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Education

Sodexo gives young people valuable experience

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sodexoSEVEN young people from Pembrokeshire received a nationally-recognised qualification on July 18 as part of a new local initiative to improve employability. Sodexo, the world largest services company, partnered with the Pembrokeshire Youth department at Pembrokeshire County Council and 14 Signal Regiment at Cawdor Barracks, Brawdy, to offer ‘Delivering the difference for a better tomorrow’. Young people aged 16 to 21 who are not in education, employment or training took the three-week course at Cawdor Barracks, where Sodexo provides a range of facilities management services to the Ministry of Defence. Job interview skills and CV writing were taught on the programme, before participants undertook two weeks of work experience in various roles at the barracks with Sodexo, including catering, hospitality, retail and leisure. Successful participants were awarded accreditation from Agored Cymru in Skills Development. Karen Roulston, operations support manager at Sodexo Defence, said: “The programme is an excellent initiative that reflects Sodexo’s commitment to improving quality of life in the communities in which we operate. Sodexo provides a wide range of services to the Ministry of Defence, which puts us in an excellent position to offer valuable experience in a number of sectors, while supporting young people with mentoring and training. “We have received tremendous support from the Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Purves, and the Quartermaster Major Burdge in allowing this programme to be hosted at Cawdor Barracks.” Heidi Holland, Targeted Youth Work co-ordinator for Pembrokeshire County Council, said: “This innovative programme presents a unique opportunity to sample several areas of employment whilst developing skills, knowledge and confidence for young people in Pembrokeshire. To be able to work in collaboration with Sodexo and 14 Signal Regiment on-site at Cawdor Barracks to deliver this programme will ensure that the experience is realistic for young people and will encourage them to be aware and take advantage of the opportunities in Pembrokeshire with support from youth workers.” Councillor Sue Perkins, Pembrokeshire County Council cabinet member for Education and Safeguarding, said: “We are very heartened by the success of this initiative, and understand that as a result of it, three of the young people have already been offered employment which is fantastic news. “Youth workers at Pembrokeshire County Council have supported the young people through the application process and the programme, and they will continue to support them and access opportunities for the remainder of the group. “It is hoped that another similar programme will take place next year on a bigger scale.”

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Education

New free school meals policy launched at Ysgol Bro Preseli in Crymych

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A NATIONAL scheme to roll out free school meals to the youngest learners in primary schools in Wales has been launched today (Wednesday, 7 September) by First Minister Mark Drakeford and Sian Gwenllian MS at Ysgol Bro Preseli in Crymych.

In Pembrokeshire, the rollout will include learners in:

full time nursery

• reception

• and years 1 and 2 pupils in primary schools

Known as the Universal Primary Free School Meals, the policy is part of the Co-operation Agreement between the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru.

The agreement will see free school meals extended to ALL primary school learners over the next three years.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “No child should go hungry. Families throughout Wales are under huge pressure because of the cost-of-living crisis and we are doing everything we can to support them.

“Extending free school meals to all primary schools is one of a number of measures we are taking to support families through this difficult time.

“I’m really pleased to see how our schools have embraced this and the speed at which they and our public services have worked together to begin providing free school meals.

“We know younger children are more likely to be living in relative income poverty, which is why the youngest of our learners will be the first to benefit.”

Cllr Guy Woodham, Cabinet Member for Education and the Welsh Language, said Pembrokeshire County Council were delighted to support the policy.

“Families are facing difficult times with the increasing everyday costs of living, so free, nutritious school meals for our youngest learners are great news,” he said. “No child should come to school hungry or be hungry during the day.

“We’d like to encourage parents of children in full-time nursery, reception and years 1 and 2 in primary schools to take advantage of this fantastic scheme from Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru.”

Ysgol Bro Preseli Headteacher Mrs Rhonwen Morris said: “As a school we aim to provide all learners with the same opportunity to thrive. We nurture learners from a young age; academically, socially and physically.

“We welcome such a progressive scheme ensuring that learners are provided with a nutritious balanced diet that will support all aspects of their education, progress and wellbeing.

“We look forward to seeing this scheme being extend to all primary school learners over the next three years thus ensuring equity for all in primary education.”

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Education

Blue Gem Wind support Pembrokeshire College with new BTEC Engineering Course

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BLUE Gem Wind are supporting Pembrokeshire College with a BTEC Engineering course aimed at providing a pathway to renewables for 14-16 year-olds. The new course, which begins in September, will be delivered in partnership with other local renewable energy companies and is supported by the Skills and Talent strand of the Swansea Bay City Deal.   

Mike Scott, Project Managing Director at Blue Gem Wind, explained. “The offshore wind sector around the UK is progressing at a pace that is already seeing skills shortages, particularly in engineering roles. As we continue to develop Wales’ first floating wind project it is crucial that we play a meaningful role in supporting Pembrokeshire’s future generations to get ready for a career in floating offshore wind.”

David Jones, Stakeholder Manager, added, “We are looking forward to working in collaboration with the college and other local renewable energy companies to deliver this exciting new course. This focus on 14-16 year-olds will complement our primary school STEM related programme.”

Hayley Williams, Curriculum Development Manager at Pembrokeshire College, said. “Pembrokeshire College is very excited to offer this unique collaborative programme to learners from Milford Haven School and Ysgol Harri Tudur. Blue Gem Wind will bring real life examples of floating wind engineering challenges for the pupils to consider, and the type of job roles and thinking needed to solve them. Enthusing young people about the emergence of new career pathways will help future-proof a skilled workforce for the renewable energy sector in Pembrokeshire.

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Education

Universal Primary Free School Meals roll out will commence in September 2022

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FROM September, schools in Pembrokeshire will roll out Free School Meals to children in:

  • full time nursery
  • reception
  • and years 1 and 2 pupils in primary schools

The Universal Primary Free School Meals policy is part of the Cooperation Agreement between the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru, which will see free school meals extended to all primary school learners over the next three years.

You can find out more here: https://gov.wales/find-out-about-free-school-meals

Please also see more information here, including FAQs: www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/school-meals/primary-schools-menu

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