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20.10.05
Millions Of Pounds To Be Invested In Training

A new push to target millions of pounds of European investment on training in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly is being launched.

Approximately £6 million of Objective One European Social Fund, (ESF) is still available to invest in improving skills in Cornwall to benefit the economy. The investment will be match-funded by organisations including the Learning and Skills Council and will be targeted at certain areas of training. These will include:

Investment in workforce development in two key areas:
 
1. Supporting greater involvement in learning and skills from business organisations from sectors including tourism; food and drink; retail; emerging sectors such as bio-technology; manufacturing/engineering and construction, including heritage-based activities.

2. More investment in higher level vocational skills, Level 3 and above.
Skills for Life and ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages). This is both for the unemployed and employed.
Higher Level Skills for Women.

Doctor Andrew Green, co-coordinator of the Objective One Learning and Skills Task Force, said: "We want to capitalize on these millions and target the areas of training that it has been shown Cornwall will benefit from. This investment can be used to strengthen work that has already been done such as targeting specific skills sectors. A high value economy requires high level skills and this Objective One funding will help Cornwall build a workforce that supports the future needs of Cornwall. It will also help build partnerships between businesses and training providers that will endure beyond Objective One."

Dr Green went on to explain how the areas of training had been decided. He said: "The Objective One European Regional Development Fund, (ERDF) has already been invested in building capacity in business sectors via organisations such as Cornwall Marine Network, Creative Kernow and Cornwall Tourism Forum. There has also already been ESF investment in some of these sector organisations for skills. The aim now is to build capacity even more and to build greater collaboration between these organisations and training providers.

"Migrant workers from outside the UK provide a valuable source of labour to Cornwall's growing economy in many sectors including agriculture, care, hospitality and food processing. The increasing numbers of migrant workers has stimulated the Cornwall Strategic Partnership to create a migrant workers forum. This forum is developing an introduction pack including the signposting of ESOL provision. ESOL will help us design and deliver appropriate language training programmes for these workers. Without the additional support of ESF we would not be able to accommodate this growth.

"Women are underrepresented at senior and professional levels. The investment will be designed to support women in obtaining higher level skills to help make a bigger impact on the economy of Cornwall.

"We also hope to be able to invest more in improving numeracy and literacy skills, (Skills for Life) through partnerships including the voluntary and community sector and training providers. The commitment to support and grow Skills for Life provision underpins the regional and local economic strategies. We can show that the resulting benefit of addressing the workforce's literacy and numeracy skills is as critical to our economy as developing higher skills."

For further information please contact Clare Morgan of the Objective One Communications Team on 01872 223439 or 07973 813647 or email: cmorgan@cornwall.gov.uk.

The Objective One European Social Fund invests in the implementation of European and National employment strategies through training, with a focus on disadvantaged groups within the labour market.

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Editor's notes:

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

cmorgan@cornwall.gov.uk

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