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Skills winners celebrate with Deputy Minister

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PEMBROKESHIRE learners have been rewarded for their successes at two major skills competitions, in an event celebrating talent across Wales.

Winners gathered at St David’s Hotel and Spa in Cardiff Bay to be honoured for their achievements at Skills Competition Wales and The Skills Show.

The event saw Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology, Julie James, hand out medals to 39 students, trainees, apprentices and employees who all won at competitions in 2014.

Pembrokeshire College students and graduates Annalea Lawrence, 39, from Pembroke; Luke Lawrence, 20, and Nicola Ashby, 32, from Pembroke Dock; Gabriella Coates, 19, from Tenby, and Marie Crayford, 44, from Saundersfoot, each took medals after triumphing in their chosen skill sector.

The Deputy Minister said: “This event is about celebrating the successes of our Welsh winners at Skills Competition Wales and The Skills Show, a group of people who will now act as role models to young people in Wales.

“These competitions help drive up standards in vocational skills and help us showcase the talent we have in Wales all over the world.

“We’re showing that we have talented students, trainees, apprentices and employees and we have forward-thinking training companies, colleges and employers.

“These competition winners are a testament to what can be achieved through dogged determination as well as skill.”

During Skills Competition Wales, the country’s most talented learners battled it out in competitions ranging from reflexology to web development to be named the ‘best in Wales’ in their chosen skill.

Initially, entrants competed against colleagues within their college and the best were then entered to compete at a national level, as part of heats organised within colleges across Wales by Skills Competition Wales (SCW).

In addition, The Skills Show, at the NEC in Birmingham then saw over 600 participants from across the UK take part in more than 60 competitions to be named the ‘best in the UK’.

Annalea and Nicola were awarded bronze and silver medals respectively in the reflexology category at Skills Competition Wales; Marie in aromatherapy, while Gabriella took gold in beauty therapy. Luke Lawrence was highly commended in the welding category at The Skills Show.

Gabriella said: “The Skills Show experience has been absolutely amazing.

“It’s one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done but I learned so much from it and the end result was definitely worth it. I’d recommend it to any learner.”

Backed by the Welsh Government, through the European Social Fund, Skills Competition Wales promotes the importance of developing a highly-skilled workforce, aiming to boost high level skills in Wales.

Barry Liles, WorldSkills Wales Champion and principal at Coleg Sir Gâr, who hosted the event, said:

“Taking part in skills competitions increases employability, employee skills, employer competitiveness, business growth and ultimately improves the economy of Wales.”

“The amount of passion and concentration shown at these events, the results of months and years of hard work, is always fantastic to see and every person involved should be hugely proud of what they have achieved.

“I’m extremely proud to be a part of such an inspiring scheme that has gone from strength to strength over the past four years.”

To register your interest for the next cycle of WorldSkills UK Competitions, visit www.worldskillsuk.org

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Domestic abuse victims in Wales to be given more time to report assaults

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DOMESTIC abuse victims in Wales and England to be given more time to report assaults.

New measures targeted directly at keeping women and girls safer will be added to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill last week (Jan 4) the UK Government has announced.

Under the changes, victims of domestic abuse will be allowed more time to report incidents of common assault or battery against them. Currently, prosecutions must commence within six months of the offence.

Instead, this requirement will be moved to six months from the date the incident is formally reported to the police – with an overall time limit of two years from the offence to bring a prosecution.Domestic abuse is often reported late relative to other crimes; so this will ensure victims have enough time to seek justice and that perpetrators answer for their actions.

The UK Government says that today’s announcement builds on measures already in the Bill to better protect women such as ending the halfway release of offenders sentenced between four and seven years in prison for serious sexual offences – forcing them to spend two-thirds of their time in prison.

In December, the legislation was amended to make clear that a new legal duty requiring public bodies to work together to tackle serious violence can also include domestic abuse and sexual offences.

It means that these crimes should be taken as seriously as knife crime and homicide, with police, government, and health bodies required to collaborate locally, so that they can develop more holistic strategies to protect people from harm, including through early intervention.

Home Secretary, Priti Patel, said: “My commitment to making our homes, streets and communities safer for women and girls is clear.”

“Every department in government is working to address and tackle all issues relating to violence against women and girls.”

“The Government has a focussed strategy, dedicated to providing essential support for survivors, the prevention of crimes against women and girls and bringing perpetrators to justice with the full force of the law.”

“Our actions include the new Domestic Abuse Act, with important changes to our laws; a newly created national police lead responsible solely on violence against women and girls, and millions of pounds have been invested in direct safety measures through the Safer Streets Fund.”

“These are all important public confidence measures and changes to ensure the safety of women and girls in public spaces.”

The UK Government has also said that taking non-consensual photographs or video recordings of breastfeeding mothers will be made a specific offence punishable by up to two years in prison.

It covers situations where the motive is to obtain sexual gratification, or to cause humiliation, distress or alarm.

Similar legislation introduced by the UK Government in 2019 that criminalised “up skirting” has led to more than 30 prosecutions since it became law.

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Club Logic announces last two events as venue plans to diversify in 2022

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AFTER latest government advice, Club Logic announces its two last events: the Christmas Party with headliner David Rust, and their closing party, the Ultimate Boxing Day Classics event.

Yesterday the Welsh Government’s complete closure of all Nightclubs for the foreseeable future with effect from midnight December 27th, came as a massive shock to many, and is another massive setback for the already suffering Welsh music and leisure industries sector.

The owner/promoters of Club Logic have hosted some of the most groundbreaking club nights that Wales has ever seen and in the face of great adversity caused by Covid, they reopened the venue, in accordance to government guidelines. 

With diversification already in the pipeline for Club Logic, which will transform it into the Gorseinon Entertainments Centre, The venue manager Cheryl Trotman said: “we are looking forward to the launch of our new venture and will be announcing the launch date, as soon as we have clarity from the government. But for now though, we are concentrating on finishing 2021 in true style.”

Their legendary festive Black Friday Christmas Party and Boxing Night Classics event are well known, revered and always well attended. As these will be the two last ever promotions in the venue as you know it, you can guarantee that both will go off with a bang!

Tonight’s Christmas event (Friday 17th December) features Scottish trance stalwart David Rust with support from Billy Gillies, Will Rees and support DJs. Tickets have been flying out and such is the appetite for a proper Christmas cracker, the opening times have been moved forward, and the doors open: 6pm – 4am, and early arrival is advised!

Then on Sunday 26th December,  Club Logic’s closing party will be their last ever Boxing Night’s Classics event. The doors open at 5pm and the management, DJ’s and everyone involved, will be closing the club in true Logic style. Supplying the aural delights will be DJ’s: Alan Sykes, Andrew Butty Davies, Ben Saunders, Callan Christie, Rhys Thomas, Rob Rees and Simon Davies. The event will of course finish at the stroke of midnight. 

Venue address: Club Logic, 12 High Street, Gorseinon, Swansea SA4 4BX.

For info please visit: https://www.facebook.com/logicmusicevents

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Happy Christmas from Halifax as HGV driver wins £100,000

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Timothy Davies is 61 and lives in Llanelli with his partner, Amy and his daughter. He has worked as an HGV driver for over 40 years.

ONE lucky Halifax saver will be celebrating in style this festive season after he found out he’d won the top £100,000 prize in the Halifax Savers Prize Draw.

Timothy Davies, an HGV driver from Llanelli, Wales, received the news and said he was “completely overwhelmed.”

Mr Davies, 61, has banked with Halifax for 26 years and couldn’t believe his luck when bank colleague Sam Borsden-Doyle of Llanelli branch told him he was the winner of £100,000.

Mr Davies said: “I have never won anything in my life and I never thought I stood a chance of winning. I am shocked and completely over the moon – my partner didn’t believe me!

“I plan to use the money to help with my daughter’s education and purchase a buy to let to help me when I retire. I will also use it to pay for laser treatment on my eyes and I hope to plan some travel. In the meantime, we are planning an extra special Christmas this year.

“I am truly overwhelmed to receive £100,000 and I want to thank everyone at Halifax.”

The Halifax Savers Prize Draw* rewards over 1,600 savers every month, with prizes ranging from £100 all the way to £100,000. 

The draw is now in its 10th year and, over the past decade, Halifax has paid prize money of over £75 million to nearly 160,000 customers. Over £6 million has been won in 2021 alone.

Russel Galley, Managing Director, Halifax, said: “We’ve been running our Savers Prize Draw for a whole decade now and we’re thrilled for Tim as one of our recent £100,000 top prize winners – it’s always wonderful to hear how much of a difference the prizes make to people’s lives. The whole team are always so excited when we make calls to our winners each month and we’ve certainly made lots of them, as we’ve now given away over £75 million to nearly 160,000 customers. We’re looking forward to congratulating many more winners in 2022 and beyond.”

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