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Council offers a step on the career ladder with apprenticeships




OVER 160 apprentices are working with Carmarthenshire County Council, supporting the authority in a variety of roles whilst progressing their career.

The council runs a long and successful apprenticeship programme and is recognising the contribution apprentices make during National Apprenticeship Week (February 8-14).

Apprenticeships are a great opportunity for people to develop practical skills and get ready for the world of work.

The programmes provide a mix of workplace and academic modules leading to a nationally recognised qualification.

Many apprentices go on to full-time employment with their apprenticeship employer or move on to the next stage of their career with another employer.

Over recent years Carmarthenshire County Council has worked with many apprentices to complete a wide range of qualifications.

Currently, the authority has 166 apprentices undertaking many different roles, working towards several different qualifications.

Over the last year, despite being in the midst of a pandemic, 10 new apprentices have joined the council’s team.

They include Alaw Roberts and Eve Bryan who are MakerSpace apprentices based with Carmarthen and Ammanford libraries; Alex Caswell, Evan Davies and Ben Cooke who joined the council as Next Steps apprentices, working on property maintenance.

And Finn Quick, Elliot Lewis, Rhydian Jones, Tomos Williams and Elliot Brice who are undertaking Chartered Institute of Building higher apprenticeships in construction management.

Council apprenticeships are also flexible – Poppy Evans started her apprenticeship with the council as a business support assistant but has recently progressed into the Children and Family Services team helping to engage and recruit new foster parents.

Poppy, who is taking her apprenticeship through the medium of Welsh, is one of 10 apprenticeship ambassadors for Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol’s 2020/2021 academic year and runs a successful vlog about her apprenticeship experience.

Cllr Mair Stephens, Executive Board Member with responsibility for the council’s recruitment and employment matters, said: “We value the contribution our apprentices make to the council and are proud to have a long running apprenticeship programme.

“Apprenticeships are a two-way relationship – we benefit just as much as the apprentice does – and it’s always incredibly inspiring to see our apprentices grow and flourish by working and learning alongside experienced colleagues.

“Apprenticeship programmes offer a unique step into the world of work. We’re proud to offer a variety of opportunities and I would always encourage people to look into an apprenticeship programme as they consider their career path.”

More information about the council’s apprenticeship programme, details of new opportunities and in-takes, can be found at


Lifeline for cockle-gathers could be on the way after Llangennech rail crash




Plaid Cymru MS Helen Mary Jones has raised the impact on cockle-gathers of the Llangennech derailment last year.

She received an assurance from the First Minister that the Welsh Government was looking at way to help the cockle industry.

Plaid Cymru’s Shadow Economy, Transport and Tackling Poverty Minister, Helen Mary Jones MS said:

“In the Senedd I congratulated the public services for the way they co-operated around the clean-up after the Llangennech derailment, which, so far, has been very successful. I demanded a life-line scheme to help the cockle gathers.

“I raised with the First Minister issues for two groups of businesses particularly badly affected in the short-term by the derailment. 

“One of those was the very important cockle-gathering industry, the other, of course, were farmers who graze animals on those low-lying banks by the river. 

“There has been a request for the Welsh Government to consider whether some interim financial support might be made available to the cockle gatherers and the grazers while responsibility for the derailment and long-term compensation becomes a possibility. Many of these are small businesses; they operate on quite low margins and currently in difficult circumstances.

“The First Minister emphasised he was aware of the impact on cockle gatherers and particularly that they were unable to carry out their normal activities while the level of environmental contaminants in the estuary were being surveyed.

“Plaid Cymru believes it must be the polluter in the end that must pay for the damage that has been caused, but the rail accident investigation branch work is not coming to a conclusion quickly.

“The Welsh Government is expecting to receive advice in the next few days whether or not it is possible to devise a scheme through the Welsh Government in which some interim assistance to those industries could be supplied.

“The Welsh Government is keen to obtain that advice from officials in case it is possible, before the rail accident investigation is completed, so they can offer some assistance to those who have been most directly affected.”

The environmental impact of the Llangennech derailment last year was amongst the most significant in Wales since the Sea Empress disaster of 25 years ago. 

Monitoring of the site and surrounding area, which includes four sites of special scientific interest and a special area of conservation will continue for many years to come.

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UK Budget must take crucial steps to help recovery




LLANELLI Labour representatives are urging the UK Government to take the necessary steps to begin recovery and secure prosperity across all parts of the UK.

Llanelli’s MP Nia Griffith and MS Lee Waters set out Wales’ priorities ahead of the UK Budget on Wednesday March 3 2021.

They are urging the UK Government to make a series of commitments to Wales, including:

• sustaining UK-wide business support
• delivering welfare and taxation measures to support the most vulnerable
• redressing the historical under investment in Wales on research and development and rail infrastructure
• providing an injection of funding to support the transition to Net Zero carbon emissions
• providing guarantees for Wales’ specific funding pressures

Speaking ahead of the UK Budget announcement, Nia Griffith MP reiterated her calls for continued business support for those on the lowest of incomes. She said:  

“It is vital that the Job Retention Scheme and Self Employed Income Support Scheme are retained – not threatened with being removed at the eleventh hour and putting livelihoods at risk. A delay to repayments should also be introduced for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme with recognition given to the self-employed who are facing deferred bills.”

“It is also vital that the £20 per week increase to Universal Credit is maintained and put on a permanent basis, making it available to people in receipt of legacy means-tested benefits. More than 300,000 families in Wales have benefitted from an extra £1,000 a year as a result of the uplift and removing this now would have a detrimental and long-lasting effect on thousands of households across Wales.”

Lee Waters MS said:

“The UK Government should continue to take advantage of historically low interest rates to invest in Wales’ infrastructure and public services. Particularly on rail, where we have been underfunded to the tune of billions since the start of devolution, this is the moment where Rishi Sunak can demonstrate his commitment to ‘levelling up’ all four nations of the UK.”

“This budget is a chance to hardwire a greener, fairer way of doing things into our recovery from Coronavirus. We are ambitious about our target of being Net Zero carbon by 2050, and averting the climate crisis which is increasingly affecting Wales through flooding. But to make that transition, we need a step change from the UK Government’s budget that allows us to invest in renewable energy and green jobs.”

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Search for Susan Smith continues




THE search for missing Susan Smith is now in it’s third day. She was last seen on Saturday (Feb 27), walking in the Kidwelly area.

Speaking to The Herald, a police spokesperson said: “We are continuing to search for Susan Smith who has been reported missing.”

“The search is continuing today with specialist police officers making house to house enquiries in the Kidwelly, St Ishamels, Ferryside and surrounding areas.

Sergeant Fiona Phillips said: “It is important that we build a picture of Susan’s movements after she was last seen on Saturday and I would appeal to anyone who believes they may have seen her to contact police.”

Susan was last seen 1.30pm Saturday, February 27 2021, walking in the Carmarthen Bay Holiday Village, Kidwelly area. She is known to walk along the beach to St Ishmaels and Ferryside.

She is described as approximately 5ft2 inches tall, petite with shoulder length blonde hair and believed to be wearing black jeans, a black fleece type jacket and navy and grey walking boots.

Any who has seen Susan or anyone who may have information that could help the search is asked to contact Dyfed-Powys Police, quoting reference 285 of Saturday 27th February.

Police can be contacted either online at, by emailing, or by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908

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