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Pembroke Dock teenager on career ladder



dreamcareer19 year-old Martyn Carroll from Pennar is following his dream career to become an engineer through an Apprenticeship.

After completing 10 GSCEs, Martyn studied Electrical Engineering at Pembrokeshire College and then applied to Mainport Engineering in Pembroke Dock to do an apprenticeship to become an Instrument Technician.

Martyn said: “My dad’s an engineer and I’ve always been interested in engineering too. I did work experience on the refinery when I did my GCSEs and absolutely loved it, so now I’m doing this sort of work every day it’s brilliant. Not every part of my job is easy but I like problem solving and each day brings new challenges.

“On a typical day I’ll be given a list of jobs that need doing that day and I do a lot of preventative maintenance to ensure everything is working properly and assess the equipment. I never get bored of my job as I’m so busy!”

Martyn has successfully completed the Foundation stage of his course through Mainport Engineering and Pembrokeshire College, and now working closely with Valero Energy Ltd, he will continue his next three years to completion. He works on the Valero Pembroke Refinery with one day a week at College.

He has ambitions to become a technician and go on to University and study to become an engineer.

He said: “When I’ve finished my apprenticeship I want to be a technician for a couple of years to get practical experience and then I’m planning to do a part-time degree at Pembrokeshire College to become a fully qualified engineer.

“I’d urge anyone to do an apprenticeship as it’s a great way to learn on the job and get paid for it. I think it’s a better route to an engineering career than going to University because you get to learn quickly and from a variety of very skilled engineers in the field.”

Jeff Harries, contract director from Mainport Engineering said: “Martyn is really hard-working and does everything he’s asked to do – and more. He’s shown real enthusiasm for the job and it’s been worthwhile seeing his progression throughout the apprenticeship. We take on seven apprentices each year who go on to train with Mainport Engineering or Valero and the majority stay on as full-time employees.”

Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology, Ken Skates said: “Apprenticeships are a great way for young people to kick-start a successful career, giving them the opportunity to gain recognised qualifications as well as essential, practical and relevant skills, all while earning a wage.

“But many students are still unaware of the number and variety of options available to them at 16 or 18. As thousands of young people across Wales nervously await their GCSE and A level results this week, we hope that sharing stories like Martyn’s will be helpful to those preparing to make important decisions about their future, and reiterate the variety of options available in Wales.”

“The Welsh Government regards apprenticeships as an excellent way to build a skilled and competitive workforce, address skills shortages and ultimately strengthen the Welsh economy.”

The Apprenticeship Programme is funded by the Welsh Government with the support of the European Social Fund.

For more information about apprenticeships, or to find out about the other options available to young people via the Where Now campaign, please visit www. or call 0800 100 900. Also find us on Facebook at apprenticeshipscymru

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



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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Blue Gem Wind support Pembrokeshire College with new BTEC Engineering Course



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



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:

Please also see more information here, including FAQs:

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