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pounds 4m pot to reskill nuclear workers; Cash unveiled as Wylfa reactor powered down.

Byline: DAVID POWELL

A pounds 4 million windfall to reskill nuclear energy workers on Anglesey and in Gwynedd has been welcomed.

The Welsh Government support came as Reactor 2 at Wylfa closed down on Wednesday at 7.02pm after 41 years of safe operation.

Magnox Ltd operators had "identified an issue" and it was decided to shut it down five days before its official closure scheduled for Monday next week.

Efforts will now focus on optimising generation on Reactor 1, which is allowed to operate until 2014.

On a visit to Llandudno, Edwina Hart AM set out the benefits of the financial package set aside to prepare the 1,200 nuclear energy workers from Wylfa and Trawsfynydd for future careers.

Minister for Business, Enterprise, Technology and Science Mrs Hart said the scheme, called the Menter Mn's Shaping the Future project, will address the impact of nuclear industry restructuring resulting from the decommissioning plans of the two sites. It will provide careers advice, mentoring, training and job search support to help the workforce maximise their future employment opportunities within the region.

While the Wylfa site is scheduled to cease generating electricity in 2014, Trawsfynydd has been defuelled and is undergoing decommissioning. Shaping the Future aims to reduce the impact of this change. Both Anglesey and Gwynedd councils were delighted with the Welsh Government help.

Anglesey Energy Island Programme Director, Sasha Wynn Davies said: "Shaping the Future provides an excellent opportunity for existing Wylfa and Trawsfynydd employees to retrain and redeploy over the next three years. The skills of these employees are highly marketable and a great asset to the area."

Sioned Williams, Gwynedd Council's Head of Economy and Community, said: "This will significantly boost the Council's efforts to unlock Meirionnydd's economic potential and attract high quality employers and well-paid jobs to the area."

davidpowell@dailypost.co.uk

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Training pledge: Edwina Hart
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Apr 27, 2012
Words:312
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