basic I think we need to talk about community resilience and social cohesion, because as the wide-ranging implications of COVID19 become apparent, it’s becoming clear that people are going to need support in all kinds of different and changing ways.
Essentially, I think we have two options when faced with a threat like a coronavirus epidemic. It’s either an individual survivalist response, or a broader perspective based on the belief that we survive and thrive together, and that in times of crisis we need each other more, not less.
What is heartening to witness in my own local community, and right across South West Wales, is that people are choosing the latter: ordinary people saying, let’s figure out how we can mobilise collectively to support those that might need help in the coming weeks, and activate those who feel able to offer help.
Just with simple things, initially, like collecting medicines and groceries for people who don’t want to leave their homes; but if the virus spreads or the crisis materialises, it’s these community social networks powered by local people that will provide resilience and give us the ability to support each other and work together.
Our suggestion is that we work together to form a network of community groups specifically focused on developing social cohesion and community resilience – sharing ideas and resources, connecting people who want to support their local communities in this way, and hopefully creating a basis upon which we can start to build lasting regional resilience.
We are meeting with Swansea Council for Voluntary Services in the next few days, along with other partners who may wish to collaborate, to consider safeguarding issues and other logistics. And we would love to hear what you’re doing locally, have you got ideas you could share with others, would you like to be part of the conversation?
We have created an open map as a starting point, which community volunteers may wish to adopt as a means of coordinating activity in their local areas, and to be part of a “community of best practice” to share plans, ideas and resources.
You can begin adding your community volunteers to the map, and, as ever, we welcome all feedback and co-creation.
Contact us with your ideas and expertise, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Click here for basic map instructions.
Swansea city centre traders are being given an extra boost ahead of Small Business Saturday on December 1.
A free parking offer at The Quadrant and St David’s multi storey car parks aims to attract more shoppers and visitors.
The scheme, from 10am to 4pm, is funded by construction company Dawnus and by Swansea BID (Business Improvement District). They are working in partnership on the scheme with Swansea Council.
Dawnus – on behalf of the council – is carrying out the £12m Kingsway infrastructure project, set to transform one of the key arteries into and out of the city centre.
The Swansea-based company is keen to support business who may face disruption during the works, and to show its appreciation for their patience.
Mathew Morgan, regional director of Dawnus, said: “After meeting with Swansea BID to discuss ways in which we could support the city centre, we are pleased to back local firms on Small Business Saturday, by helping to fund this parking offer. Our construction team has worked very hard to complete works to The Kingsway South – the traffic switch over has now been successfully completed and the barriers have now been removed, to allow shoppers to access the area easily.”
Swansea BID chair Juliet Luporini said: “I encourage shoppers to take advantage of this opportunity to support local businesses and to make a good start on their Christmas shopping. We are fortunate to have a great mix of big names and smaller, independent businesses in the Swansea BID area, all of whom are gearing up for a lively Christmas period.”
Robert Francis-Davies, the council’s cabinet member for investment, regeneration and tourism, said: “Small businesses are vitally important to our city centre now and to the area’s success in its very bright future. Our regeneration under way, including new city centre homes, a dramatically improved Kingsway, the digital village and the 3,500-capacity digital arena, will transform the area.
“It will see more people living in the city centre, working there and spending quality free time there. There’s free parking all year every Sunday in council car parks, after 3pm Monday-Saturday in the St David’s multi-story over the Christmas season – and the Kingsway is clear of roadwork’s until January 6. There are great attractions such as the Christmas Market, Santa’s Grotto and Waterfront Winterland.”
Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford has announced £5.3 million for 2 schemes to help Wales’ advanced manufacturing workforce keep pace with global advances in innovation and technology. The EU funding will support more than 800 people through the Up-skilling for Industry 4.0 project and International Innovation Masters scheme led by the University of Wales Trinity Saint David.
The £3.7 million Up-skilling for Industry 4.0 project, which is supported by £2.3 million of EU funding, will provide accredited qualifications to around 430 employees in Welsh industry, particularly within the advanced manufacturing sector.
It will support participants to understand and engage with rapid technological change and help drive business growth.
The £4.3 million International Innovation Masters scheme, which is backed by £3m of EU funding, will provide post-graduate training to around 390 employees from across Wales’s manufacturing sector. The training will help professionals understand the importance of innovation in a dynamic international context.
Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford said:
“Innovation has become increasingly vital for business competitiveness and Wales must continue to respond to technological change and adapt its processes to compete successfully on a global scale.
“I am pleased that EU funds are being invested to help up-skill our advanced manufacturing workforce to meet these technological challenges and opportunities head on.
“This investment will help people to pursue successful, rewarding careers and drive forward business innovation, growth and jobs.”
Professor Medwin Hughes, Vice-Chancellor of University of Wales Trinity Saint David, added:
“The university has a strong track-record of working with employers in the manufacturing sector to up-skill and train their workforce for today’s rapidly changing global environment.
“We play a key role in securing the sustainability of Wales’s manufacturing industry by providing a pipeline of industry-ready graduates and by sharing our expertise in order to challenge concepts and discover new ways of working to our mutual benefit.
“Today’s funding announcement will help us to develop our work with the manufacturing sector in Wales so that it is ready to harness the opportunities that such technological advancements as Industry 4.0 can provide for competitive advantage.”
The launch event took place at Unit Nineteen in Swansea and provided an opportunity for businesses to network and explore support opportunities with project staff.
Guests included Patrick Lilly from the Ireland Wales programme; Michael Moroney from Tipperary County Council; Michael Begley from Tipperary Local Enterprise Office; Brian Ogilvie and Silvia Guglielmini from Carlow Institute of Technology; Gabrielle Carrol and Helen Ryan from Carlow County Council; Carl Nichols and Hugh Jones from WRAP Cymru and Ben Reynolds from Urban Foundry.
The event was also attended by UWTSD’s Professor Ian Walsh, Dean of Swansea College of Art, Chris Holtom, Katrina Hodges, Nicola Dowdle, Caroline Thraves, Head of School of Fine and Media Arts, Dr Shelley Doolan and Lloyd James.
The project offers opportunities for collaboration particularly in the areas of design.
Backed with €1.3m of EU funding, the Catalyst project will bring together partners on both sides of the Irish Sea to develop new products and processes within their fields.
The scheme will work with 60 businesses to develop new specialist products, access new markets, and ensure packaging of products are sustainably sourced and minimised.
The aim is to encourage business growth and create new employment opportunities.
Supported through the EU’s Ireland Wales Cooperation Programme, the University of Wales Trinity Saint David will lead the scheme alongside WRAP Cymru, the Institute of Technology Carlow, Tipperary County Council and Carlow County Council.
Catalyst Project Manager, Chris Holtom said: “We’re delighted to have now launched the Catalyst project and look forward to working with our partners to support Irish and Welsh businesses. It was great to meet so many businesses and learn about how the Catalyst project may be able to assist them through our upcoming workshops, residencies, cross-border events and 1-to-1 support programmes.”
Professor Ian Walsh, Dean of UWTSD’s Swansea College of Arts said: “We’re delighted that the Catalyst project has been funded following the hard work put in by our dedicated CIRIC team. Catalyst offers exciting opportunities to build upon UWTSD Swansea College of Art’s successful record of business engagement and knowledge transfer as well as continuing our longstanding international collaboration with Ireland.”
The Construction Wales Innovation Centre (CWIC), based at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s (UWTSD) new £350million SA1 Swansea Waterfront Development, has officially opened today (Thursday 18th October). CWIC is a landmark agreement between the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and a consortium led by UWTSD. CWIC will support future workforce needs, skills development and innovation in the Welsh construction sector. The new centre will provide state-of-the-art facilities and training for individuals and construction companies, with CITB investing £6.5m. The CWIC hub will provide a Construct Zone, classrooms, dedicated IT suites and conference facilities. A dedicated scaffolding training facility will also be sited close by. Alongside the hub based in Swansea, CWIC is already delivering courses across Wales through partner colleges, Coleg Sir Gâr, Coleg Cambria, Coleg y Cymoedd and Coleg Ceredigion as well as the Building Research Establishment (BRE). It is estimated that 1,200 students will be trained through CWIC facilities across Wales each year. The official opening was attended by representatives from across the construction and education sector, including CITB Board Chair Peter Lauener, CITB CEO Sarah Beale, UWTSD Vice-Chancellor Professor Medwin Hughes, DL, and UWTSD Council Chair, The Venerable Randolph Thomas. The event also marked the launch of the Construction Skills and Innovation Roadmap for Wales. The roadmap has been produced to highlight the need for an integrated strategy for workforce development over the next decade for the sector.
CWIC, through its pan-Wales Hub and Spoke delivery model is ideally placed to oversee the delivery of this strategy in conjunction with the CITB and UWTSD.
The latest CITB Construction Skills Network research predicts the Welsh Construction industry is set to grow quicker than any other part of the UK – with over 12,000 new roles set to be created in the industry by 2022. The new centre will help meet the skills needs for future projects including the South Wales Metro, Wylfa Newydd and major construction activity that will follow, regional, city and growth deals across Wales. Last month two new Higher Apprenticeship programmes in Construction Management and Quantity Surveying were launched to meet construction growth in Wales.
The University is working directly with industry partners and in collaboration with the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), The Construction Wales Innovation Centre (CWIC) and the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) to deliver these programmes at The Faculty of Architecture, Computing and Engineering from October 2018. Professor Medwin Hughes, DL, Vice-Chancellor of UWTSD, said: “Co-locating and collaborating with industry partners are key to the University’s vision for SA1 Swansea Waterfront. Together, we are transforming the delivery of education to create a pipeline of employment-ready graduates across a range of disciplines and sectors. The development of the Construction Wales Innovation Centre, in partnership the CITB, BRE and FE partners, is an example of how we are exploiting of collective expertise and the latest technological advances in order to support the burgeoning construction industry throughout Wales. Similarly, our partnership with the Welsh Government and the City and Council of Swansea on the development of the SA1 Swansea Waterfront has enabled UWTSD to develop purpose-built facilities at the heart of the city connecting education, innovation, business and industry to make a positive economic contribution to the Swansea Bay City region and further afield.”
Mark Bodger, Partnerships Director CITB Wales, said: “I am delighted that CWIC has officially opened its new state of the art facilities where thousands of learners will get cutting-edge training that meets the needs of our changing industry. CWIC reaffirms CITB’s commitment to the construction industry in Wales and shows what can be achieved by working in collaboration with employers, education providers and Welsh Government. “CWIC has already made a huge impact on the sector in Wales through its partners across the nation, and the SA1 hub will help the industry to deliver and expand on its ambitions.” Jane Davidson, Pro Vice Chancellor at University of Wales Trinity Saint David, said: “The UWTSD Group has a strong tradition in offering skills solutions for the construction industry at all levels. It is now particularly pleasing to be collaborating with CITB on delivering a much wider national vision for Wales. The launch of the CITB funded CWIC is a significant initiative on this journey and will be a major catalyst for delivering the Welsh Government’s Employability Plan for Wales.”
Airline Ryanair has confirmed a new route from Cardiff Airport to Barcelona.
The Irish carrier has included the route in its 2019 summer schedule from the Rhoose-based airport, which is owned by the Welsh Government.
The season, which starts next April, will see two weekly scheduled flights to Barcelona.
There will also be new flights to Malta (twice a week).
It will also continue its Cardiff to Faro (twice a week) and Tenerife (weekly) flights.
The expansion will see it operating seven flights a week out of the Rhoose-based airport, carrying around 100,000 passengers a year.
The airline is offering fares for travel on the routes in April and May of just £24.99 if booked by midnight tomorrow.
Robin Kiely of Ryanair said: “We are pleased to launch our Cardiff summer 2019 schedule with four routes, including two new routes to Barcelona and Malta, as we double our Cardiff traffic.
“Welsh customers can now book flights to the sunshine as far out as October 2019, all on the lowest fares.”
Chief executive of Cardiff Airport, Debra Barber, said: ” It is great to see that Ryanair continues to recognise the potential that exists to build on its offering at Cardiff Airport, having already announced a new route to Malta from April 2019.
“Furthermore, we are very pleased by today’s announcement that Ryanair will begin operating regular, low-cost flights to Barcelona from next summer – the ideal destination for a city break or beach holiday in the sun.
“The announcement of two new routes in as many months means that Ryanair has now doubled its choice of destinations for summer 2019.”