More than 400 businesses have been growing their teams in Cornwall thanks a new EU project.
Since launching on the business scene in October 2017 with the mission to boost the local economy by helping businesses grow through skills and training the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Skills Hub, alongside its delivery partner Cornwall Chamber of Commerce, has rolled out a two-pronged approach to build awareness of the importance of skills and make a hard-hitting impact among businesses.
Josh Hoole, project manager of the Skills Hub, which is this year sponsoring the best smart energy company category in the Cornwall Live Edge Awards 2018, said: “While at a grass roots level, we’re working with businesses on a one-to-one basis to embed a culture of staff development and help them nurture their greatest asset – their people.”
The businesses helped by Skills Hub to date range in size to one-man band companies to established organisations with teams of up to 250.
“We’re a very hands-on project. We work side-by-side with businesses to help them identify their ambitions and the skills that they need to get there. We then explore the market to find the training that is right for them,” Mr Hoole added.
“Over the last 12 months this has enabled us to build a detailed picture of the local skills profile and surprisingly, people planning is severely lacking.
“Typically, businesses have it so low down on the to-do list that they don’t explore it to its full potential. We help them escalate the importance of skills and inspire action.”
The service covers everything from sales and marketing to leadership and strategy and businesses from all sectors across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly are eligible for the support available.
Naked Solar, an installer of solar PV panels is one of those which has benefited from the service.
Tony Sampson, managing director at the Newquay firm, said: “Staff development is absolutely critical to keeping staff engaged.
“Training improves productivity and when staff feel accomplished and know that they are making a valuable contribution it provides a massive confidence boost. The Skills Hub has been instrumental in helping us to give training the investment that it deserves.”
He added: “If I had had to research all the training options myself it would have taken days, if not weeks. The Skills Hub quickly and expertly pointed me in the right direction, which was invaluable and reduced the time pressures that had previously caused training to fall by the wayside.”
Building on the success of the first year, the Skills Hub has a number of projects in the pipeline, including a Cornwall Apprenticeship Campaign to drive awareness of apprenticeships as a training opportunity for existing members of staff.
In the coming months a training fund to enable businesses on the Isles of Scilly access skills, training and work-based learning opportunities will also be launched, and the Skills Hub will work as a collaborative partner alongside a number of new sector skills delivery programmes.
To find out how the EU-funded Skills Hub can help you nurture your team call 01209 708660 or visit, www.ciosskillshub.com The service is independent, unbiased and free to access.