Posted on 04/09/2017

I’d like to offer a huge congratulations to all of the pupils who have done so well in their A Levels and GCSEs this summer. It is pleasing to see the hard work of students and teachers paying off as students got the results they wanted and achieved their first choices for their pathway to higher education or entry into the world of work.

The significant role education has to play in shaping the future for our County and young people should never be underestimated and that is why when it comes to choosing our priorities we place great emphasis on school facilities and support.

Ensuring opportunities are available for future generations is another reason why we have, over a number of years now, placed significant emphasis on creating apprentice and graduate opportunities within the Local Authority, to ensure we create the ability to grow and nurture our home grown talent. A consequence of austerity and current economic policies is youth unemployment, and we will do all that we can to combat this.  As the largest local employer, we will continue to invest heavily in this area and deliver tangible benefits to the residents of RCT.

With 126 apprentice and graduate positions created since 2012, our commitment to deliver a further 150 posts over the current Council term is off to a flying start, with this year’s cohort of 33 apprentices and 12 graduates starting their careers with the Council in early September.  Our two year, paid programmes have proven to be hugely successful and have attracted national acclaim in recognition of the approach we take to providing employment opportunities to our residents.  The success of these schemes is demonstrated by the fact that the majority of those who have undertaken the Apprentice and Graduate schemes with us have gone on to secure employment with the Council.

As part of our wider commitment to supporting local employment, we will be hosting another of our successful Jobs Fairs in September at the Sobell Centre in Aberdare.  Our last event in Pontypridd was attended by 1,200 people and I hope that this event will be equally well attended.  The event is free and open to all who are interested in finding out more about the various employment routes available both within the Council and with the private sector companies who will be in attendance.

In just over 12 months time, pupils across RCT will return to some of the best educational facilities in Wales, as new 21st Century schools delivered as part of our substantial investment of over £90M in education, will open their doors. While the path from concept to taking a decision can sometimes feel incredibly long, once a direction is set it is surprising how quickly time flies before reaching fruition. For example, it was just over two years ago that the Council took the decision to purchase the controlling stake of the former Taff Vale site in Pontypridd. A huge amount of work has taken place to move this project forward with detailed planning permission for the ambitious plan being considered by the Planning & Development Committee this week.

Posted on 04/09/2017