Objective One invests in long term gain
Objective One is meeting the challenge of the Monday December
5th announcement of a slowdown in the UK economy by investing
for long term success in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
Objective One faces an extra challenge, trying to incrementally
raise the wealth of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly against
a background of global and national economic changes. But
the Director of the Objective One Partnership, Carleen Kelemen,
is confident that investment is starting to turn the economy
around in the right direction, and that this investment is
for the long term.
While, in his pre budget speech, Chancellor Gordon Brown
partly blamed high oil prices for the national slowdown, the
Objective One Programme is investing in restructuring the
nature of the economy by encouraging knowledge based businesses,
through new IT infrastructure which reduces the need to travel
for business, wired quality workspace, skills training and
the creation of the CUC.
Ms Kelemen said: "This allows us to reemphasise
the importance of investing in the drivers of a more knowledge
based economy. Throughout the programme we require applicants
to demonstrate sensitivity to our environment and equal opportunities
for all. We are investing in smarter working so that we maximise
the value of our commercial activities whilst respecting our
The Combined Universities in Cornwall is working closely
with businesses to maximise the potential of keeping graduate
knowledge in the region. Ways of doing this include the highly
successful Unlocking Cornish Potential (UCP). UCP subsidises
the graduate's wage for a set time and an expert mentor
is also provided to advise the business and the graduate.
About 70 per cent of graduates remain with the employers when
the scheme ends. This has proved highly popular and there
are now 92 businesses in Cornwall who have participated in
the UCP programme and 124 graduates employed.
Nine business fellows provide a link between businesses
and the CUC and businesses have been invited to bid for investment
from a CUC research fund.
In his speech the Chancellor set out plans for more combining
enterprise with investment in skills and said innovation centres
were to be set up around the UK.
Objective One in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly is already
on that road, via the CUC, with research-related business
incubation centres at Tremough and the Knowledge Spa and more
being built at Duchy College and the planned Omega Centre,
Skills training is also taking place within businesses.
Proper Cornish is a Bodmin-based company that has grown from
two to 170 employees and makes up to 45,000 pasties every
day. Training has helped annual sales grow from £1.4
million in 1995 to more than £7 million and to reduce
staff turnover from 23 per cent in 1999 to seven per cent
in 2005. Two UCP graduates work in sales and marketing and
staff are asking to be trained. "A training strategy
is now fully embedded in our business plan and training is
viewed as central to our success," said managing
director Philip Ugalde.
Finally, examples of "smarter" working include
investment from the Objective One Financial Instrument for
Fisheries Guidance Fund (FIFG) to add value to the landed
catch and get a better price at market. Last week it was announced
that two fishing boat owner/skippers had received Objective
One investment to buy fish bins. The bins are fully insulated,
stackable cool boxes with sealable lids, used to take ice
to sea and help to ensure that fish are properly cooled. Insulated
ice bins are a simple and cost effective method of ensuring
that fish reach the market in top quality condition.
For further information please contact Clare Morgan of the
Objective One Communications Team on 01872 223439 or email:
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439