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Work and career opportunities up for grabs at Carmarthenshire jobs fair

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People will have the opportunity to speak face to face with industry representatives and receive support to apply for positions with employers

A JOBS fair is being held to help people looking for work secure opportunities in key business sectors that are urgently looking for staff.

The South West Wales Regional Learning and Skills Partnership is hosting the fair in association with Communities for Work and Workways to support businesses in the transport and logistics, hospitality and health and social care sectors – all of which currently have a number of job openings.

People will have the opportunity to speak face to face with industry representatives and receive support to apply for positions with employers including Carmarthenshire County Council’s social care, catering and cleansing teams, private care providers Paddacare and Swanton Care along with Carers Trust Crossroads; Castell Howell Foods, Owens Transport, TRJ Ltd and Army Reserves.

Job seekers are encouraged to call in between 10am and 2pm at the former Topshop in St Catherine’s Walk, Carmarthen, on Wednesday September 22; at Stepney Street, Llanelli, on Thursday September 23, and at Quay Street, Ammanford, on Friday September 24.

Edward Morgan, Chair of the Regional Learning and Skills Partnership, said: “This is an opportunity for anyone looking for work or considering a career change to speak to the people who have a variety of vacancies to find out about what they have on offer to potential employees.

“All of the business sectors available at the fairs have immediate vacancies to fill – we want to help match people with the right skills and ambitions to the right jobs.

“We are working with the Department for Work and Pensions as well as Communities for Work and Workways to support people through the application process and any training that may be required for certain positions.”

Cllr Emlyn Dole, Leader of Carmarthenshire County Council and Cabinet Member for Regeneration, added: “Supporting businesses to recover in light of the Covid pandemic and Brexit, and supporting people to find sustainable employment, are key priorities for the council as part of our economic recovery plan.

“There are certain sectors that are struggling to recruit people at the moment and we are doing everything we can to support them – that includes our own teams within the council, especially the care, catering and cleansing teams where we need more people to join our team.

“This is an excellent opportunity for anyone looking for work, a change of direction, of just starting their career journey. We hope it is well attended and helps bring job seekers and recruiters together.”

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Health

Efforts to relieve significant pressure on social care services

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CARMARTHENSHIRE’S statutory director of social services has described the impact of national social care pressures locally and the significant efforts underway to manage demand.

Jake Morgan, Carmarthenshire County Council’s Director of Communities, has presented a report to the council’s Cabinet explaining the challenges and risks being faced at a time when pressure on recruitment across Wales has impacted significantly on the delivery of social care.

His report notes that although the greatest pressure is in delivering services to older people, there are also challenges in delivery of care for adults with mental health and learning disabilities and for children requiring care.

At present, there are more people than ever waiting for a homecare package either in the community or in hospital.

The residential care home sector is described as being ‘stretched but stable’, and although also affected by staffing issues the biggest impact is said to be caused by Covid-19 guidance – at present a third of homes in Carmarthenshire are currently unable to take new admissions because of enhanced restrictions.

A range of measures have been undertaken to manage the situation – targeted efforts are being made to recruit and retain staff which has started to see applications coming in through a fast-tracked recruitment programme, with longer-term apprenticeship and traineeship opportunities as part of future planning.

Meanwhile those waiting for care are being risk assessed with priority being given to the most vulnerable, and alternative packages being offered as a short-term measure.

Alternative care and ‘step down’ options are being developed with the health board to help improve patient flow.

The report also highlights the need for a long term funding settlement from Welsh Government to transform the way in which social care is delivered.

Cllr Jane Tremlett, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, said: “We are doing everything possible to support those who need our help, whilst also supporting the workforce who are doing such a wonderful job under such great pressure.

“The Director’s report sets out a challenging position but should reassure that the situation is being very carefully monitored and managed.”

Read the report and watch an archived webcast of the Cabinet meeting at www.carmarthenshire.gov.wales

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Health

New plan to keep Wales open and safe during “challenging” winter ahead

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The First Minister, Mark Drakeford, will today (Friday October 8) publish new plans to help keep Wales open and safe during the difficult autumn and winter months ahead.

The Welsh Government is publishing an updated Coronavirus Control Plan, which outlines the key actions, which could be put in place to control the spread of the virus.

Wales will remain at alert level zero for the next three weeks, following the latest review of the coronavirus regulations. This means all businesses are open and Wales has the lowest level of restrictions.

Speaking ahead of his press conference, First Minister Mark Drakeford said:

“We are facing a challenging winter ahead – coronavirus hasn’t gone away and flu is forecast to return this winter.

“Vaccination is the best defence we have against coronavirus – the more people who are fully vaccinated, the better our chances of controlling the spread of this awful virus.

“We will continue to focus our efforts on increasing take up of the Covid-19 vaccine across the age and priority groups and rolling out the booster vaccine too. We also encourage everyone who is eligible, to have their flu jab this year.

“There is also a range of other measures we can all take to help protect ourselves and our loved ones, such as washing our hands, reducing the number of people we meet and wearing a face covering in indoor public places.

“These measures have helped keep us safe throughout the pandemic and they will also help to protect us from other winter viruses, such as flu and other respiratory infections.”

The latest version of the Coronavirus Control Plan sets out two planning scenarios for the pandemic over the winter – in the first, called Covid Stable, Wales remains at alert level zero through the autumn and winter, with all businesses able to open.

This is thought to be the most likely scenario for the future, as we become used to living with coronavirus and we gradually move out of the pandemic to a position where the virus becomes a seasonal illness.

Under this scenario, if case rates fall, measures could be relaxed further in response, and if they rise, some existing measures could be strengthened to protect people’s health.

The second planning scenario, called Covid Urgent, is designed to deal with any sudden changes to the situation, caused by the emergence of a new, fast-spreading variant or if vaccine immunity levels fall, causing a rise in pandemic pressures, which risk overwhelming the NHS.

In such a scenario, the alert level system and restrictions would be used proportionately, but as a last-resort means, to protect people’s health, control the spread of infections and to protect the NHS.

Help keep Wales safe:

• Get your Covid-19 vaccines, including your booster when invited

• Get tested and self-isolate if you have symptoms

• Outdoors is safer than indoors

• Keep your distance when you can

• Wash your hands regularly

• Wear a face covering in indoor public places

• Keep indoor places well-ventilated

• Work from home whenever possible

• Use a Covid Pass in nightclubs and large events.

Commenting on the First Minister’s announcement Welsh Conservative Shadow Health Minister Russell George MS said:

“Like the First Minister acknowledged, vaccinations have proven to be the key that unlocked society and the economy after severely weakening the link between infection and hospitalisation. To those who have yet to be vaccinated, we urge them to do so and those eligible to get a booster jab.

“However, while we remain at Level 0, new restrictions are coming in as the coercive, ineffective, and anti-business Covid passports will limit our freedoms, fail to limit the spread of coronavirus according to the Welsh Government’s own scientists, and add additional burdens on already stretched businesses.

“There has been a poor communication campaign from the Welsh Government on their introduction, little justification of their effectiveness, a failure to address confusion and fix bugs, and no explanation on how they will police the alternative Covid test system so open to abuse.

“We have passed the peak of infections without further restrictions and passports will do little to stem the problems that has led to the worst-ever A&E waiting times, longest ever NHS treatment backlog, and second slowest ambulance response times built up under Labour mismanagement.

“So instead of further restrictions, we need Labour ministers to bring forward a proper winter pressures plan that introduces the Covid treatment hubs for which Welsh Conservatives have long called for and reverse their damaging decision to bring in Covid passports.”

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Health

Roll-out of Covid vaccination for 12 to 15-year-olds gathers pace in Wales

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AS 12 to 15-YEAR-OLDS across Wales start to receive their Covid-19 vaccinations, the Health Minister today (Oct 4) confirmed they will all be offered a vaccine by the end of October half-term.

All 12 to 15-year-olds will be invited by letter to have the vaccine and the majority being administered at mass vaccination centres. In some areas, vaccination will be carried out at schools.

Some of the most vulnerable 12 to 15-year-olds in Wales have already started receiving the vaccine and all health boards will have started rolling out the programme in their areas this week.

Health Minister Eluned Morgan said: “Vaccines remain our strongest defence from the virus, helping prevent harm and stopping the spread of Covid-19. Some studies have shown show one in seven children who have been infected with the virus are thought to have also developed long-Covid.

“We have provided resources and information to help this age group make an informed choice about vaccination. I encourage parents, guardians, children and young people to discuss the vaccination together.”

Dr Gill Richardson, Deputy Chief Medical Officer for Vaccines, added: “We have seen the benefits that come from having as many people as possible vaccinated.

“After careful consideration of the evidence, the four UK chief medical officers recommended the vaccination of healthy 12 to 15-year-olds after consultation with experts, such as the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.

“They concluded that the health benefits, combined with the additional benefits of reducing educational disruption and effects on mental health meant that vaccination should be offered.

“Children and their families will be receiving links to information with their invitation letters so they can make an informed decision about whether or not to have the vaccine.”

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