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Training programme set to help 200 after Murco closure.

A SCHEME set up to help people affected by the Murco refinery closure is predicted to safeguard 170 jobs, create 62 jobs and give new skills to more than 200 people.

The Murco Transform Skills Programme was created to help Murco contractors and supply chain businesses following the closure of the refinery in 2014.

The scheme is intended to help employers diversify their workforce skills, take advantage of new opportunities and exploit new markets and sectors.

Jeff Harries, managing director of Mainport Engineering said: "The benefits have been incredible from start to finish, the process has allowed us to identify the avenues that were available to us to offer additional training to key personnel within our organisation."

Under the programme, eligible employers have been invited to apply for funding and the support of a workforce development adviser who then worked with them to identify business training and development needs and devise bespoke training plans. The programme is set to help businesses in Pembrokeshire win new contracts in sectors such as renewables, oil and gas, and ensure they are in a strong position to compete for a range of large infrastructure investments in Wales over the coming years.

Welsh Government funding of PS130,000 has been granted to reskill more than 200 people.

Economy Minister Edwina Hart said: "The closure of the Murco refinery was a devastating blow to those employed directly and the many local companies in the supply chain.

"The Murco Transform Skills Programme is a vital part of our efforts to help people back into work and support the recovery of the local economy."

Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology Julie James added: "It is becoming increasingly clear that Welsh employers need a diverse skills base to take advantage of new opportunities on the horizon.

"This programme is a great example of how we are swiftly and effectively responding to the needs of Welsh employers. The Murco Transform Skills Programme will support the retention of Pembrokeshire's talent pool and specialist skills to meet future skills needs."

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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Sep 17, 2015
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