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Boom in construction jobs predicted

Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire/PA Images

A boom in construction is set to create thousands of new jobs in Wales by 2019, according to a new report.

The Construction Industry Training Board says private housing is set to rise by 4.6% over the next few years while employment is expected to be particularly strong in Wales and the north of England.

It predicts over 5,300 construction jobs will be created in Wales alone over the next five years.

Across the UK it says more than 40,000 new jobs will be needed every year, 8,000 more than previously predicted.

Our forecast shows that construction is experiencing a major comeback, with a sustained period of growth set to make a positive impact on the wider economy. Leisure, infrastructure and housing are all driving growth, but this brings with it new challenges in meeting skills demand.

– Steve Radley, CITB's director of policy

Plaid Cymru: Wales' low-wage economy can be overturned

Plaid Cymru's Rhun ap Lorwerth AM has outlined how Wales' low-wage economy can be overturned.

Highlighting figures on average wages in Wales, Rhun ap Iorwerth said that Welsh wages were on average £2,000 lower per year than the rest of the UK.

The average weekly wage in Wales is £383.30 per week Credit: PA

He said employment levels in Wales matched UK average levels but jobs are generally of lower quality in Wales, resulting in lower wages.

The average weekly wage in Wales is £383.30 per week, compared to the UK average of £417.90.

We need to make sure that the Welsh workforce has the skills that business needs, so that we can begin to drive up Welsh wages.

That needs to start with education. We need to teach ourselves the skills that business wants, and to do that Plaid Cymru is working in partnership with industry to ensure that Welsh apprenticeships and skills training offer the skills they need.

The wage gap has grown because of a lack of investment in Wales by successive governments formed by London-based parties and it is high time that Wales took control the powers we need to create a thriving business environment, and quality well-paid work.

– Rhun ap Lorwerth AM, Plaid Cymru

The Welsh Government says it is continuing to work to close the historic wage gap by attracting investment, creating jobs and promoting economic growth.

"We are working closely with the business community to ensure that education in Wales provides young people with the skills they need to succeed in the workplace. Separately Professor Graham Donaldson is currently undertaking a wide-ranging independent review of curriculum and assessment arrangements to ensure learners gain the skills they need to succeed in a modern and quickly evolving world."

– Welsh Government

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Unemployment rises in Wales

Credit: Philip Toscano/PA Wire

In the three months to October unemployment in Wales rose by 8,000 to 105,000 people without jobs. That's a rate of 7.1 percent.

Unemployment in Wales is lower than at the same time last year, while youth unemployment is still falling faster in Wales than in the UK.

Employment in Wales remains well above its historic average and claimant count is at its lowest rate since 2008.

When these figures are considered alongside other key economic indicators, such as the largest increase in GVA per head in the UK and record inward investment, it is clear that our policies are making a difference, supporting jobs and growth right across Wales.

– Welsh Government Spokesperson

Work schemes 'already helped thousands' with mental health issues

The Department for Work and Pensions has defended work programmes aimed at getting people back into work following criticism from a mental health charity.

The DWP say previous jobs schemes didn't do enough for people with mental health issues Credit: PA

MIND say work schemes are failing to help people with mental health issues find work.

Mind are overlooking the fact that previous jobs schemes simply didn’t do enough for people with mental health conditions.

Our Work Programme gives tailored support to each individual and is now helping turn around more lives than any previous scheme.

It has already helped thousands of people with mental health conditions into work, instead of just writing people off on sickness benefits as often happened in the past.

– Department for Work and Pensions spokesperson

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Inquiry set up to look at job opportunities for over 50s

A National Assembly Committee has been established to undertake an inquiry into employment opportunities for older people in Wales.

The Committee will look at many factors relating to over 50s in the workplace. Credit: ITV Wales News

The Committee will look at the effectiveness of the Welsh Government's Strategy for Older People in Wales 2013-23 in assisting older people into work.

It will also look at the barriers that older people face trying to get jobs, the extent of age-discrimination in the workplace and whether there are any disadvantages to older people returning to work.

The Committee will be also considering:

  • Transport difficulties, including availability and cost (especially in rural areas).
  • Lack of confidence (for example, following redundancy).
  • Assisting and supporting people with additional challenges (for example, those with a disability).
  • The role of older people in mentoring younger workers and passing on their skills and knowledge.
  • How older people re-entering the labour market can affect the number of jobs and career progression opportunities available to younger workers.
  • Assisting those from areas of high unemployment.

"The Committee will be looking at the availability and suitability of local job opportunities for older people as well as the need for relevant support and skills training. In addition to assessing the impact and value-for-money of European funding we will also be examining the potential barriers to older people accessing employment owing to caring responsibilities, and to do this we need to hear the views of people in Wales."

– William Graham, Chair of Enterprise and Business Committee

Glyndwr Uni: 'Very positive future' as licence reinstated

Glyndwr University has welcomed the Home Office's decision to allow it to recruit overseas students again, which it says means the institution has "a very positive future."

More than 2,000 of the university's 8,000 students are from outside the EU.

Glyndwr had its licence suspended after an investigation into alleged visa fraud, with concerns about how students obtained English language certificates.

University bosses say it will relinquish the lease on its London campus at Elephant and Castle in December, and move to new premises by July 2015.

It will only recruit students to its Wrexham campus initially, and plans to "develop security controls" before applying to recruit to London-based courses again in the future.

The University is fully committed to continuing its support for a more robust student visa system and in that regard is undertaking a number of changes to its London campus during the coming months, including a locational move.

The University will continue to work closely with the UKVI, which shared its concerns for students legitimately studying at Glyndwr University, in accordance with legal regulations.

The students are the University’s primary concern, and the majority are hard-working and dedicated. They have not infringed immigration or University rules and regulations and should not suffer because of the misdeeds of a few.

The lifting of the suspension and the new structure we have put in place this year point to a very positive future for Glyndwr University.

– Professor Michael Scott, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of Glyndwr University

Glyndwr University ban on overseas students lifted

Glyndwr University will once again be able to recruit non-EU students after its 'highly trusted' status was returned. Credit: ITV News

A suspension has been lifted, with conditions, on the recruitment of overseas students by Glyndwr University, following a scandal over English language tests.

UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) suspended the university's 'highly trusted' status - which enables it to sponsor the visas of non-European Union students - in June.

The decision by the Home Office now allows the University to resume the sponsorship of international students at its Wrexham campus, but not in London.

Concerns over future of Glyndwr University

There are concerns about the future of Glyndwr University - and hundreds of jobs - if a home office ruling goes against it today.

The ruling could have a bearing on the future of the University. Credit: ITV Wales News

The University is due to find out whether the home office will lift a suspension on its ability to recruit non-EU students, following a scandal over fake visas.

In June UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) suspended the university's "highly trusted" status which enables it to sponsor the visas of non-European Union students.

Money provided by non EU students in 2012/13 was worth about £9.5m of the university's estimated £43m income, and the university is believed to be running with a £1.4m deficit since August.

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