Woodworks helps small businesses
Small forestry contractors are taking steps to expand their business and take on new employees thanks to The Woodworks Project which helps small businesses create and maintain new jobs in the woodland management and wood using sectors.
East Cornwall Forestry, owned by Roger Bloye, is a small business which up until September last year only employed subcontractors when needed and had no permanent employees. The work was there but Roger could not afford to stop working and train a new member of staff. Woodworks is able to reduce the impact that taking on new staff has on a very small business through a wage subsidy, and a training programme which is tailor made to fit with the business needs and the employees skills gaps.
Stephanie Wickison, Woodworks Project Manager was able to guide Roger through the pros and cons of taking on new staff as well as assist with drawing up a Business Plan and looking at the Tax and National Insurance implications.
East Cornwall Forestry employed Danny in October, he was unemployed, but had experience as a tree surgeon. Roger was able to bid for more work and has successfully won larger contracts for tree maintenance and weed spraying for large planting schemes. Work has gone so well that Roger has just signed up another employee. “For the first time for several years I have found myself with a good bunch of workers,” said Roger.
Without the Woodworks scheme many of these small businesses would not have the confidence to take the next step in employing new staff with little or no experience in the woodland sector. This is a project which is really having an impact in reducing the number of people who are presently umemployed.
The Woodworks Project is supported by the European Coomunity Social Fund, the Garfield Weston Charitable Foundation, Local Authorities in Cornwall, Tamar Valley AONB and New Deal.
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