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Welsh workers await news of expected deal to buy Vauxhall

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A Union leader has said an expected deal to sell Vauxhall to a French car giant must include a commitment to the long-term future of plants in the UK.

Len McCluskey, general secretary of Unite, said thousands of Vauxhall workers at Ellesmere Port, which employs hundreds from Wales, and Luton had endured a "nerve-wracking" few weeks.

General Motors is set to announce today it will sell Vauxhall and Opel to the PSA Group, which makes Peugeot and Citroen models.

Over the weekend, the chief executives of both General Motors and the PSA Group have spoken to me to outline their plans.

Unite will ensure that these are communicated to our members at the earliest opportunity so that we can end this nerve-wracking period for these loyal workers, and move forward on how to safeguard our sites.

So while initial discussions with the PSA Group have been relatively positive, our priority now is to ensure a long-term future for our plants and the tens of thousands of workers depending on them.

– Len McCluskey, general secretary of Unite

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Wrexham business hub to create 100 enterprises with £1m from Welsh Government

Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

The Welsh Government is providing £1 million of funds to establish a business hub to support the creation of 100 new enterprises and 260 jobs.

A two-year pilot scheme in Wrexham, north Wales aims to secure a similar amount of private investment.

Innovation and entrepreneurship are vital drivers for the economy and I want to continue to create the best environment for entrepreneurs across Wales and will be using the pilot to inform my future economic priorities.

The importance of providing space, community and support for aspiring entrepreneurs is key to success and I am keen to build on and complement the existing infrastructure across Wales.

– Ken Skates AM, Economy Secretary

Continued concerns over future of Bridgend Ford plant

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The general secretary of the union Unite, Len McCluskey, will meet with workers of Ford's car factory in Bridgend today amid concerns over the future of their jobs.

McClusky will also meet with management and will stress the need for assurances of the company's commitment to Wales.

The company has previously said it doesn't plan any job losses and that it still had a "substantial commitment" to the plant.

I have been talking to Ford's European chief executive about the future of the Bridgend plant. Unite will work with Ford and all industrial employers to secure the future of jobs and skills in Wales against the many challenges they face, not least from the government's apparent determination to take Britain out of the single market.

– Len McCluskey, Unite general secretary

Programme which helps out of work parents to be extended

A scheme which helps out of work parents in Wales access education, employment and training opportunities will be extended, the Communities Secretary has announced.

The Parents, Childcare and Employment Programme will be extended until the end of March 2020.

The Parents, Childcare and Employment Programme (PaCE), which has a budget of over £13.5 million, targets unemployed parents whose childcare commitments prevent them from accessing such opportunities.

Today Carl Sargeant has confirmed the programme, which is jointly funded by the Welsh Government and EU, will be extended until the end of March 2020.

We know there are a number of barriers that can prevent parents entering work including the availability of jobs with flexible or suitable working hours and the cost of quality childcare. We want to help create resilient communities where people are ready and able to work. To date, PaCE advisers have been very effective in finding a variety of solutions to overcome childcare barriers, including encouraging employers to consider employing PaCE participants on a part time basis to accommodate childcare commitments.

– Carl Sargeant AM, Communities and Children's Secretary
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