Programme launched to retain, diversify and transform the skills base of Pembrokeshire companies
The Welsh Government has launched a new flexible package of specialist skills advice and funding to support those companies affected by the closure of the Murco plant in Pembrokeshire.
The £363,000 Murco Transform Skills Programme has been developed to deliver a flexible package of support for up to 30 local employers to safeguard jobs, diversify and grow business operations to exploit new markets and sectors. The aim is to diversify the employment previously offered by oil refineries and the processing sector around Milford Haven and replace it with quality opportunities to avoid a fall in average earnings and employment.
Minister for Economy, Science and Transport, Edwina Hart, said:
“Since the announcement in November that the Murco oil refinery at Pembroke was to close we have been working closely with the company’s management, local community and the UK Government to secure support for all those affected.
“This Programme will provide skills support to enable local businesses to retain and diversify their workforce skills to take advantage of new business opportunities and will contribute to the regional retention of talent. This is another example of the Welsh Government’s ongoing commitment to supporting the local economy.”
All participating companies will have the option of receiving the services of a Workforce Development Advisor. Providing a personal service, each advisor will give advice and guidance to review a company’s business plan and its future skill needs.
Advisors will work with companies to access a range of programmes and dedicated funding to deliver their training and development needs. Local employers have until the end of June to apply for training funding in order to retain staff, expand and diversify their business. Training must then be completed by the end of February 2016.
Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology, Julie James, said:
“Welsh employers increasingly need to be agile, with a diverse skills base to take advantage of new opportunities on the horizon.
“The Murco Transform Skills Programme will ensure that we retain Pembrokeshire’s talent pool and specialist skills to meet forecast future skills shortages.
“This new Programme has been developed in consultation with employers in the Pembrokeshire region, and tailor-made to help those businesses address the challenges of Murco’s closure. I look forward to visiting the area to see how it has helped them.
“This programme is in addition to ReAct support for individuals to help those affected by redundancy to retrain and reskill. ReAct also supports employers who recruit individuals who have been made redundant. The programme offers up to £3,000 towards wage costs and up to £1,000 towards the cost of the new recruit’s job-related training.
“ReAct offers financial assistance to help employers recruit and train ex Murco staff and those employed by companies that supplied Murco with products and services.”
Contact the Skills Gateway helpline on 03000 6 03000 for further information on eligibility.
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