Quarterly Review celebrates success

The latest edition of the Objective One Quarterly Review is being circulated across Cornwall this week, recapping on what was a very busy start to the year for the Cornwall and Scillies Objective One Programme.

More than 8,000 copies have been despatched from the Objective One office and are available at local libraries, council offices, some parish and town councils and via a host of community and business organisations.

The review includes details of several different Objective One projects announced during January, February and March, covering sectors ranging from food and drink to tourism and transport.

For the first time the review also features a complete list of Objective One projects specifically relevant to business, including a description of each project and essential contact details.

One such project, which has achieved huge success since its launch last year, is Stepping into Tourism, which is run by the private sector company Newquay for Excellence in partnership with Cornwall College. The £1.52 million project, supported by £671,685 from Objective One, aims to tackle seasonal unemployment by providing a wage subsidy and vocational training for employees.

Ruth Vincent, from Newquay for Excellence, said: “We’re coming towards the end of our first year and it’s going extremely well. Some of our candidates have come to the end of their 45-week wage subsidy and training programme, and we’re currently recruiting for another round.

“At the moment we have 28 local employers involved and we’ve got about 72 candidates training for their National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs), mainly in the hospitality sector.

“The response from local employers has been terrific and for many, especially the smaller employers, it allows them to keep their staff on the payroll during the lean winter months while giving those staff the training they need, so it helps with staff retention as well.

“There’s also quite a range of employers taking part. We’ve got candidates at the Headland Hotel and Newquay Zoo, and also at smaller places the Trenance Cottage Tea Rooms and Garden.”

Ruth said Stepping into Tourism is now looking to recruit a further 100 candidates by the end of May. Some 95% of the training takes place in the workplace and is flexible to take account of the needs of the candidate and the business. Following a two-day induction, candidates are assigned a personal assessor who works closely with them throughout the 45-week training period.

Ruth added: “The arrival of Ryanair’s daily service from Stansted to Newquay Airport will mean a whole new market for off-season breaks, and I hope Stepping into Tourism can make a real difference in helping local businesses prepare for that upturn.”

One business that has benefited from the Stepping into Tourism project is the Watergate Bay Hotel.

Owned by the Ashworth family, the hotel stayed opened throughout last winter for the first time in 31 years, thanks largely to support from Objective One.

Proprietor Will Ashworth said: “The Stepping into Tourism project, through Newquay for Excellence, has allowed us to offer eight of our staff vocational training for a year and has provided a 40% wage subsidy, allowing us to keep them on throughout the winter.

“The support from Objective One was vital because we wanted to stay open all year round but needed a bit of assistance to enable us to do that and start to build up our off-season market.

“The scheme has been a huge success because it has diversified the skills of our workforce to the extent that a former porter is now an assistant manager, and one of our chamber people is now working behind the bar. And we had a great winter season, including 1,500 people for Christmas parties.”

The Watergate Bay Hotel is a stone’s throw from Newquay Airport, and is anticipating a huge increase in business - especially off-season - as a result of the recently started Ryanair service from London Stansted.

It also has ambitious plans for investment, and hopes to cater for more of the business conference market.

Will said: “The fact that Objective One, through the Stepping into Tourism project, has allowed us to invest in our staff means we can confidently move forward with our investment plans and become a 365-days-a-year business.

“And the arrival of Ryanair means we can market ourselves to businesses in London for conferences and staff training days at a fiercely competitive delegate rate compared to what they could expect to pay in the South East.”


Editors notes:

Jason Clark
Communications Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Tel:01872 241379
Fax:01872 241388