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Cornwall Works WISE Awards

Allyson Glover of Unlocking Cornish Potential with Dave Meneer, Chief Executive of Fifteen CornwallThe first Cornwall Works WISE (Welfare to Work, Innovation, Skills and Employment) award event has been held to celebrate excellence in employment and skills activity in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

The successful event, which took place at the Watergate Bay Hotel, on Europe Day, Friday May 9th, was organised and hosted by Jobcentre Plus, The Learning and Skills Council and the Partnership Office for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. It is planned that the event will be held annually.

The event, which was introduced and compèred by Carleen Kelemen, Director of the Partnership Office for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, took place on Europe Day to highlight successes and benefits for individuals and communities from EU structural fund interventions.

Ms Kelemen said: "Today we have the chance to celebrate the people and organisations who have really made a positive difference through activities funded by the European Social Fund.  Thousands of people across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have better prospects today because we cared, we listened and we worked together in true partnership to make this European investment the success we see today.  We can now look ahead with optimism to focus on key investments through the new Convergence Programme which will continue the journey of supporting personal and economic growth."

Keynote speaker was James Miller, Learning and Skills Council Marketing Adviser, London Region. He said: "It is inspiring to see so many people who have achieved excellence coming together in one place. Today is an excellent day to celebrate your achievements."

Carolyn Webster, European Programmes and Funding Manager for Jobcentre Plus said: "Through these awards we have seen that Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has the resources and opportunities to deliver top quality employment and skills activity that can change people's lives.  Everyone involved should be extremely proud of their achievements and look forward to building upon them through the Convergence Programme."

Mark Williams, Learning and Skills Council Skills Development Director – ESF, added: "The LSC was delighted to be working alongside our partners to make the Cornwall Works WISE event a success. Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have benefited hugely from Objective One ESF investment; with individuals and businesses challenging the barriers they face to inclusion and prosperity.

"With these awards we wanted to recognise individual inspirational journeys, the contribution of staff and trainers within our Colleges and Training providers who help us all to ensure that individuals and businesses receive the investment they need, the businesses who have stepped up and announced their commitment to training their staff and the partnerships that have enabled us all to work together for the benefit of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

"With this event we also marked Europe Day to recognise the ongoing importance of European support, through the Convergence ESF Programme, to our joint strategies to drive up employment, improve skills and enhance productivity so that the people and businesses of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have the opportunity to reach their potential."

More than 80 people attended the Works WISE event, which also looked forward to the opportunities for increasing success through the ESF Convergence Programme and the new Local Area Agreement.

For further information please contact Clare Morgan, Media Relations Manager for the Objective One Partnership on 01872 223439 / 07973 813647 or email

The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has invested in the Jobcentre Plus and Learning and Skills Council Co-financing projects through the European Social Fund.


Editor's notes:

In each category there were two awards – one for personal achievement and the second for a project /organisation that had achieved excellence in a particular area.

Award Winners

Lifetime Achievement

John Ede MBE (Cornwall Citizens' Advice Bureaux)

The Lifetime achievement award recognises exceptional commitment and passion to making Cornwall a better place to live and work.  This individual has, for many years, campaigned for and supported people who are most disadvantaged in Cornwall, championing the need for equality of access to services and opportunities for all of our residents, in particular people experiencing poverty and rural isolation. He has recognised the critical importance of skills and employment in breaking the cycle of poverty and deprivation in Cornwall and has also project managed EU funded highly successful skills development programmes based on volunteering and peer support.  He continues to be a key influence in Cornwall and Scilly, feeding into the development of the sustainable community strategy, local area agreement and the new unitary authority as well as ensuring innovative delivery of employment and skills activity is fed into the co-financing programmes of both Jobcentre Plus and the LSC.

His contribution to the community of Cornwall was recognised by the award of an MBE in 2003.

Welfare to Work

Individual: Bill Davies (Health Trainer)
Bill spent ten years on incapacity benefit following a back injury he sustained through work in the construction industry. Bill was supported by Cornwall Works partners to build motivation, confidence and skills in order to take up work as a community based health trainer where he now supports others to overcome their health issues and return to work.

Group: Lizard Pathways
The group Welfare to Work award goes to a project that has delivered consistently high performance in challenging circumstances over the lifetime of the Objective This project has engaged more than 1000 jobless people across a very rural area and supported more than 50% of them into sustainable employment. From small roots, the project has developed over time and achieved Matrix Accreditation for Information. Advice and Guidance in 2007.


Individual: Katharine Doerr
Katharine is a participant of the Unlocking Cornish Potential graduate placement scheme. A graduate in Operations Research and Mechanical Engineering, Katherine is an energetic and truly innovative individual who utilised her skills in the area of Environmental Technology when she joined Pure Energy Professionals (PEP) on her graduate placement

PEP specialise in the development, financing and deployment of renewable energy solutions.  Katherine's placement involved developing an understanding of wind resources and issues surrounding land ownership and agreements.  Her engineering expertise – along with her passion for the environment – has enabled her to support PEP to significantly increase their turnover.  Katherine has also been instrumental in setting up Green Peninsula, a new and growing business in Cornwall that helps large companies with high electricity usage to save money and reduce their carbon footprint through the construction of wind turbines on their land.  Green Peninsula has employed an additional three staff in professional level jobs. These positions offer excellent salaries and the business is predicting significant growth in the near future.

Group: Unlocking Cornish Potential
A highly successful Objective One project delivered via Cornwall College by the Combined Universities in Cornwall. It places graduates with businesses and offers considerable ongoing support. Since the project began in 2004, 234 graduates have been placed into Cornish businesses. The question at the start of the project was not whether there were businesses or graduates in Cornwall but whether there was an appetite in Cornish businesses for graduate skills. Unlocking Cornish Potential has shown categorically and consistently that this is the case with an employment retention rate of 72% when project support ends.


Individual: Tanya Bellingham (Cornwall College: TOAST project Co-ordinator)
The TOAST project, 'Training Opportunities Accrediting Sustainable Tourism' was designed to provide tailored sustainable tourism qualifications at Levels 2 and 3 to employees in the tourism industry and to cascade knowledge into the sector to enable an initial 18 SMEs (small businesses) to achieve Green Tourism Business Scheme accreditation.

In September 2007, Tanya attended an International Sustainable Development Conference in Montenegro where she and a colleague delivered a workshop on best practice in delivering the qualifications and engaging tourism businesses.  As a result, invitations have been received from attending countries to mentor them through the same process and a partnership deal has been agreed between Cornwall College and the Vocational Education Training School for Tourism in Montenegro to undertake a review of tourism education.  Tanya has now been invited to undertake the role of supporting the Ministry for Education in Montenegro with regard to sustainability.

Group: Learning Partnership for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly
This partnership is a key player in the delivery of the Learning and Skills Council strategic plan for Cornwall. In addition to providing a strong strategic focus for integrated learning and skills planning, the Learning Partnership role involves providing leadership for the delivery of a number of key LSC projects.  The breadth and scope of the partnership ensures that both major players and smaller voluntary and community based organisations can play their part in delivering learning and skills activity across Cornwall and Scilly.

The Learning Partnership continues to provide a focus for skills delivery in Cornwall and is currently preparing to provide a major input to the LSC co-financing programme within Convergence


Commitment to Welfare to Work: Happy Days
Happy Days has enjoyed a very close working relationship with Jobcentre Plus and over the years have placed all of their vacancies with them, looking at innovative ways to recruit their team of over 300 employees and offering excellent career and progression and opportunities within the childcare sector. They delivered one of the first Jobcentre Plus Objective One ESF projects, supporting workless people who had not previously considered a career in childcare to gain skills and employment in the sector. Happy Days holds the "Investors in People" award and is an equal opportunities employer. The company has its own in-house training academy offering new and exciting opportunities to people who do not have a recognised childcare qualification but want a career with children.

Commitment to Workforce Development: Tulip
This food company, with factory sites in Bugle, Bodmin and Redruth produces brands such as Danepak and Danish Prime has implemented a series of training schemes through, Cornwall College Business (CCB) and with the help of the Train to Gain brokerage service.

Since September 2006 the company's staff has obtained a variety of qualifications and at their Bugle site the company has enhanced its commitment by signing the Skills Pledge in the presence of Cornwall College, Jobcentre Plus and Train to Gain. The pledge is a voluntary, public commitment by the leadership of a company or organisation to support all of its employees to develop their skills. This commitment will result in 2000 staff across the three factory sites being given the opportunity to take an NVQ Level 2 qualification to boost their skill levels.

This company, through their Bodmin outlet have also made a public commitment to supporting the recruitment of unemployed workers through the agreement of a Local Employment Partnership with Jobcentre Plus and have through their engagement in the LSC's Skills for Jobs programme being delivered in Cornwall through Cornwall Works and have employed more jobless adults through this programme than any other employer in the SW to date.

ESF Convergence Programme
In Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly the Convergence Programmes are made up of European Regional Development Fund (£311 million) and European Social Fund (£133 million).

The ESF Operational Programme will be targeted at tackling barriers to work, improving workforce skills and research and graduate activity. It will be delivered through co financing via the Learning and Skills Council and Jobcentre Plus.

The European Social Fund Convergence Programme Managing Authority is the Department for Work and Pensions, supported by Government Office South West.


Clare Morgan
Media Relations Manager
The Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439

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