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Wales launches drive to keep young people in their homeland

young people

Wales launches drive to keep young people in their homeland

The Welsh government is launching a drive to persuade more young people to remain in their homeland amid growing concerns that the percentage of working-age citizens is dropping to worryingly low levels.

Ministers fear that unless the “brain drain” is stopped – and more talented people can be tempted in – within a few decades the country may struggle to pay the bills to look after its ageing population.

On Monday the economy minister, Vaughan Gething, will set out out a vision of the country’s economic future, with finding ways of retaining and bringing in talent at the centre of it.

Gethings said in an interview prior to the the launch: “It’s a really significant challenge for us. If we don’t have more people of working age in good work, we’ll end up with a smaller and smaller tax base.

“We need to persuade more people to stay in Wales, more people to come back to Wales and more people to make Wales part of their story. We want to make best use of the talent we have as well as attracting people to Wales. People move to Wales to retire but it’s a great place to work as well.

“It’s about having a more optimistic vision about the future – you don’t have to get out to get on, there’s a really good environment for you in Wales, not just for business or work but a good place to live.”

In 2020 the proportion of the population in Wales aged 16-64 was 61% in Wales, compared with 62% of the UK population as a whole. By 2043 this is projected to drop to 58% for Wales and 59% for the UK. Wales is expected to be particularly badly hit because its elderly population is, in general, sicker and poorer than England’s.

Another concern is that the loss of young people could lead to a decline in the Welsh language. One of the government’s aims is to have a million Welsh speakers by 2050 but Gething said that if this was to be achieved it was vital to hang on to youngsters, especially in language heartlands such as the west and north, where good quality jobs can be hard to come by.

Ministers are to work with colleagues in education, businesses, trade unions and local government to encourage people to stay. It will explore how to retain more graduates by building strong links with universities, and between universities and businesses. It also wants to offer more support for startups with specific incentives in some areas.

But the Labour-led government is also planning to work hard to make the case that Wales is a more inclusive, open and green nation to live in where workers are treated with respect.

Gething believes different attitudes to work following the pandemic may help. He said there had been a “shift” before Covid struck but the crisis had accelerated it.

“Three or four years ago people were thinking, where do I want to live? Where do I want to bring up a family? What do I want to do outside my working life?” Gething said Wales had cities that had an interesting offer but were not “as impersonal as big cities in England” – plus its lovely countryside and coasts.

The minister is setting out his vision at a summit in Pontypridd in south Wales.

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Supreme Court Dismisses Suit Challenging Adeleke’s Candidacy

The Supreme Court has affirmed Ademola Adeleke as the authentic candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in the just concluded Osun State Governorship Election.

This has laid to rest the suit filed by Dotun Babayemi, a governorship aspirant of the party who sought the invalidation of Adeleke’s victory.

In a judgement delivered by Justice Amina Augie, the five-member panel held that the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the suit after counsel for the appellant, Adebayo Adelodun, withdrew the earlier notice of appeal that was filed within time.

At the resumed hearing, Adelodun, who represented the appellant and Babayemi informed the court that he sought to withdraw the earlier notice of appeal to replace it with the fresh application he filed.

But the panel held that Section 285(11) of the constitution stipulated that an appeal on a pre-election matter must be filed within 14 days from the day of the decision, and that having filed the second appeal out of time, the apex court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the matter.

Justice Augie, therefore, dismissed the appeal for lack of jurisdiction.

Babayemi had asked the court to invalidate the primary election that produced the governor-elect, citing non-compliance with a court order.

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400 Staff To Lose Jobs As BBC Goes Digital

The British Broadcasting Corporation BBC world service has on Thursday disclosed that about 400 of its staff will lose their jobs as part of a cost-cutting programme and move to digital platforms,

The BBC said its international services needed to make savings of £28.5 million ($31 million) as part of wider reductions of £500 million.

In July it detailed plans to merge BBC World News television and its domestic UK equivalent into a single channel to launch in April next year.

BBC World Service currently operates in 40 languages around the world with a weekly audience of some 364 million people.

But the corporation said audience habits were changing and more people were accessing news online, which along with a freeze on BBC funding and increased operating costs meant a move to “digital-first” made financial sense.

BBC World Service director Liliane Landor said there was a “compelling case” for expanding digital services, as audiences had more than doubled since 2018.

“The way audiences are accessing news and content is changing and the challenge of reaching and engaging people around the world with quality, trusted journalism is growing,” she added.

 

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Environment

Hurricane Ian: Cities flooded and power cut as storm crosses Florida

Hurricane Ian: Cities flooded and power cut as storm crosses Florida

Hurricane Ian made landfall at around 15:10 local time (19:10 GMT) on Wednesday, smashing into the coast with wind speeds of up to 241km/h (150mph).

Dramatic scenes saw a hospital roof blown off, cars submerged and trees ripped out of the ground.

The category four hurricane was later downgraded to a tropical storm.

However, Floridians were warned that the most dangerous 24 hours lay ahead and the mayor of Tampa urged people to shelter in place through the night into Thursday morning.

“We are going to get the majority of the rain and the higher winds starting about 20:00, and they are going to last throughout the night,” Jane Castor said during a Wednesday evening briefing.

In a message posted on Facebook, the Weather Prediction Center told residents in the Central Florida Peninsula to expect “widespread life-threatening, catastrophic flash and urban flooding” continuing into Friday morning, with potentially up to 76cm (30ins) of rain falling locally.

Residents were ordered to leave their homes, but many have decided to remain and seek shelter indoors.

Mark Pritchett, who lives in the city of Venice, some 95km (60 miles) south of Tampa, described the “terrifying” moment he stepped outside his home as the hurricane made its way across the Gulf of Mexico.

“Rain shooting like needles. My street is a river,” he said in a text message to the Associated Press news agency.

In Lee County – the south-west region where Ian made landfall – police were prevented from responding to reports of looting at a petrol station because of the storm damage.

As a result, a curfew has been declared “until further notice”.

Lee County Manager Roger Desjarlais said that the Fort Myers community had “been – to some extent – decimated”. According to news agency AFP, some neighbourhoods in the city of 80,000 had been left resembling lakes.

State Governor Ron DeSantis described Ian as the “biggest flood event” south-west Florida had ever seen, and announced that 7,000 National Guard troops are ready to lead rescue operations in flood zones.

President Joe Biden will receive a briefing on Thursday from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Ian is now continuing to move north through Florida. Jacksonville International Airport, based in north-east Florida, cancelled all flights scheduled for Thursday.

The storm is forecast to emerge into the Atlantic by Thursday morning.

It is expected to reach Georgia and South Carolina on Friday. Virginia has also joined Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida by declaring a state of emergency.

Cuba’s western coast was hit by Hurricane Ian on Tuesday. Power has now been restored in some areas after the island was plunged into a total blackout. Two people are understood to have been killed in Cuba and more than 20 Cuban migrants are believed to be missing at sea.

Predicted path of Hurricane Ian. Updated 27 September

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