8 Oct
2019

Galle Bishop warns of Buddhist Taliban

For this reason he has decided to re-launch the promotion of dialogue and religious harmony through the Commission “Justice, Peace and Human Development.” The Bishop of Galle has warned of threats posed to religious minorities by some groups including the Bodu Bala Sena which he has termed as a “Buddhist Taliban” operating in Sri Lanka.The Fides Agency reported that Bishop Raymond Wickramasinghe, the Bishop of Galle, had raised the concerns in a message sent to the agency. According to information sent to Fides, in 2012 the Christian communities in Sri Lanka, of different denominations, registered about 50 cases of attacks by Buddhist monks.In December, one thousand people in the grip of a religious fervor, including many Buddhist monks, attacked and wounded a pastor in Weeraketiya.  (Colombo Gazette)UPDATE: Galle Bishop denies making the statement On March 17, a mob led by Buddhist monks broke into a church in Agalawatte, stopping the worship. Similar threats were reported at a meeting of the Pentecostal Church in Kottawa and in Galle. The agency claimed that recently, two churches were attacked and two others forced to close because of the pressure of the fanatics.Among the incidents reported to Fides, on March 9 in Batticaloa, members of the Bodu Bala Sena set fire to a church at night.Buddhist monks accused the pastor of the “Fellowship Church” in the town of Polonnaruwa of “proselytizing”, warning him to stop his ministry. Bishop Wickramasinghe fears that – a few years after the end of the civil war – a new violence can tear apart society. The Church has the task to “play a prophetic role,” he remarked, although this could be misunderstood, the agency reported.“It should be noted that large traditional Buddhist organizations, entirely peaceful, disapprove the radical and violent approach, that sow the virus of hatred and religious fundamentalism in the Sri Lankan society,” The Fides Agency reported. read more

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2 Oct
2019

Growing automotive sector seeks to attract brightest talent

Average starting salary for UK engineering graduates more than 10% higher than other graduates.146,000 people are employed in UK automotive manufacturing.Automotive apprenticeships ranked within top five training frameworks for young people in the UK.Gross Value Added (GVA) per UK automotive employee is estimated to be £61,100, compared to £35,000 across the rest of the economy.Record numbers of young people are embarking on careers in the UK automotive industry, with more than 14,000 recruited into apprenticeships in 2011 and almost two thirds of UK automotive companies recruiting new talent from schools and colleges to grow the sector’s skills base.The figures, released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) to mark the launch of ‘National Apprenticeship Week’, demonstrate industry’s commitment to attracting young people to careers within industry, boosting its 737,000 highly-skilled workforce.At the beginning of the week, Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna spoke to SMMT, giving his views on UK automotive, as well as skills and apprenticeships in the sector.Click through to download the SMMT fact sheet on skills, apprentices and employment in UK automotive.At an evening reception on Monday, senior industry leaders and politicians, including the Minister of State for Further Education and Skills, celebrated the wealth of opportunities open to automotive apprentices and the government and industry-led momentum to guide young people towards a rewarding career within the automotive industry.Skills Minister John Hayes said, “The automotive industry is a vital component of our economy and our national identity. By investing in growing numbers of apprenticeships, the sector is not just helping young people build productive careers and successful lives – it is making a sound investment in its own and our nation’s future.”Chief Executive, Paul Everitt, added, “The UK automotive industry offers fantastic career and skills opportunities for young people across a huge variety of disciplines from design, engineering, supply chain, manufacturing to retail and aftermarket.“Despite challenging economic conditions, the industry took on more than 14,000 new apprentices in 2011, demonstrating its commitment to attracting the brightest and best talent to the sector.”Across the automotive workforce, the industry places significant value in up-skilling its workforce, with 64% of UK companies investing in training for their employees and automotive manufacturing employers providing on average 2.9 days of training per employee each year.Photos from SMMT’s National Apprenticeship Week launch event are available to view and download via the slideshow below.Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) read more

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