February – was the month that…

By Raspberry Jim,

…flew by!

After the world’s longest January, it seems like February has whizzed by faster than Raspberry Jim on rollerskates.

With only a few short weeks to cram in our usual busy schedules, our jammers spent the month out and about, playing Cupid, and consuming far too much sugar.

Here’s what we got up to… … Continue reading

Manufacturing leader Sony UK TEC searches for graduate and apprentice talents

By Raspberry Jim,

7

Engineers of the future are getting the chance to join one of the world’s leading manufacturing facilities.

Sony UK Technology Centre is launching its graduate and apprentice recruitment schemes for a fourth consecutive year with applicants able to apply online or through a graduate career link on Twitter.

The programme will see successful applicants join the international brand’s award-winning Welsh site, based in Pencoed.

The facility, based just off the M4, has developed a world-renowned reputation thanks to its high-end broadcast and professional camera manufacturing operation, along with its contract manufacturing business which has created industry-leading products including the Raspberry Pi.

Graduates and apprentices applying to the schemes will get the opportunity to develop their skills across Sony UK TEC’s diverse professional facility, which enables them to experience all the challenges and rewards of working in a modern manufacturing facility.

As part of their role they will utilize skills including technical, creative, and problem solving in a bid to revolutionise the facility’s existing manufacturing processes.

During the schemes they will work across Sony UK TEC’s core broadcast camera manufacturing business, which sees thousands of high specification cameras produced at the site and shipped around the world annually. These are then utilised across the film making industry, sporting events, and live news coverage.

Alongside this they will also develop experience in the facility’s highly successful contract manufacturing business, which combines the skill of Sony UK TEC’s team players with its state-of-the-art on-site capabilities to create products for clients around the world.

Over the past three years 13 graduates have successfully undertaken the programme going on to specialise in various areas across the business. The apprenticeship programme is well established having run since 1978, however it has run continually in its current format since 2010 with 18 apprentices currently on site.

Director of Professional Services at Sony UK TEC Gerald Kelly said the training programmes would create more well-rounded and knowledgeable professionals in the long-term.

He said: “We are extremely excited to be starting the search for the next generation of engineers and business leaders at Sony UK TEC.

“Our graduate scheme offers a flexible and varied experience developing your skills at one of the leading manufacturing facilities in the world. While our four-year apprentice scheme sets you on the path to becoming an industry-leading engineer. Through both you’ll get the chance to learn from our world-renown team of engineers, technicians, and business leaders to get first-hand experience of best practice and develop industry-leading techniques.

“We look forward to receiving applications and welcoming the leaders of the future to Sony UK TEC this year.”

Entry requirement for the graduate scheme is a 2:1 degree in any subject, along with a passion for creating leading manufacturing solutions and the drive to continuously exceed industry standards. Entry requirements for the apprentice scheme are five GCSEs, including a B or above in Maths, and Cs or above in Science and English or equivalent. For more information visit http://www.sonypencoed.co.uk/careers/

Campaigners ‘over the moon’ after vital leisure centre saved

By Raspberry Jim,

aerial Pont Leisure Centre 1 Day

Determined campaigners are “over the moon” to have safeguarded the future of a much-loved Pontllanfraith leisure centre dubbed a “community lifeline”.

Members of the Save Ponllanfraith Leisure Centre campaign group were thrilled with Caerphilly County Borough Council’s decision to defer the closure of the much-loved community facility.

Group member Dean Jones, whose under 12s team trains at the leisure centre, said the decision would be welcomed by thousands of families, community groups, and users across the county.

The Blackwood resident, who has coached at the facility for eight years, said: “This is a fantastic result, not just for people across Pontllanfraith, but also others across the county who vitally depend on this community lifeline.

“We are absolutely over the moon with the council’s decision, which will safeguard this amazing facility for so many people for generations to come.

“Our campaign group and its dedicated members have worked tirelessly, from the minute the potential closure was announced. They have been incredible and we can’t thank them enough.”

Fellow member Kate Alderson, who uses the leisure centre through a GP referral scheme, added: “This is amazing news and myself and the other group members are incredibly pleased with the council’s decision. I’d also like to specifically thank independent councillor Kevin Etheridge, whose motion to call-in the original decision really enabled us to fight on.”

The council’s U-turn comes after it announced plans to close the leisure centre, which features a range of amenities includes a sports hall, fitness centre, and football pitch, in December.

Following this, around 30 outraged residents formed the group with a view to challenging the “devastating” plans.

Since September members, including Ms Alderson and Mr Jones, have undertaken numerous activities including organising a petition to save the leisure centre, which attracted almost 1,700 signatures, they also held a demonstration outside the county council building in January, lobbied the Regeneration Scrutiny Committee alongside various cabinet members.

However, the turning point came when members sought the legal advice of specialist solicitor Michael Imperato at Watkins & Gunn Solicitors.

Mr Imperato, a public law specialist at the Cardiff, Newport and Pontypool-based firm, challenged the decision with the council, leading to its reversal.

He said: “The people of Pontllanfraith and its surrounding areas were rightly devastated by the threat to their leisure centre, which is used by community groups, as well as schools, and vulnerable users.

“We challenged the closure decision with the county council, citing various flaws in the consultation into its proposed closure.

“Specifically, we highlighted that the consultation may have been misleading in relation to the availability of Islwyn School, which may not have been able to cater for the displaced Pontlanfraith  users. We also highlighted the necessity of the facility for many elderly and vulnerable groups, who rely on it weekly.

“Finally, we also raised the Council’s failure to consider options put forward such as for the centre to be taken over by Blackwood Town Council;.

“When presented with these arguments the Council rapidy backed down. It was evident that the council recognised the need to reconsider its decision to ensure it reached a more fair and informed conclusion.

“We are delighted for the many dedicated campaigners whose hard work helped to save this treasured leisure centre.”

Michael Imperato is a partner at Watkins & Gunn with extensive experience covering some of Wales’s most complex legal cases. Alongside being a specialist in Public Law, he also heads up the Education and Administrative Law departments, offering his expertise in group actions to local authorities, educational institutions, and youth organisations.

 

January – was the month that ….

By Raspberry Jim,

We were shortlisted!

Awards
Coming back after Christmas can be difficult with January blues – but being shortlisted for a Welsh Business Award certainly made it less blue!

We were delighted to be named a finalist in the Excellence in Marketing and Communications category, alongside some other brilliant companies across Wales.

We’re looking forward to the awards ceremony in March.

 

We weren’t the only ones to be shortlisted…

Some of our brilliant clients were also shortlisted in this year’s Cardiff Life Awards!

Greenaway Scott and CJCH Solicitors were shortlisted in the Legal and Financial category, Techniquest was shortlisted in the Education, and Leisure and Tourism categories, and the Wales Millennium Centre was shortlisted in the Leisure and Tourism category.

Well done to all of them!

 

We got behind the camera…Sony vidThis month we’ve started work on a recruitment campaign for our client Sony UK TEC.

As a world-class manufacturing facility based in Wales, Sony UK TEC offers an amazing opportunity to those at the start of their careers. We asked staff what makes it such a great place to work and here’s what they had to say.

Watch the video here.

We added the finishing touches to the next phase of #joincwmtafcareerdevelopmentFollowing on from our exciting award wins for Cwm Taf UHB, we are delighted to be supporting them once again!

This month we have been working with Cwm Taf University Health Board to add the finishing touches to a new campaign targeting therapists and radiographers.

It’s due to launch next month, so watch this space.

 

We had even more great coverage!

coverage

Our clients have once again been making the headlines with our support this month. Here is just a snapshot of some of the coverage we have achieved for CJCH Solicitors, Greenaway Scott, Techniquest, Oil 4 Wales, Sony UK TEC, Wynne Jones IP, Verde Corporate Finance.

 

We said shwmae to S4C

This month we have been working with S4C to generate applications for its new programme FFIT Cymru.

FFIT Cymru will follow five people committed to changing their lifestyle. It will be shown on S4C in April 2018. The series will be presented by Lisa Gwilym along with a team of experts; personal trainer from Penarth Rae Carpenter, a dietitian Sioned Quirke who lives in Pont-y-clun and psychologist Dr. Ioan Rees’s who lives in Pen Llŷn.

As part of our exciting campaign, we have had over 160 applications from people wanting to take part in the show. We now can’t wait for it to air later in the year.

Y mis hwn rydym wedi bod yn gweithio gydag S4C i gynhyrchu ceisiadau gan y cyhoedd ar gyfer ei sioe iechyd a ffitrwydd newydd sbon, Fit Cymru.

Fel rhan o’n hymgyrch cyffrous, rydyn ni wedi derbyn dros 160 o geisiadau gan bobl sydd am gymryd rhan yn y sioe bydd yn darlledu ym Mis Ebrill.

Ni fedrwn ni aros i weld y canlyniadau!

 

Welcomed new Verde Corporate Finance director Craig Blackmore

Craig

Verde Corporate Finance appointed highly experienced commercial accountant Craig Blackmore.

Mr Blackmore will lead Verde whilst also maintaining his roles as CFO at Global Welsh, a not for profit company whose aim is to connect the international diaspora of Wales, whilst continuing to coach on the Accelerated Growth Programme.

 

Wales Millennium Centre audience got a surprise they’ll Never Forget!

Audience members who saw The Band at the Wales Millennium Centre got far more than they expected!

After watching the fantastic musical, based on the songs of Take That, Gary, Mark, and Howard themselves took to the stage for a surprise performance.

We’re sure it was the Greatest Day of their Lives!

https://youtu.be/hsAUl-v2fn4

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top technology you didn’t know was made here in Wales

By Raspberry Jim,

7

This summer Sony UK Technology Centre (UK TEC) 4K cameras will be beaming the World Cup in Russia into homes worldwide.

However, many of those tuning in will be unaware that these state-of-the-art cameras have been manufactured right here in Wales.

Wales is developing a globally renowned reputation for technological, engineering and manufacturing innovation.

Medical technology, advances in computer manufacturing, and aerospace engineering, are just some of the areas which the nation is revolutionising.

To celebrate St David’s Day, we are taking a look at some of the groundbreaking products which you might not realise were created right here in Wales.

 

High-tech Broadcast and professional cameras
Ever watched Wimbledon? The Ryder Cup? Or the last football World Cup?

Then chances are you’ve seen a Sony UK TEC camera in action!

The Pencoed-based factory produces thousands of professional and broadcast cameras for use across outdoor sporting events, news studios and international events annually.

Last year the factory pushed the boundaries one again by becoming the only Sony factory outside of Japan to begin manufacturing the latest in broadcast technology, the 4K camera, HDC-4300.

This next generation technology provides high definition viewing at 4,000 times the definition of standard television viewing.

The latest 4K models, which have won an award at the 68th Annual Technology & Engineering Emmy Awards, are shipped from the Pencoed factory to sites around the world.

 

Raspberry Pi
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Raspberry Pi, the single board computer which has taken the world by storm, is manufactured by Sony UK TEC.

The credit card sized computer, which aims to encourage computer programming skills among school-aged children, reached its 10 million manufacturing milestone in Pencoed last year.

Named Britain’s best-selling computer, it was originally manufactured in China, but founder Eben Upton moved production to Sony UK TEC in 2012 due to the facilities’ capacity and innovative automated processes.

The facility was first approached to make 10,000 of the low-cost computers annually.  However, demand quickly soared and Sony UK TEC went on to produce one million in its first year, and just last summer the site celebrated manufacturing 10 million Raspberry Pi computers in Wales.

 

Telensa

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Telensa is an award-winning wireless street lighting control company based near Cambridge.

Its wireless node devices plug into energy-efficient LED street lights to create a wireless network and a map-based central application to manage them.

The smart device controls energy efficiency, daylight savings settings and other day to day considerations which make the lighting more cost effective and practical.

The company moved production to Sony UK TEC from Malaysia last year with the Welsh site to become its sole manufacturer.

Telensa’s devices have been deployed in over 40 cities across the UK, with five in Wales, with a global footprint of over one million wireless streetlight controllers, including one-in-ten of the UK’s streetlights.

 

LED Roadway Lighting

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LED Roadway Lighting is a tenant at Sony UK TEC creating sustainable, energy efficient lighting solutions.

Their sustainable LED lights provide long-term savings and ongoing maintenance savings, reduce energy consumption, and light pollution, while providing 60% energy savings compared to traditional street lighting.

Sony UK TEC’s team players have worked with the LED Roadway team to help manufacture these sustainable lighting solutions in Wales since 2010.

 

CyDen

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CyDen creates IPL (intense pulsed light) hair removal products for use in the home.

This type of technology converts light energy into heat to prevent the hair follicle from growing any further and gradually reduce the need for shaving.

The company distributes its products to 11 international markets and has recently opened its first overseas office in Tokyo.

 

 

Techniquest puts STIs under the microscope for after dark Valentine’s Day event

By Raspberry Jim,

After Hours cropTechniquest is spreading the love in Cardiff Bay with its next instalment of its popular adult only event, After Hours.

With support from Admiral, the adult friendly night will return on Thursday February 15th. Visitors will have the chance to explore the centre’s exhibits, in addition to a few exciting extras for those who are looking for a non-traditional Valentine’s evening. … Continue reading