£900,000 to recruit 70 apprentices at Coleg Menai, Bangor

Hard hat and boots A total of 40 engineering apprentices will be taken on along with 30 in construction

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Seventy apprentices are being taken on in north west Wales in a £900,000 project backed by the Welsh government.

They will be based at Bangor's Coleg Menai which runs an apprentice agency for Anglesey, Gwynedd and Conwy areas.

A total of 40 new recruits in engineering and 30 in construction will be placed with local employers.

The news comes as latest figures show unemployment fell by 7,000 in Wales between April and June to 126,000 compared with the previous quarter.

Business Minister Edwina Hart said is "vital we have people with the right skills" for new jobs serving the renewable energy sector.

Grwp Llandrillo Menai has received the funding following a merger with Coleg Llandrillo, Coleg Menai and Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor.

It runs apprentice employment agency Cwmni Prentis Menai.

'Real chance'

Start Quote

Apprenticeships support a successful future for individuals, businesses and the wider community”

End Quote Jeff Cuthbert Deputy Minister for Skills

Mrs Hart said: "There are a number of substantial renewable energy investments under way in north Wales as well as many potential projects in the pipeline, including a possible new nuclear station at Wylfa (Anglesey) that offer a range of new employment opportunities.

"It is vital we have people with the right skills to take advantage of these opportunities as they arise and Grwp Llandrillo Menai's initiative offers young people a real chance to gain the necessary qualifications to go for these jobs."

The new apprentices will join 23 others recruited by the agency in the previous academic year.

The support package from the Department for Business, Enterprise, Technology and Science adds to funding from the Department for Education and Skills' apprenticeship programmes.

Deputy Minister for Skills Jeff Cuthbert said: "Apprenticeships support a successful future for individuals, businesses and the wider community which is why I have agreed to support ambitious plans for a north Wales apprenticeship agency."

Coleg Menai principal Dafydd Evans said confirmation of funding was "excellent news for the region".

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