Century mark for Skills Hub


Jo Downs Glass Design Ltd has become the 100th business to benefit from the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Skills Hub, a new signposting service which officially launched last month to help businesses upskill and thrive through training.

The Launceston-based business, which employs a team of 47 people and has five galleries in Cornwall, as well as two in Surrey and Twickenham, has partnered up with the specialist project to explore staff development opportunities as part of their sustainable growth plans.

HR manager, Martyn Pipe, said: “Our team has always been at the heart of our business. We pride ourselves on having a strong skills ethos but by working with the Skills Hub we have benefited from an external perspective and have been able to tap into their extensive knowledge of training provision.  “Through the Skills Hub we have been able to quickly find courses that are right for our needs and explore funded opportunities – something that would have taken considerable time had we not had the project at our side.”

The Skills Hub experience starts with a Skills Review with one of the expert ‘skills connectors’ to identify areas of operation that could become more efficient through skills and training. Having got to know the individual needs of the business, the connector then helps devise a training plan and refers the business onto appropriate training or recruitment solutions.

Project manager, Josh Hoole, explained: “Among the 100 businesses that we have helped so far, time has been a reoccurring barrier to staff development. So that’s where we come in. We promote the benefits of upskilling but also help businesses access training in a way that’s right for them.

“Every business is different. We support businesses on a one-to-one basis and most importantly, we’re unbiased and independent so offer an employer-led perspective.”

In the same week that the 100th skill review took place, the Skills Hub also supported a range of other companies, including Porthleven-based design, brand and web agency, Design79, St Austell Printing Company, Castle Veterinary Group in Launceston and Fusion clothing store in Wadebridge. And as well as signposting businesses to training provision, the Skills Hub has also developed a Skills Toolkit with free resources for everything from conducting effective staff appraisals to hiring an apprentice.

“To have supported 100 businesses within just a few months of being up and running is testament to the appetite for sustainable growth among our businesses,” added Hoole.

“We aspire to a culture of staff development across the local business community and invite businesses of all shapes and sizes from across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly to harness the potential of their team by booking a Skills Review with us.”

The Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Skills Hub is part funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and match funded by Cornwall Council and Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership.