News in brief

Welsh Deal

More than 3,400 jobs have been created in Wales through the Government’s New Deal, Welsh Employment Minister Peter Hain claimed last week. Another 2,100 seekers have taken up training opportunities in the ‘pathfinder area’ set up a year ago. The scheme helps those unemployed for more than 6 months by providing job and training subsidies.

Techno team-up

Software producers Ansys and Tanner EDA have formed a strategic partnership. Ansys makes computer-aided engineering products. Tanner makes microelectrical mechanical systems used in products such as car airbags.

Ford goes electric

Ford has taken a 51% stake in Norwegian firm PIVCO, and will invest an undisclosed amount in PIVCO’s Aurskog factory, east of Oslo. Ford and PIVCO aim to produce 5,000 of the Th!nk, a two-seater, plastic-bodied electric vehicle this year, for sale in four Nordic countries. They also plan to launch a model in the US.

Nuclear arms

Two British ships used for carrying nuclear waste will be armed against terrorist attack, it was announced last week. The ships, owned by Pacific Nuclear Transport, will be fitted with cannon and machine guns manned by UK Atomic Energy Authority Constabulary police. Environmental campaign group Greenpeace said this will not deter serious attacks.

Bursary boost

Donations from British Steel and the Luxfer Group will double the value of an Institute of Materials bursary scheme for post graduate students.