Archive for July, 2013

Laura Brindley

Laura Brindley

Our latest GO Wales Taster student Laura has joined us for the summer. We invited her to write a blog to tell us a bit more about herself…

I’m half way into my summer after finishing my second year at University of Birmingham. I study International Relations and although I have hugely enjoyed the optional modules I have got to choose this year, I am well aware that my degree is far from “vocational”. As such I have been desperate to find some work experience this summer to give me some credibility amongst the masses of students.

I have always been drawn to the world of PR and marketing due to its multi-faceted and sociable nature.  On attaining a work taster with Petersens, I couldn’t have been happier. I know Petersens has an excellent reputation in South Wales so the chance to work for them was very exciting. I have to say I felt a huge wave of gratitude towards Go Wales for helping me obtain the placement and making the process so straight forward.

Having received such a warm welcome from the staff at Petersens I was immediately put at ease. Looking at Petersens, I can really see the benefits of a small company. There is a really friendly atmosphere and it is clear the relationships between co-workers are strong and as such the communication regarding work is optimum.  I can also see that staff understand the work of fellow workers and nothing is a mystery to them. I like how the small size of the company gives staff the opportunity to get involved on all levels of the work.

It is only midday on my first day at Petersens and I feel I have already gained a great insight into how PR and marketing companies work. I look forward to engaging with the many aspects of PR and marketing further!

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Some real positive proposals from Councillor Russell Goodway, Cabinet Member of Cardiff City Council.

Councillor Russell Goodway

Councillor Russell Goodway

I was delighted to read in today’s South Wales Echo that Russell Goodway has put further meat on the bone of his excellent ideas to potentially save millions of pounds of tax payers’ money, in various local authorities in Wales, by using single centralised departments to conduct backroom activities.

For a population the size of Wales’, not much bigger than Birmingham, we have 22 local authorities.  In 2013, with huge improvements in technology, connectivity and transport since the last local government reorganisation, this is just too big a bureaucracy and needs to be reorganised.

While Welsh Government has ruled out any reorganisation until after the next elections in 2016, do Council’s not have to make savings on budgets now?  Let’s hope Councillor Russell Goodway and his supporters can at least get other Welsh Councils to see what services can be shared in 2013/2014.

Carl Sargeant, Housing Minister

Carl Sargeant, Housing Minister

A strong house building industry for Wales is key to economic growth; therefore yesterday’s news from Housing Minister Carl Sargeant is to be welcomed.

He announced that energy efficiency targets for all new homes built in Wales have been drastically cut from an 8% reduction in carbon emissions from next year, rather than the previously stated 40%.  This saves a huge £4000 in the cost of building a house, which will benefit purchasers also.

This news together with the news that the requirement for all new homes to be fitted with fire sprinklers would be gradually phased in between 2014 and 2016, gives the house building industry the opportunity to gain experience and skills as well as seek opportunities to innovate and reduce the costs on installing sprinklers.

housesThe final piece of news which must be welcomed by house builders and purchasers alike is that a shared equity scheme, Help to Buy Cymru, would be introduced later this year to support new home buyers in taking their first step on to the housing ladder.

Carl Sargeant is to be applauded for taking some tough decisions but showed that he was prepared to act on representations made to him which ultimately would positively help our housing building sector and buyers alike.

Great news from West Wales

Posted: July 10, 2013 in Uncategorized

bluestone-wales-2What wonderful news in today’s Western Mail that luxury holiday resort Bluestone has been acquired by its owner William McNamara and his management team.  This is another super success story for Wales and Pembrokeshire in particular.

William and his team have developed a world-class holiday experience and is providing vital employment in an area where job losses have been too frequent.

Good luck William and the rest of the team in the future.  You have a fabulous product and deserve even greater success.

Breakfast ClubColin Riordan became Vice Chancellor of Cardiff University in September 2012, having previously spent 5 years as Vice Chancellor of the University of Essex. He outlined the University’s inspiring “vision for innovation” to the Cardiff Breakfast Club members this morning.

With around 16,000 undergraduate students, Cardiff University is “an important cog in the region’s economy”. Colin is very aware of the University’s role in and obligation towards the future prosperity of Wales. He called the University an “engine of prosperity for Wales”, and discussed how he intends to closely examine just how it can turn its intellectual and physical assets into economic growth, and improving the quality of life for people in Wales.

To this end, the University recently published “The Way Forward”, a document outlining its strategy and “direction of travel” for the future. This includes an ambition to rank consistently among the world’s Top 100 universities, and in the Top 20 of The Times’ influential university league table.

vc-riordan

Colin Riordan, the Vice-Chancellor of Cardiff University, outlined the institution’s “vision for innovation”.

Key to this will be the Cardiff Innovation System, a combination of physical and academic resources that will “change the way we do everything” at the University. All the University’s schools and disciplines will work together in a self-sustaining system to feed what Colin called “translational research”: bringing academic research activity into the commercial sector. For example, the business school can provide valuable models and entrepreneurial advice, while the social sciences can examine social acceptance of technologies and undertake “horizon scanning” to suggest the most promising areas for research in the future.

The Innovation System will need physical space, with lab facilities that are available to both commercial and academic researchers. These will have shared social spaces to encourage collaboration and interaction. Colin called these “Serendipity Spaces”, environments conducive to creativity where people from all disciplines can mingle and “spark something”.

This will all be underpinned by close student involvement, to educate the next generation of entrepreneurial innovators. Colin wants students to be as much “innovation natives” as they are “digital natives”; viewing entrepreneurship as a normal part of life. This, combined with leading research expertise and a ready supply of highly qualified graduates will work as a magnet for inward investment, raising the profile of Wales internationally and giving Wales a “reputation for innovation”.

Many of the ideas Colin discussed are still at “a conceptual stage”, and he warmly encouraged Breakfast Club members to actively engage with the University, praising the mutual benefits of strong private-sector relationships.

While engineering such a dramatic change in culture for Cardiff, and for Wales, will be challenging, with the right support in place Colin was emphatic that the plans will succeed, concluding: “Other countries have – and I don’t see why Wales can’t too.”