Innovation in Higher Level Skills

Innovation in Higher Level Skills is an employer-led project which aims to support businesses to understand and develop the Higher Level Skills required to support their growth.

Through this project we aim to work with Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and Micro-businesses to develop a clear understanding of the skills gaps and barriers to learning that they face and then work together to co-design solutions.

Innovation in Higher Level Skills

Our aim is to work with SMEs to offer solutions to skills gaps and barriers

We would love to hear from you if you would like to work with us to develop Higher Level provision that meets your business need. This could be working with us to co-design and trial new courses. We can also work together to deliver our existing courses in new ways, looking to overcoming the barriers you identify. Alternatively, work with one of our students on a project that will benefit your business to progress on its growth journey.

Together we can shape our provision to develop the skills that you require when recruiting new talent, provide opportunities to up-skill your existing team to help develop their career, or introduce high-quality student placements to work on a specific skills gap within your business.

Funded Student Work Placements

Truro and Penwith College is offering a limited number of small to medium sized enterprises (SME)* or micro-business based in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly the opportunity to benefit from a fully funded HE level student placements to support your business with short-term projects specific to your business needs.

What will it give you?

Work with us to scope out a student project where they support your specific business needs. Our placements are designed to enable meaningful engagement, where students can focus on involved briefs, addressing a particular project or challenge, which will ultimately deliver real benefit to the host business as well as a rewarding/valuable experience for students. Each placement is fully funded up to a maximum of 120 hours.

*To qualify for a work placement, an SME or micro businesses must have less than 250 employees and either annual turnover of less than €50 million and/or an annual balance sheet total not exceeding €43 million.

Engagement Events

Please come along to one of our free events and discover more about the Innovation in Higher Level Skills project and how we can work together. We would be delighted to hear about what matters to your business, and how we can work with you to develop the skills required to support your business.

Click here to view our Events

Meet the Team

Laura Hames - ESF Contract Manager

Laura has a long background in Higher Education administration. Prior to this role, she worked at the University of Exeter for 14 years, working across a number of areas including Finance Operations, Business Administration and Project Management. During her time working in Higher Education Laura has developed a passion for supporting the development, education and training of young people in Cornwall, enabling them to contribute towards the sustainable growth of this beautiful region.
Prasanth Panicker - ESF Curriculum
Area Lead

Prasanth has a background in Mechanical, Marine, Nuclear engineering and Renewable Energy (Biomass Gasification Projects), with senior management roles in the Navy as well as the corporate sector. Most recently Prasanth has worked in a Business Development capacity within the college. Prasanth intends to utilise this valuable experience in developing capabilities and expertise in the manufacturing sector through specific higher level training programmes designed by the ‘OFSTED Outstanding’ Truro & Penwith College
Jay Wagstaff - ESF Placements and Consultancy Co-ordinator

Jay has been in Education and Training for the last 15 years. She has formerly worked as a Lecturer and Mentor and has a diverse set of skills to help companies assess their needs and also to help individuals aspire to reach their goals. The last two years Jay has been working within the college Projects team supporting companies to develop their workforce skills. Prior to this she worked in a specialist Engineering Secondary School helping pupils in a coaching and mentoring role, fostering the next generation into Further Education and beyond in the Construction/Engineering sector.
Saffron Wilson - Project Support

Saffron has worked for Truro and Penwith College for more than two years. Her experience is in providing administrative support within the Projects team and the MIS team. During this time she has developed a detailed understanding of the life of a project and what administrative support is required. Prior to this Saffron worked in London as a freelance Illustrator and Graphic Designer. Outside of work Saffron has a BA in (Hons) Illustration, and has produced artwork for the commercial sector.

Contact Details

Tel: 01872 308135

Innovation in Higher Level Skills
Truro & Penwith College
Room 302, Fal Building
College Road


The project is receiving up to £1.97 million of funding from the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme in England. The Department for Work and Pensions (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for the England European Social Fund programme. Established by the European Union, the European Social Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support skills development, employment and job creation, social inclusion and local community regenerations. For more information, visit