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Annual apprenticeship graduation to take place at The Hawth

West Sussex County Council will be hosting its fourth annual apprenticeship graduation ceremony on 20 May at The Hawth, Crawley.

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The ceremony is open to all West Sussex residents who have completed their Higher/Degree and Advanced Apprenticeship from 1 January 2018 to 28 February 2019.

TV newsreader and journalist John Young will be opening and compering the event.

John said:

“I’m delighted to be invited back to host a second awards ceremony for West Sussex apprentices. We need a wide range of talent to enter the workforce and if the apprentices I met last year are anything to go by we’re in good hands.”

Graduates will celebrate their hard work and achievements with a traditional ceremony and can invite two guests. Light refreshments will be served during the registration and robing and each graduand will receive a certificate and commemorative pin to mark their success.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is hosting a business networking reception for apprenticeship employers and training providers to attend before joining the main ceremony.

The ceremony on 20 May is from 3pm-4.30pm. Attendance for you and two guests is free of charge, but registration is essential and must be done by 24 April. To find out more and book your place go to www.westsussex.gov.uk/graduation

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‘no longer commercially viable’ – LloydsPharmacy to close in Tilgate, Crawley

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Image: Google Streetview

It could be seen as another victim of the High Street but this time it appears that local communities are now going to start to feel the bite of national chain closures.

McKesson UK, the owners of LloydsParmacy sent a statement outlining how they have been making commercial decisions buy and sell pharmacies.

In a statement the firm said that the decision was made due to an increase in financial pressures and also cited COVID-19 as one of the reasons.

It is not clear when the pharmacy will close although there is speculation it could happen as soon as October with rent leases not being renewed.

McKesson added that they aimed to either retain or redeploy staff as much as they could acoss other stores.

But as the shopping landscape continues to be devastated with closures, the impact of a vital local resource disappearing could affect residents harder than most.

A spokesperson for McKesson said:

“Good business practice requires us to regularly review our estate and make appropriate commercial decisions including buying and selling pharmacies. 

These decisions need to be made because of changing market dynamics and increasing financial pressures including the impact of COVID-19, business rates and changes to pharmacy funding.

We are proposing to close a small number of community pharmacies that are no longer commercially viable for us to operate and we are currently consulting with impacted colleagues about those changes. We always prioritise care of our colleagues through any change.

Where there are closures, our aim will be to retain and redeploy as many of our talented colleagues as possible to other vacancies that exist.”

Tilgate Cllr and Mayor of Crawley Francis Guidera said:

“We only found out this morning from a resident. I have spent much of today trying to found out if it was true and if it could be prevented.

It appears Lloyds have already made up their minds to the detriment of our community.

We can only hope that another pharmacy seizes the opportunity to take their place.”

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