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08.06.06
Go ahead for phase three of Unlocking Cornish Potential

One of the great successes of the Objective One Programme is about to receive a third phase of investment.

Since it began in 2004 Unlocking Cornish Potential (UCP) has placed 150 graduates with businesses in the region.

Now a third phase of investment - £323,472 from the Objective One ESF (European Social Fund) - has been approved. UCP has already received £1.2 million of ESF for the first two phases and this third slice of investment brings the total project value up to more than £4 million.

Unlocking Cornish Potential is a Combined Universities in Cornwall (CUC) partnership project, managed by Cornwall College. It places graduates with businesses for up to 12 months offering business support, including an expert mentor, for that time.

Allyson Glover, UCP spokesperson, said: "This will mean at least another 30 graduate level placements within Cornish SME's (small businesses) to undertake key business development projects. Phase 3 will allow us to create more quality opportunities, with graduates earning a minimum of £16,000 per annum as a starting salary. We are looking for businesses with high growth potential that, with the support of the UCP programme, can experience the value a graduate can bring.

"The extra investment will also help us stage a major careers fair for Cornwall. The fair, which will take place in November, will bring national and local employers together to meet graduates and under graduates. This will be a CUC initiative with a huge focus on the Cornwall employer base."

Carleen Kelemen, Director of the Objective One Partnership, said: "Unlocking Cornish Potential is very important for the future of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. The project, which was born out of the Combined Universities in Cornwall, has been one of its greatest successes. Cornish businesses are keen to recruit graduates and graduates are keen to bring new knowledge into Cornish businesses."

One business that has already benefited from the scheme is Riviera Produce. Based near Hayle, Riviera produces, packs and markets Cornish cauliflower, spring greens and cabbage to many of the major supermarkets and to wholesalers, retailers and processors in the South West.

UCP graduate Emma Stevens has been working at Riviera since March 2005 developing advanced tracking systems to maintain a good price for the stock. Since she joined, sales into South West markets have increased by more than 20% and she has developed the region's customer base by 50%.

In the Fast Track 100 list, published in The Sunday Times in December 2005, Riviera Produce Ltd came in at number 75 - the only agriculture-based firm to be featured. Fast Track ranks Britain's hundred fastest growing unquoted companies by 2000-2003 sales growth.

Emma said: "Unlocking Cornish Potential provides the link between ambitious and talented individuals seeking graduate level employment in the Duchy and the Cornish businesses that require these skills to drive their businesses forward. This scheme is an excellent opportunity for Cornish businesses to benefit from the expertise of graduates that are looking to live and work in the area and in turn it provides a welcome boost for the local economy, attracting graduates with great career prospects and a competitive salary in one of the most beautiful parts of the country."

For further information please contact Clare Morgan on 01872 223439 or email: cmorgan@cornwall.gov.uk.

The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has invested in the Unlocking Cornish Potential project through the European Social Fund (ESF).

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Editor's notes:

All members of the media are invited to an event celebrating this announcement at 10.30am on Thursday, June 8th, at the Objective One Partnership stand (number 76) at the Royal Cornwall Show. Available for interview will be Carleen Kelemen, Director of the Objective One Partnership, representatives of Cornwall College as well as graduates who are benefiting from the Unlocking Cornish Potential project.

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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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