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Education

From Carew to Sao Paulo?

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DomA former Pembrokeshire College Apprentice, now employed by Keating Joinery in Narberth, joined over 100 of the UK’s most talented apprentices and learners last month to battle it out in three days of competitions with the aim of securing a place in Squad UK for WorldSkills Sao Paulo 2015. 

Dominic Hicks (aged 20 from Carew) was invited to compete for a place in Squad UK after excelling in the WorldSkills UK National Competitions, the finals of which took place at The Skills Show in Birmingham. His natural craftsmanship and eye for detail mean that Dominic is now one of just two UK joiners who will be competing for a place in Squad UK. Dominic’s achievements to date already recognise him as one of the best trainee joiners in the UK and see him follow in the footsteps of College lecturer Gareth Evans and former lecturer Rhydian Williams who also made it through to Squad UK selection stages in recent years. If Dominic is successful in his bid to make Squad UK he will be competing in WorldSkills Sao Paulo 2015 which takes place from 11-16 August 2015 and is the world’s largest international skills competition. Held every two years in cities around the globe, the WorldSkills Competition sees around 1,000 young people come together to compete for medals in more than 40 skills ranging from Bricklaying to Beauty Therapy and Aircraft Maintenance. Dominic was thrilled to be selected and commented: “If I am able to get through to WorldSkills São Paulo 2015 it would be the trip of a lifetime for me, especially as I will be representing Wales. “I have a long standing interest in working with wood so when the time came I decided to pursue a career in joinery. I have certainly enjoyed all the WorldSkills competitions up to now and the additional training that I have received so far has made a massive difference to my joinery work.” Pembrokeshire College principal, Sharron Lusher, commented: “We are absolutely thrilled that Dominic has made it through to Squad UK selection. To reach this stage demonstrates not only Dominic’s talent for joinery but also his professionalism, ability to work under pressure and determination to succeed. “Dominic’s achievement to date not only highlights the quality of the teaching within the College but also the value that the College places on building close relationships with employers – without the full support of Dominic’s employer it would not have been possible for Dominic to progress to this stage in the competition.” For those who are successful in securing a place in Squad UK, they will undergo an intense training programme supported by a dedicated Training Manager and Performance Coaches. In May next year, they will come together to compete for a place in the team that will represent the UK at WorldSkills Sao Paulo 2015. Keith Smith, Official Delegate, WorldSkills UK said: “By taking part in international competitions, the UK is able to showcase the high levels of performance that can be achieved by individuals and organisations through high quality further education, skills training and Apprenticeships. “I offer my congratulations to everyone who has been selected to compete in the Squad UK Selection for WorldSkills Sao Paulo 2015 and I wish them the best of luck in their preparations for the competitions.” Participating in WorldSkills enables countries to share best practice in Apprenticeships and vocational teaching, raising standards on a global scale. The competitions showcase the high levels of performance that can be achieved by individuals and organisations through quality training, inspiring young people and adults to be ambitious in their pursuit of skills to the highest level. Squad and Team UK for WorldSkills is managed by Find a Future.

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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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