June 18, 2024

South West News

South West News from Gloucestershire to Cornwall

Good Growth Programme invests £12.5m in people and skills

The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Good Growth Programme has announced a £12.5m investment in people and skills as it continues its mission to provide opportunities for all.

The £137m local investment programme, which is managed by Cornwall Council and funded by the Government’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund, is investing in a range of activities to boost employability and skills and create an inclusive workforce across Cornwall and Scilly.

The package includes £2.5m to support more than 1,200 disadvantaged young people aged 16-24 to help them progress. It will especially cater for those who are not in education, employment or training, and help in key areas like employability, mental health, and financial wellbeing.

£4m is also being invested in providing skills in growth areas of Cornwall’s economy. £2m of this will help to upskill people for the future green economy, including domestic and commercial renewable energy systems, electric vehicles, and the floating offshore wind industry.

And another £2m is being invested in providing digital skills in areas including Artificial Intelligence, immersive technology, software and data.

To help people navigate the range of support available with employment, training and qualifications, a further £6m is being invested in the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly People Hub.

Cornwall Opportunities, a searchable database of jobs, apprenticeships and courses has also been launched following a £257,000 grant from the Government’s G7 Legacy Fund, which aims to make it easier for residents to access information and work opportunities.

This allows residents of Cornwall and Scilly aged 16+ to access comprehensive employment and skills support via a single point of contact, in much the same way the Good Growth Programme has funded the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Growth Hub as a single contact point for local businesses.

Cllr Barbara Ellenbroek, Cornwall Council portfolio holder for children and families, said: “People and skills are a cornerstone of our Good Growth Programme which is why we are investing £12.5m to create opportunities for all.

“The People Hub is there as a one-stop resource for everyone, and we are funding specific projects to work with young people to give them the life skills and support they need to progress. We’re also investing in meeting the fast-growing needs of the green and digital economies. Taken together this package of investment will boost skills, jobs and the economy.”

The investment complements another Good Growth-funded project called Multiply. Launched last year, the £2.5m scheme offers free numeracy courses to anyone aged 19 and over across Cornwall and Scilly.

Research by Cornwall Council shows that there are 22,300 households in Cornwall where no-one has a job. That is 13.8% of the total and above both the South West (12%) and England averages (13.4%). Meanwhile there are an estimated 10,600 people who are economically inactive but want a job. Good Growth investment aims to remove some of the barriers to people finding work.

Cornwall’s workforce is also getting older. The average age of people in Cornwall is 47, whereas in England and Wales it is 40. Helping older people reskill, and younger people to train for jobs and careers, are therefore important to the future economy.

To find out more about the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Good Growth programme and the projects it is supporting, visit the Good Growth website.