Welsh Labour AM for Mid & West Wales

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AMs welcome NHS Wales Bursary Scheme extension

LABOUR Assembly Members Joyce Watson and Eluned Morgan have welcomed the Welsh Government’s decision to continue funding training for student nurses, midwives and other key health professionals.

The NHS Wales Bursary will provide financial support to people who study an eligible healthcare-related programme in Wales starting in the academic year 2020/2021.

While the bursary – for eligible student nurses, midwives and allied health professionals – was scrapped by the Tories in England in 2017, the full package will continue to be available in Wales for those who commit to working in the country for up to two years after qualifying.

The Mid and West Wales members said the announcement would enable both students and training providers to plan for the future.

Joyce Watson AM said:

“The difference between Labour in Wales and the Tories in England couldn’t be clearer – we value our healthcare workforce and are committed to supporting them through their studies, for everyone’s benefit.”

Eluned Morgan AM added:

“I am really pleased that our Labour Government is committed to ensuring supporting the next generation of nurses.  In England, records show that the number of people choosing to enter the profession continues to fall.  Wales is sending a clear message about how much we value our health care workforce, and sets out our commitment to the future of our NHS.”

Under the scheme, students who receive the bursary but fail to work for at least two years in Wales are required to pay back at least £25,500 in fees. Those who drop out of courses will also need to repay their bursary.

Feature

Joyce backs AberInnovation

A local Assembly Member has been briefed on the progress of a world-leading new science facility in Aberystwyth.

Joyce Watson AM recently met the Chief Executive of AberInnovation at the Senedd in Cardiff Bay.

Mrs Watson was given an update on the progress of the Aberystwyth Innovation and Enterprise Campus (AberInnovation) at Gogerddan.

The centre will offer companies the opportunity to develop new products and services in collaboration with Aberystwyth University experts.

Joyce Watson AM said:

“I believe that this new centre for excellence could make a huge difference to our local economy.

“West Wales has a wealth of imaginative small businesses, and this new resource will offer expert support to entrepreneurs and start-ups, helping them compete on a world stage.”

The Chief Executive Officer of AberInnovation, Dr. Rhian Hayward, reported that the construction project was making excellent progress.

As part of the Phase 1 development of the site, the new Seed Biobank had been completed in May and the BEACON Biorefining Centre was almost finished.

Both facilities will be fully operational before the end of August 2019. Phase 2 will include the construction of a Future Food Centre, an Advanced Analysis Centre and an Innovation Zone, with completion of the whole site due by August 2020.

The new campus will foster collaboration between business and academia, with the University’s research acting as a catalyst for innovation and bringing new industry partnerships and jobs to the region.

The £40.5m project is being funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, and Aberystwyth University.

Feature

Local AM supports Wales becoming a Nation of Sanctuary

Joyce pays tribute to local support groups

Joyce Watson AM is speaking up during Refugee Week for those who seek sanctuary in Wales.

The Mid and West Wales Assembly Member supports the Welsh Labour Government decision to make Wales a Nation of Sanctuary.

Mrs Watson said:

“Refugee Week is an opportunity to highlight the challenges faced by those fleeing war and persecution.

“Unaccompanied children are particularly vulnerable and are at risk of trafficking.

“I must pay tribute to groups across Wales such as the Hay, Brecon & Talgarth Sanctuary for Refugees and Aberaid in Aberystwyth, who are helping people integrate.

“These ordinary people offer the hand of friendship to the tiny proportion of displaced people seeking sanctuary within our communities, actively including them as volunteers and members.”

In January the Welsh Government published the Nation of Sanctuary – Refugee and Asylum Seeker Plan, setting out practical and humane steps to help them rebuild their lives and make a full contribution to Welsh society.

The Welsh approach has attracted international attention, and is endorsed by the United Nations.

Mrs Watson continued:

“It is hard to imagine what it must be like to leave so much behind, to try to find a safe place and the chance of a new life.

“Wales has a tradition of offering a warm Welsh welcome to those seeking sanctuary.

“The skills, experience and resilience of refugees and asylum seekers are useful to Wales, and their inclusion will enhance our communities.”

Feature, Media

Rewilding projects are focus for AM

Mid and West Wales AM Joyce Watson led a National Assembly debate on the topic of rewilding on ‘World Environment Day’ earlier this month.

So-called ‘Re-wilding’ projects, aimed at restoring natural wilderness habitats, could make a contribution towards cutting the nation’s carbon emissions, according to conservation groups such as Rewilding Britain.