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Cornwall project enters its third half

"It's a game of two halves" – well, not in Cornwall. The South West TUC's innovative Learning Services Project in Cornwall has just launched its third phase with all the pomp and ceremony normally accorded to the honoring of the giant pasty at Cornwall rugby matches in Redruth.

Under the slogan: 'Be a Winner! With TUC Learning Services and an advertising campaign on local radio, the Project is embarking on an attempt to bring learning to the attention of every trade union member in Cornwall.

In the 20 months life of the Project, huge progress has been made. The TUC is now a respected and valued partner in learning across Cornwall, a growing network of Union Learning Reps are supporting members' learning needs in workplaces, a voucher scheme is in place offering the opportunity of free courses to union members and nearly a thousand people have already benefited from the Project.

Glyn Ford, MEP for the South West region celebrated this success by a visit to the Project in January. He was impressed with the impact the Project had made and congratulated the Project Team on its hard work. "Boosting skills is essential if Cornwall is to emerge from its low wage economy. I would encourage every member of the workforce to think about how learning can help them in their career and to contact the TUC in Cornwall for help and advice."

Project Co-ordinator Geoff Hale was pleased to welcome Glyn to Cornwall and said, "His visit gave recognition to the value that trade unions have in promoting learning. With learning, everybody is a winner. Employees improve their employability and earning potential and employers improve their productivity and competitiveness. Moreover, Cornwall gains by becoming a more attractive prospect for inward investment."

Glyn went on to open an Objective One Project, the new TUC learning centre at Remploy in Pool.

Grease (no – Partnership) is the word

As John Travolta should have sung in that well known documentary of life in a 60s American High School; when it comes to learning, partnership is the word.

Creating learning opportunities for trade union members is a real challenge involving a whole host of different people but, when it all comes together, you have a magnificent success on your hands. The recent opening of the Objective One project, TUC learning centre on one of the Remploy sites in Cornwall demonstrated the importance of this togetherness.

Remploy is one of the UK's leading employers of people with disabilities. Initial discussions between Project Worker Rob Garrett and Plant Manager Roger Heywood identified a willingness to explore the potential for locating a learning centre in the factory. The GMB had negotiated a partnership at a national level with Remploy and Steve Sargeant, the southern area Project Worker threw his weight behind the proposal. Colin Grey quickly enrolled on a TUC course to become Remploy's first Union Learning Rep in Cornwall. Suddenly a Learning Centre seemed to be a realistic possibility.

Neil Yates, Head of Cornwall College Direct helped with computers and courses as did Learndirect. Information and advice has come from the GO4 service that offers this help to adults in Cornwall and basic skill support has come from Link into Learning, Cornwall's basic skill providers. Further investment has come from Objective One, the South West TUC and the Learning and Skills Council for Devon and Cornwall.

This is real partnership with a whole range of people helping to create learning opportunities in the workplace for working people. The Centre was officially opened by Labour MEP Glyn Ford who commented, "This is an excellent example of what can be achieved to promote learning and skills when everybody gets behind a project."

And now we know how many of the Remploy people will be spending their summer nights.


Editor's notes:



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

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