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Seven vacancies on Advanced Engineering Apprenticeship Scheme

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NETWORK RAIL is urging people with an interest in engineering to apply for its Advanced Engineering Apprenticeship Scheme, starting in March 2019.

The scheme has seven vacancies available, including positions in Llanelli.

The scheme launched in 2005. To date, 2,000 engineers have completed the course.

Bill Kelly, interim managing director for Network Rail, Wales and Borders said: “There is still time to apply for our 2019 Advanced Apprenticeship scheme and I encourage anyone that has the determination to make a difference everyday while contributing to building the railway of the future to take this opportunity. Our 1,600 employees are our greatest asset and central to providing a safe and reliable railway for our passengers every day.”

Open to anyone aged 18 or over on 1 March 2019, the scheme offers the opportunity to earn a salary while gaining recognised qualifications and chartered membership of a professional engineering institute plus valuable work experience and transferable skills.

Participants are guaranteed a job after completing the course. Currently, 75 per cent of people who finish the course choose to work for Network Rail, higher than the national average of 55 per cent.

More than four in five of those who started the scheme a decade ago are still working for Network Rail today.

For the first 21 weeks of the scheme, the apprentices live and learn at Network Rail’s state of the art centre in the Midlands. The rest of the duration is spent working from a depot close to home, specialising in a variety of disciplines to provide a wider view of the industry.

The apprentices will play a vital role in the team of front line engineers and technicians who fix and maintain Wales and Borders’ rail infrastructure.

As part of its initiative to encourage young people to join the rail industry, Network Rail has launched a new partnership with youth charity, Prince’s Trust Cymru, to offer a free training programme.

The Get into Rail Engineering scheme is a two-week personal development programme, designed to give unemployed people aged between 18 and 30 years old the opportunity to learn new skills in rail engineering, and will offer young people the opportunity and support to help them apply for Level 2 and Level 3 apprenticeships with Network Rail.

The scheme will offer taster days across the Wales and Borders route to allow young adults the chance to try out a career in rail, with one taking place on 31 October in Wrexham.

Ben Gough, an apprentice for Network Rail Wales and Borders, based in Hereford said: “I applied for the scheme because I believed it would be a fantastic opportunity to be involved with something that is different, interesting and an important part of British engineering. After some research in to the scheme, I quickly realised how many opportunities the three-year scheme had to offer.

“The scheme itself has given me plenty of opportunities career-wise. Not only am I currently being trained up to a technician standard, but I am acquiring many other qualifications such as an NVQ level 3, all of which will aid me in my career in the future.”

For more information about the apprenticeship opportunities and the application process, please visit networkrail.co.uk/careers/apprenticeships/ and for information on the Prince’s Trust programmes across Wales call 0800 842 842 or email general.wales@princes-trust.org.uk.

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Llanelli ‘Banksy’: Mayor covers graffiti rat in protective plastic

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LLANELLI Mayor David Darkin believes graffiti found on charity shop wall could potentially be a Banksy.

The piece has been covered with protective plastic by the council while they determine the authenticity of the piece.

David Darkin, Mayor of Llanelli told this newspaper: “I was approached by a local artist Roz Moreton, who believes the artwork is a Banksy in an attempt to preserve the piece.

Roz who studied art in Bristol and lived in London has said she has been exposed to numerous Banksy works including his rats on Westminster Bridge, and spotted the ‘rat’ straight away.

Darkin added “She first spotted the graffiti around ten years ago, but she kept her findings to herself so that she could go back and visit the work.

“It was only after the recent news of the incident in Swansea, where part of a suspected piece of Banksy artwork was stolen, that she decided to approach me to ask for help to protect the piece”.

The art dealer who bought Banksy’s ‘Season’s Greetings’ which appeared on a garage in Port Talbot in December, has met with the mayor in Neath to view images of the artwork.

John Bradner, Essex based gallery owner, paid six figures for the Port Talbot addition, is planning on visiting the site to see the piece for himself.

Mr Darkin added “After showing John Bradner the images he is fairly confident that the piece is Banksy’s work, the fact it was spotted ten years ago ties in with ‘Banksy’s rats’ which was his theme at the time when they appeared across industrial towns.

“Mr Bradner called me yesterday and asked if there was anything else I can do to preserve the piece until he comes to view it in a few weeks to check its authenticity.”

Speaking on the piece Councillor John Jenkins said “Fingers crossed it is a Banksy, but worst-case scenario it isn’t and is still a talking point and people still come and see him.”

Speaking to Mr Darkin he said no attempts have been made yet to contact Banksy to confirm the piece as far as he is aware.

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36 charges relating to chemicals and components for making bombs

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A 33-YEAR-OLD male  is facing 36 charges relating to chemicals and components which can be used to make bombs.

He was remanded in custody at Llanelli Magistrates’ Court on Friday (Feb 15)

The man, from Port Talbot, was arrested in October 2017 in an operation between counter terrorism officers, South Wales Fire and Rescue and The Welsh Ambulance Service.

Detective Superintendent James Hall said no known links to terrorist offences or groups were found. The man will appear in court again at a date to be fixed.

He has also been charged with possessing a taser and manufacturing and possessing class A drugs.

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University makes formal criminal complaint

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A FORMAL criminal complaint has been by made by Swansea University, as part of the ongoing investigation into the issues surrounding the recent suspension of four members of staff.

South Wales Police said: “Dyfed-Powys Police and South Wales Police can confirm that they have received a complaint which is currently subject of consideration by both forces.”

Last November, the university’s Vice-Chancellor Prof Richard B Davies, Dean of the School of Management Prof Marc Clement, as well as two other members of staff, who have not been named, were suspended.

Prof Davies has been suspended for alleged gross negligence whilst Prof Clement was suspended for alleged gross misconduct. Both individuals have denied any wrongdoing. Registrar Andrew Rhodes confirmed at the time that this action was taken after an internal investigation.

In a statement, the university said: “Swansea University has been in regular dialogue with the authorities since November 2018 based on the findings of our initial investigation. A formal criminal complaint has been made and the matter is with South Wales Police and Dyfed Powys Police. We will of course continue to co-operate fully with them. Our processes, which are being carried out by an independent investigating manager, are ongoing.”

The investigation has looked into the academics’ involvement in both the £200m Life Science and Wellbeing Village project in Llanelli, and a £600m plan for a private medical university and hospital in Kuwait.

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