Enthusiastic managers prepare to upskill

Business owners and entrepreneurs in Cornwall have been helped to take their business to the next level thanks to free management and coaching taster sessions.

Delivered by the TEF Gold-rated Truro and Penwith College, the ESF funded, Higher Level Skills taster sessions aim to raise aspirations for individuals across Cornwall in a range of subject areas including Coaching and Mentoring and Leadership and Management.

Business owner of Equipment for the Physically Challenged, Linda Norfolk recently expanded her company from its original base in Farnborough to a new site in Cornwall and attended the taster sessions for help and guidance.

Linda said: “I attended the taster sessions because we need to manage change; we need to encourage the team to buy into where the business is going because team members are crucial to our success.”

During the session, Linda was introduced to the ‘grow concept,’ a basic coaching model used to help develop people. She was then able to apply the coaching model the next day in the workplace and saw instant results as employees started to ask more questions and take responsibility for change.

Linda said: “Instead of telling people exactly how to do something, I want to be able to influence their behaviour so they take responsibility for the change for our developing business in Cornwall.”

One of the College’s management trainers, Rob Harris, led the taster session and was pleased that attendees were already feeling the effect of good practice.

Rob said: “There was a lot of energy in the room and people really engaged and contributed to the group; sharing their own experiences. I really hope that the sessions give people a quick overview of their own position and development between the different roles of coaching and mentoring or leadership and management.

“People levitate into management based on the skills they have in their subject area, rather than in management. People don’t get the opportunity to be trained in management and coaching so these courses help to give people an awareness of the roles and more importantly the difference it can make,” he added.

By attending a free taster session, eligible learners have also unlocked funding to help support their new career aspirations, receiving a contribution towards the cost of relevant short courses at the College.

Business Owner of Sail Loft St Ives, Elizabeth Davies attended the Coaching and Mentoring taster session and was also able to use the ‘grow concept’ within her business shortly afterwards.

Elizabeth said: “It’s amazing what you learn at these free taster sessions and even if you don’t do the course afterwards you do actually learn a lot. You can really see the difference it makes and I was even able to practice the ‘grow concept’ in the workplace the day after.”

ESF Project Coordinator, Madeline Richardson was pleased with the successes already seen by attendees to the taster sessions.

Madeline said: “We had some fantastic feedback about how informative the sessions were.  We hope the tasters support individuals who may have never previously considered studying at a higher level and assist those who are looking to re-train.”

The Higher Level Skills project is part of the ESF Widening Participation through Skills Project, which provides free taster sessions to offer learners an insight into the College environment and give advice on how Higher Level Skills courses can help individuals to achieve their ambitions or support the needs of their business.

If you are interested in accessing Higher Level Skills with Truro and Penwith College, please contact success@truro-penwith.ac.uk, call 01872 242711 or visit the Higher Level Skills page for details.