Unlocking Cornish Potential Graduates Celebrate
Six delighted category award winners were met by a rousing response from the 120 local graduates, employers and dignitaries who attended Unlocking Cornish Potential's (UCP) annual celebration event at the Keay Theatre on Cornwall College's St Austell campus last week.
Businesses and graduates who had participated in Combined Universities in Cornwall's UCP scheme over the past 12 months were invited to mark the achievements of 23 shortlisted UCP graduates and discover which had been singled out as particularly outstanding in six key areas of business success.
The UCP scheme arranges placements for graduates in local businesses, working on projects that relate to their degrees and specialist knowledge and that will contribute to the growth and ongoing potential of the company. The initiative is managed by Cornwall College and has received investment from Objective One.
Dave Stephenson, Chair of the Combined Universities in Cornwall (CUC) Executive Group, introduced the event, heralding the project as 'a shining example of CUC collaboration' and recounted overhearing UCP described as 'the jewel in the crown of CUC' during an earlier visit to Brussels.
UCP Project Manager Allyson Glover and her team of project officers presented certificates to all the graduates present and trophies to the category award winners. The walnut and pewter trophies were designed again this year by Laura Carnell, a final year student at University College Falmouth who has set up her own design business, Ra-Ra Design.
Contribution to Knowledge Economy through Innovation
The first award of the day went to Dr Jamie Turnbull of RAM Gasket Solutions Ltd in Redruth, for demonstrating innovation in a knowledge intensive area – the application of which was crucial to business growth – and for aligning the business model of the company to the 21st century aerospace industry through his quality systems project.
Speaking about his project Jamie commented: "I learnt a lot about business, marketing and customers and UCP has helped with support throughout; business mentors, IT support- they just really make things happen."
Catalyst to Business Growth
Charlotte Trevithick-Ryall of County Confectionery in St Ives lifted the award for her successful creative design project which brought exceptional in-house design skills to the company. Charlotte's skills have in turn attracted large corporate customers and triggered a period of success and growth for County Confectionery and she has since been taken on full time as Creative Designer.
Charlotte found the UCP scheme invaluable, saying: "UCP has done a lot for me – it's a really good stepping stone to getting a job in the county and it offers a lot of support with a dedicated project officer and peer groups."
Excellence in Project Management
This award recognised the pivotal role of project management to the successful completion of any project and the winner, Sarah Haywood of TRAC Services in Camborne, impressed the judges with her clear and detailed project plan, communication and delivery. Sarah secured Investors in People for TRAC Services within nine months, as her UCP Project Officer Ben Leonard explains: "Both Sarah and the company bought into the UCP support and training available. Sarah ran a textbook project – she took an incredibly tough brief and delivered it in time and on budget."
Contribution to Business Growth
Phil Nelson of Marbel in Lostwithiel was rewarded for his successful marketing project by being announced winner of the Contribution to Business Growth category. Having undertaken a complete re‑brand of the business, Phil achieved a staggering 350% increase in turnover for Marbel.
Best Marketing Strategy
The most hotly contested award of the day was clinched by a delighted Lucy Cox of Coastline Services in Pool. Her project provided a comprehensive marketing and communications strategy that played an essential role in the direction and success of the business. Lucy has since joined Coastline as Marketing Manager and commented: "I have come in at a higher level within the business thanks to my degree and to UCP." Project Officer Neil Roach explains her success: "Lucy considered all aspects when writing her strategy – and it will continue to serve the company for many years to come."
Best Use of ICT
E-commerce manager Henrietta Copeland at Frugi (formerly Cut for Cloth) first stumbled across the UCP website as a graduate returning from London and has never looked back. Henrietta, who lives in Constantine, won the award for Best Use of ICT following her successful e-commerce development project which she describes: "The business now has a fantastic website, a stock system that works and improved customer service, so everyone is happy!" She continues: "The best thing about UCP is you have guidance through a big project – the project officer is at the end of the phone and I had a fantastic mentor and training you usually can't get down here."
Carleen Kelemen, Director of the Objective One Partnership Office, said: "The graduates and businesses involved with Unlocking Cornish Potential are playing an essential part in building a stronger economic future for this region. I think that this celebration is a wonderful way to acknowledge this. Unlocking Cornish Potential has been one of the great Objective One successes and we look forward to building on the gains of this project through the period of the Convergence Programmes."
After the presentation Allyson Glover described her delight at the combined outcome of all of the UCP projects, commenting: "It is extremely rewarding to be able to celebrate the best of the best, but we are proud of every single successful project. For so many graduates UCP provides the initial boost their career needs to secure a well paid and dynamic role in Cornwall. It also injects a fresh source of energy, ideas and knowledge to the local businesses which take part. After the projects are over, we stay in touch with the graduates and arrange workshops and networking events so that there is a close community of like-minded, inspiring people who can continue to boost Cornwall's growing reputation for vibrant business together."
Chair of the UCP Steering Group, Trevor Howard sent a congratulatory video message to the group and highlighted the importance of the project to Cornwall, saying: "Given the current climate it is really critical for businesses to have the advantage of tapping into UCP to achieve business growth and competitive advantage."
For further information please contact Emma Stallard, PR and Communications Officer, Combined Universities in Cornwall, 01326 259908/07896 042524 or email email@example.com.
The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has invested in the Combined Universities in Cornwall (CUC) project, both Phase 1 and Phase 2, through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund (ESF). Unlocking Cornish Potential is run by CornwallCollege, a partner of the CUC.
The Unlocking Cornish Potential (UCP) project is part of the Combined Universities in Cornwall (CUC) initiative and is managed by Cornwall College. The UCP project seeks to measurably improve the efficiency, competitiveness and growth potential of SMEs in Cornwall through the placement of graduates in companies to undertake business development projects. These projects can last from 6 to 12 months.
Combined Universities in Cornwall is a dynamic and visionary partnership that is one of the driving forces behind Cornwall's economic renaissance. The principal partners are the Universities of Exeter and Plymouth, University College Falmouth, Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry, Cornwall College, Truro College and Penwith College. It aims not only to provide the students of the future with more choice and greater opportunities, but also to boost the economic fortunes of the region for the benefit of one and all.
The CUC initiative has been invested in by the Objective One Partnership for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, the South West Regional Development Agency, Cornwall County Council and the Higher Education Funding Council for England.
For further information contact Emma Stallard, Combined Universities in Cornwall PR and Communications Officer on 01209 722870 / 07717377581 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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