road, Haverfordwest
 Nolton Haven
 Llanfair Nanty Gof (Trecwn)
 Llanwnda
 Llanion, Pembroke Dock
 Monkton
 St Michael’s, Pembroke.

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Childcare for children aged 0-4 of critical workers

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Following the announcement today (Monday 6th April) made by the
Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services, funding is being
provided to each Local Authority in Wales to support the cost of
Childcare for children 0-4 years of Critical Workers and also
vulnerable children who also need to access registered childcare. 

From today, Critical Workers with children aged 0-4 years will be able
to access childcare at a registered setting at no cost.

To make this funding possible, The Welsh Government has had to
suspend the Childcare Offer for Wales with immediate effect.

Applications are now closed and all children who were due start on
the Childcare Offer this April will be cancelled until further notice.

However, The Welsh Government will continue to pay booked hours
for children who are currently participating in the Childcare Offer until
mid-June 2020, with a review to be undertaken at the end of that
period.   

Pembrokeshire County Council will manage all bookings for the
Critical Workers childcare Offer.

To access this, you must register your child with Pembrokeshire
County Council.

For more information and to register please visit: 
https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/coronavirus-advice-and-guidance/childcare-provision-for-children-of-critical-workers-and-vulnerable-children

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