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Competition is key to unlocking covid conundrum



The Welsh Government is about to smash through its own 100,000 apprentice target to help drive a post-Covid skills-led recovery a Minister revealed today.

Ken Skates MS, Minister for the Economy, Transport and North Wales, speaking to delegates around the World at the WorldSkills UK International Skills Summit said that there was ‘huge endeavour’ to create opportunities for meaningful sustainable work.

“We need to bounce back, stronger, better – building an economy where everybody has an opportunity to secure sustainable and Fair Work with opportunities for everybody.”

“I am delighted to say that this month we will smash our target of having 100,000 apprentices.

He said that world-class skills were at the heart of the drive to counter Covid and that national and international competitions were driving up skills across the country.

“Having a skilled educated workforce will help Wales to attract high value innovative knowledge-based businesses to this country which is why we announced a £40m parent programme to support employee ability and skills provision with a particular focus on young people.”

“The stronger the skills base in Wales and elsewhere, the better the prospects of securing investment and a growing or indigenous business and so a skilled educated workforce will help Wales.”

He said that the nation’s competitiveness at national and international level had gone from strength to strength – with many competitors inspiring colleagues, furthering their education by taking up degree level apprenticeships and going on to start their own businesses.

The two-day virtual event, hosted by BBC Presenter Simon Lederman will also feature live discussions with Chair of the Education Committee, Robert Halfon MP, The Rt Hon Anne Milton (former Minister for Skills), Paul Joyce FE Director, Ofsted and Liz Pollard, Managing Director Shared Services UK, BAE Systems.

Commenting on Mr Skates’ remarks Dr Neil Bentley-Gockmann OBE, CEO of WorldSkills UK, selects and trains Team UK and is now cascading elite skills to thousands of young people across the country, said that Wales ‘gets it’ when it comes to skills.

He said: “There is a real understanding about how important competition is to driving up skills in Wales

“Our work is embedded in the Welsh Government’s thinking. We are working together to ensure that the Welsh government not just inspires and develops young people to world class standards but is really aligned with the nation’s needs for their economy.”

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Rapper who bombed wrong house jailed for almost 10 years



A WELSH rapper who accidentley ‘bombed’ a wrong house following a feud with a rival has been labelled ‘pathetic’ and ‘childish’ by a judge before sending them to prison.

Appearing at Swansea Crown Court on Monday (Jun 13), Michael Athernought was sentenced to almost 10 years in prison.

The court heard how Athernought, 25 of Tontine Street, Swansea, had thrown a petrol bomb at a house he believed belonged to a fellow rapper Ricky Williams following a feud between the two.

However, the defendant bombed the house of a woman and her teenage son.

The incident happened at a residential property on Clyndu Street, Morriston at around 3am on November 16 of last year.

The woman awoke to a fire alarm going off and neighbours banging her front door.

L;uckily for Helen Davies and her son, neighbours had managed to break her door down and get the pair to safety.

The court heard how Athernought had posted a video directed at Mr Williams where threats were made to ‘burn your house to the ground’ and ‘war means war’.

Athernought was arrested the same day and officers from South Wales Police found a jerrycan of petrol and a towel with pieces missing.

Whilst sentencing, Judge Paul Thomas QC, said: “A more pathetic, childish reason for acting as you did is frankly quite difficult to imagine.

“Instead of acting as a grown-up you decided, because you think of yourself as some sort of pseudo-gangster, to make a video.

“In that video you made threats to burn his house down. It was as graphically threatening as it was pathetically childish.

“In actual fact, due to your incompetence, you got the wrong house.

“Obviously, you seem to think that you can get away with what you want, because you’re in some way above all of that, being, of course, an important rapper.”

Alternought was given an extended sentence of nine years and nine months.

The defendant will serve four years and six months in prison. The remainder of the sentence will be served on licence.

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Trimsaran go top after beating Bynea



TRIMSARAN moved to the top of League 3 West B on Saturday (Jan 8) as they beat Bynea 39-5.

It was the only game to be played in the Division as others battled covid-19 cases and waterlogged pitches following overnight rain.

Lee Bates had scored two tries in Trimsaran’s last game before Christmas and he carried on his good form with a hat trick of tries on Saturday.

Iwan Green and Chris Lacey also went over for the home side who were also awarded a penalty try.

There were three conversions and a penalty from Corey Phillips as Trimsaran secured a bonus point win.

Trim now sit top of the table, unbeaten in their opening four games in the league, and they are now level on points with second placed Tumble who have played a game more.

On Saturday, January 15, Trimsaran travel to Tumble while Bynea will look to get back to winning ways when they host New Dock Stars.

PHOTO by Darren Harries

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Welcome to Serene Baby Sleep



JULIA is a qualified Sleep Consultant experienced in supporting you to maximise your family and child’s sleep potential. She is calm, caring and empathetic to your individual needs. Julia is also a qualified NNEB Nursery Nurse and non medical Maternity Nurse with over 25 years experience in dealing with newborns & children up to the age of 12 years.

Whilst working with you, Julia will tailor a bespoke programme for your baby or child. This will be balanced with your family’s needs, taking into account your personal wishes. Coupled with her own experience and intuition she will endeavour to find a solution that supports your child in learning to enjoy sleep.

Julia has a wide range of packages available including; Telephone/Skype Consultations, Home Visits, Welcome Home Packages, Sleep Plans, Maternity Nursing and Night Nannying. 

As a sleep consultant Julia advises on the various methods of sleep training available. As every family is different she encourage parents/carers to go with a plan that is ultimately going to have the best outcome for them. After an initial phone call to gather all of the facts an explanation is given on the various services she offers.

Typical problems and situations Julia might assist with as a non medical maternity nurse include feeding issues, tongue tie, low milk supply, mastitis, routine and sleeping habits. 

Julia will encourage and support exhausted parents to get more rest through effective time management and prioritisation. She can advise parents on how to support their older children’s emotions once the new addition to the family has arrived ensuring a highly enjoyable experience for all.

Julia provides a high quality and confidential service and can provide extensive evidence of recommendations by previous clients who often invite her back to the family home for subsequent bookings for additional children.

So if you are feeling overwhelmed, in need of some sleep, support and advice please call Julia Maher on 07722071420 or email me at

For more information visit:

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