Training projects must not forget business, says Objective One task force
Applicants wanting money through Objective One for training projects are being told they must think more closely about how their ideas relate to the needs of business.
There are currently 59 applications for European Social Fund money in the Objective One system, with 14 so far recommended for approval.
But the programme’s Learning and Skills Task Force says that although many projects proposed so far have been “encouraging”, applicants need to pay greater attention to how their ideas can lead to greater wealth creation capability.
The task force message is that although there have already been many projects submitted, the money is not yet allocated and there is still a need for high quality applications that address the issues that the Objective One programme is designed to tackle.
And the key point for applicants is that just providing training is not enough. Applicants also need to think long-term about the point of what is being done and how it can make a meaningful contribution to the Objective One aim of generating increased – and sustainable – prosperity for all.
The task force will release a draft strategy paper later this month (December) updating its strategy and actions so far. Among the points the document will make is that: “Proposed projects received by the Objective One secretariat in August and September are encouraging in their ambitious intent but often focus more on the perceived needs of individuals than businesses.”
The draft strategy will add: “Project proposers need to clearly identify how project activities lead eventually to greater wealth creation in Cornwall.”
The Learning and Skills Task Force has produced its paper in consultation with members of the programme’s Business Task Force, which shares its concern.
The first position paper produced by the Learning and Skills Task Force identified four types of project activities it believes are needed: community learning and widening participation to address exclusion; learning and businesses; university/research provision; and modernising the learning infrastructure.
The second paper will build on these points, to explain the strategy further. It will identify the need to provide better access to training in more rural areas and the skills shortages in Cornwall and Scilly.
It will also point out that despite the obvious skills shortages many businesses do not prioritise training and development of their workforce.
Number of projects approved
The figure given for projects approved is correct as of 13th December. The programme’s Working Group meets later today (Thursday 14th December), when further ESF projects may be approved.
Contact for Task Force
For the Learning and Skills Task Force contact co-chair Dr Alan Stanhope, principal of Cornwall College, Tel 01209 616126.
Objective One Partnership Office
Truro TR1 2UD