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29.12.05
Begin your journey of skills development

Businesses in Devon and Cornwall will have the opportunity to get a free 'skills health check' over the next couple of months as Business Link's 'Pace Skills Roadshow' tours business parks in the region. It's all part of a new approach to help businesses in the region develop their workforce and ensure they have the right skills for the future needs of the business.

The first one gets underway at Langage Business Park, Plymouth on January 10th 2006 before moving on to: Truro in Somar International's car park on Truro Business Park, Threemilestone, January 11th and 25th, February 8th and 22nd, March 8th and 22nd.

Experienced workforce development advisers, from Business Link and Connexions Cornwall, and Devon Ltd's Nextstep programme, will be on hand in the mobile advice centre in an initiative funded by the Learning and Skills Council. They will be able to analyse the training needs of all employees and build a skills development plan. Critically, they will be able to identify training solutions and financial support which will turn the plan into reality. Business Link advisers will also be able to answer any questions about the day to day running of a business, covering issues such as finance, legislation and recruitment.

Business Link are actively encouraging both employers and employees to visit at any point throughout the day.

Business Link's workforce development manager Rhona Hope said: "It is well recognised that the quality and capability of people within an organisation is a major driver towards business performance. To achieve growth and maximise the potential of your business, it is essential to take a thorough look at the skills you already have within your organisation and visualise those you will need to achieve your goals.

"It can be difficult to find the best approach to take which is why Business Link is initiating this series of roadshows. We are taking support and advice on-site to employers and their staff in order to identify what training skills are required, review training plans, source local training providers – and all for free!"

PACE roadshow venues and dates around the region: Plymouth in Martin Luck's car park on Langage Business Park, January 10th and 24th, February 7th and 21st, March 7th and 21st; Truro in Somar International's car park on Truro Business Park, Threemilestone, January 11th and 25th, February 8th and 22nd, March 8th and 22nd; St Austell in West Pharmaceutical's car park on Holmbush Industrial Estate, January 26th, February 9th and 23rd, March 9th and 23rd; Launceston in Martin Cash & Carry's car park on Pennygillam Industrial Estate, January 31st, February 14th and 28th, March 14th and 28th; Holsworthy in Greenfield Engineering's car park on Dobles Lane Industrial Estate, February 1st and 15th, March 1st, 15th and 30th; Newton Abbot in Prestige Furniture's car park on Heathfield Industrial Estate, February 2nd and 16th, March 2nd, 16th and 30th.

For further information please contact press officers Maxine McAdams or Carolyn Daw on 01566 771862 or email: mmcadams@marketing-pr.co.uk.

The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has invested in the Learning and Skills Council through the European Social Fund (ESF). The Programme has also invested in Business Link through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF).

Anyone considering a new horticulture, food and land based industries project is advised to speak with Maria Ford, at Government Office South West on 01752 635015 before commencing development as there are now only limited funds available due to the successful uptake of funding by the agricultural sector in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

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Editor's notes:

Business Link provides a free information and enquiry service via an information gateway on the web www.blinkdandc.com and via the telephone on 0845 600 9966 to all businesses and those considering starting a business. Additionally It provides impartial business advice and support through a network of partner organisations, which it co-ordinates, and a register of independent business practitioners. Business Link for Devon and Cornwall delivers the national Business Link service to the region under contract from the South West RDA.

Business Link has received Objective One investment (European Regional Development Fund and EAGGF) to help companies improve performance and grow.

Learning Skill Council (LSC)

The Pace roadshows are being funded by the LSC which exists to make England better skilled and more competitive. They are responsible for planning and funding high-quality vocational education and training for everyone. They have a single goal: to improve the skills of England's young people and adults to world-class standards. There vision is that by 2010, young people and adults in England have the knowledge and skills matching the best in the world and are part of a truly competitive workforce. Established in 2001 the LSC works nationally, regionally and locally from a network of offices across the country.

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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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