Surf Shop Skills Training for Ann’s Cottage
Within two days of being made redundant Maria Philbin was receiving support from ESF (European Social Fund) Convergence supported project – Skills Support for Redundancy (SSR). Within three weeks she had a new job with surf lifestyle chain Ann’s Cottage. On top of that her new employers will be benefitting from training for a further 27 employees.
Maria had been working for three and a half years as a pattern cutter for a shoe manufacturer and when she was made redundant went to the National Careers Service for advice. Within two days she had an appointment with Guidance Officer, Madeline Richardson at Truro and Penwith College and was offered training in IT, Team Leading and Employability Skills at Newquay Open Learning Centre.
The training is available as part of SSR – which receives ESF Convergence via the SFA (Skills Funding Agency). It is being led by The Learning Partnership for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly Ltd and has a variety of partners including colleges and the TUC.
Maria, who lives St Columb Road, said, “I was thrilled when I was offered a role I originally wanted, as Stockroom Supervisor with Ann’s Cottage. Due to the Skills Support for Redundancy funding that I was on I was encouraged to continue any training that I had already started and I continued to study at home for my IT qualification and have managed to go back to the OLC recently so I can complete some exams.
“I gained confidence in my new role due to the funding which expanded my skills both for my career and for personal use. My motivation and confidence have improved, especially now I have gone back into work. The help and support that I received from the National Careers Service and the college proved invaluable and I would recommend the service to anyone facing the prospect of redundancy”
Paula Mayes, Projects Co-ordinator, Community Learning & Workforce Development
Truro and Penwith College, said, “As a result of Maria joining Ann’s Cottage we have now started dialogue about support for the wider workforce. This means that as well as Maria benefitting personally her employer will have the opportunity to train more employees.”
April Wakeling, Ann’s Cottage Area Manager, said, “We were really pleased when the College informed us we could train up existing staff in Retail Law under Skills Support for the Wider Workforce as a result of Maria joining us. Retail Law changes so regularly and we wanted to update our staff and Managers about changes but were concerned about how we would fund this training. We are lucky as the project is now paying for 27 staff to receive training.”
Mark Yeoman, Head of ESF Convergence Communication, said, “Being made redundant can be a very stressful time. The ESF Convergence investment in Skills Support for Redundancy helps people re-skill for new employment opportunities. Maria’s story and the support from Truro and Penwith College is a great example of this – good luck to her and her new employers, Ann’s Cottage who have used this opportunity to boost the skills of the workforce across their business.”
For further information contact:
Paula Mayes, Projects Co-ordinator, Community Learning and Workforce Development
Truro and Penwith College. Tel: 01872 245674. 07976 598374.