Thinking beyond the recession

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A business is only as good as its staff. CPR Works explains how it helps identify training and recruitment needs for companies in the Camborne Pool Redruth area.

The recession is a difficult time to run a business. Getting in sales and orders, bookings and visitors, all are a real challenge to keep the cash flowing and em- ployees busy. This makes it difficult to spare the time to think about anything else apart from the order book. So why is this a good time to think about investing in training?

The benefits for your company’s bottom line from training are real – getting the right skills in place cuts waste and im- proves profitability. A typical 50-employee company could save £165k every year by filling the gaps in its employees’ skills. And, according to Train to Gain, over 45% of staff say that they’d feel more motivated if their organisation invested in their skills.

CPR Regeneration is delivering a project under contract from the Learning Partner- ship, and funded by the Convergence Eu- ropean Social Fund and the Learning and Skills Council, to help companies identify their training and skills needs.

Richard Monk and Dawn Pearce, who are part of the CPR Works area in CPR Regeneration, advise businesses in the TR14, 15 and 16 postcode areas on skills and training development for their staff. If your business is outside these areas, Richard and Dawn will refer you to the best organi- sation to help in your part of Cornwall.

Since the start of the project in January, Richard and Dawn have already worked with over 50 companies which are now benefiting from training activity.

Richard explains: “Most companies we speak to are very positive about the impact that staff training can have on their busi- ness. We talk to them about their training plans, and if they don’t have one, we en- courage them to talk to their staff to find out what kind of training would help them to do a better job.”

Dawn adds: “We look to ensure that any training is really targeted at each business’s requirements. We are able to fund relevant training from any training provider in the market place, including colleges and pri- vate training companies through the vari- ous funds we can access.”

CPR Regeneration has been able to work with some companies to design spe- cific courses delivered in their workplace saving money and staff time. At the other end of the spectrum, the company has identified substantial demand for Health and Safety, Risk Assessment and COSHH courses, so is offering free half and one day short courses to businesses.

One business which has already ben- efited from the Clusters Project is Por- treath’s five star self-catering holiday resort Gwel an Mor. General manager Nico Descotes says: “Working with Richard and Dawn has been fantastic. We have been able to get grant funding towards a great amount of important training for our staff. The effects on staff retention and motivation are huge. We never could have afforded to get such a comprehensive training programme done without the as- sistance of the funding that CPR Regen- eration was able to access for us.”

Meanwhile, through the Cornwall Works Plus programme, CPR Works is also delivering an Employer Solutions service to help businesses find the right people for their job vacancies. Cornwall Works Plus is a countywide programme enabling workless people to gain the con- fidence and skills they need to return to work. It is delivered by Working Links and local partner organisations with invest- ment from the Convergence European Social Fund and Jobcentre Plus.

Richard Jackson and Jo Abram, who between them have over 15 years’ experi- ence of helping businesses recruit the right staff, work hard to get to know all the people looking for employment who come to them from Cornwall Works Plus part- ners. This makes it much less likely that employers will see anyone who does not fit their vacancy, making long-term retention of staff much more likely.

Knowing the needs of the business is also crucial, and Richard and Jo look to get a clear understanding of each organisation they work with. This knowledge enables them to put forward candidates who are the most likely to suit that businesses needs and culture.

Richard outlines: “We offer a tailored service which responds to the needs of each business. We are interested in the long-term success of the business and their new re- cruits, so we can provide training assistance and help if any issues arise after recruitment.”

Jo adds: “The Employer Solutions service is flexible and can help deal with sifting and pre-screening before interviews where a company has advertised. We can act almost as an in-house HR department for the company involved.”

And the service has already had many satisfied customers, including ISIS Con- struction, a family-run building company based in Newquay. Director Jason Heaton comments: “I met with Richard a few months before our vacancy arose and re- membering how straightforward the service had sounded I thought I would give it a try.

“It meant that we didn’t need to adver- tise and Richard sent over a selection of CVs from people who fulfilled all the cri- teria for the position. Continuity and qual- ity of service are very important to us and Employer Solutions fitted perfectly with our needs helping us to quickly find a new member of staff who has been able to con- tribute to our business straight away.”

For more information contact CPR Works on 01209 722010 or visit www.cprregeneration.co.uk