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Talented Graduates Named Award Winners at The Unlocking Cornish Potential Celebration Event
Some of Cornwall’s most talented graduates working in local businesses have been recognised at a prestigious awards ceremony in St Austell. More than 150 people from the Cornish business community including the Chief Executive of Cornwall Council (Kevin Lavery), two Cornish MPs (Sheryll Murray and Stephen Gilbert) and Director of the Convergence Partnership Office (Carleen Kelemen) have gathered this morning at The Keay Theatre to celebrate the success of the Unlocking Cornish Potential (UCP) graduates.
The UCP Celebration Event recognises the huge impact made by graduates working with Cornish companies, brought together by the ESF (European Social Fund) Convergence funded project, Unlocking Cornish Potential (UCP). The event marks the achievements of the growing number of graduate level positions being created in small to medium sized Cornish companies, and the outcomes that can be achieved when the mix is right. UCP supports companies to engage with graduates, by providing mentoring and training, as well as a potential wage subsidy for the first 12 months.
Speaking about their experience of UCP, graduate Sam Manley from Aawen Design Studio in Truro, says, “the studio had a strategy to grow their business and needed a graduate to help. UCP introduced us and it was the perfect match.” Thanks to Sam’s project Aawen’s turnover is up by 35% and profitability by 55%. Genevra Fletcher from Red Hotels was employed as a marketing assistant for The Scarlet and Bedruthan Steps Hotels in Mawgan Porth. With some UCP training and mentoring, she has also taken on all of the hotel’s design work in house, saving money but also allowing campaigns to be delivered urgently and with a greater understanding of the company brand. Genevra says,
Coming back to work after children, UCP helped restore my confidence. For example, one day on the Franklin Covey time management course has made all the difference and I can take that knowledge with me forever.
Meantime, graduate Gavin Millington from Spiral Construction, in Helston, sums up what his project has meant to him – “thanks to UCP, I’m back at home in Cornwall, in a field I’m interested in and working for a great company.”
The pinnacle of the event was the presentation of the ten UCP awards. Thirty-three graduates were shortlisted in total and delegates were treated to fantastic video footage from Sideways Cornwall to showcase all of their achievements. Notable successes include one graduate who increased turnover by £500,000; another whose company grew by 50% as a direct result of the marketing project; in some instances a graduate increased overseas sales from 50-500% and another added a 15% rise in turnover. Other nominees have implemented huge improvements to their businesses such as with ISO 9001 certification, new HR systems; market-leading websites and successful PR campaigns. Some projects have achieved excellent results in terms of sustainability. One nominee reduced carbon emissions by more than 100 tonnes a year, with another saving their company £15,000 a year by turning waste food into biomass.
There can only be one winner for each category though and these went to a selection of graduates whose impact on the business has been truly staggering. With a summary of their project highlights, the winners are:
Best Marketing Strategy: Winner – Lucy Craven (Cornish Orchards in Liskeard area) developed key relationships with major clients like The Eden Project where their cider is the best-selling shop product at the biomes as well as implementing a huge re-branding exercise for Cornish Orchards.
Contribution to Business Growth: Winner – Jakki Magowan (Matthew Stevens & Son in St Ives area) was able to achieve more than a 10% increase in turnover (£500,000) leading her newly-created sales team.
Excellence in Project Management: Winner – Sarah Wooding (ShelterBox in Helston area) implemented an entire HR function from scratch and oversaw staff numbers increase from 23 to 60 in her first 12 months, all as ShelterBox responded to disasters like the Haiti Earthquake and the Japan Tsunami.
Contribution to Business Improvement: Winner - Andy Nicholas (PSG Cornwall – in Pool area) has led the team through a complex set of HR issues and successfully reviewed business processes to increase utilisation by 30%.
Best Use of ICT: Winner – Steve Jenkin (SouthwestCRM in Falmouth area) noticed a link between two separate pieces of software and built a portal being trialled by leading disaster-relief charity ShelterBox amongst overseeing many other IT-related customer service tools.
Contribution to Environmental Sustainability: Winner - Amy Hurst (The Hotel and Extreme Academy, Watergate Bay in Newquay area) has introduced an environmental policy which is saving the company around £15,000 a year in waste management and reducing waste to landfill from just under 70% to less than 20%.
Contribution to the Knowledge Economy through Innovation: Winner – Marcus Hold (Engineered Arts Ltd. in Penryn area) is responsible for improving the mechanical design of RoboThespian, an interactive humanoid robot. He’s helped install for and train clients such as NASA.
Catalyst to Business Growth: Winner - Cherish Maxwell (Cornish Crabbers in Wadebridge area) has delivered a new website with improved SEO, social media alongside an e-marketing campaign and advertising strategy which combined with new products and merchandise has delivered a 71% increase in turnover for Cornish Crabbers.
Individual Achievement Award: Winner – Antony Best (Eddie Jewell Acoustics in Falmouth area) has developed a clear direction for the company with a comprehensive business plan and the results are showing – he’s tripled turnover since he joined and is now heading up the company after the sad and sudden death of the founder Eddie Jewell.
The event also celebrates the success of the Creative Enterprise Cornwall (CEC) project, run alongside UCP at University College Falmouth; CEC enables post graduate students to work with businesses on short-term creative projects to boost their business. The winner is Freya Morgan (Little Egret Press – St Germans) where she helped bind books and contribute to their business output.
Carleen Kelemen, Director of the Convergence Partnership Office for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, was a speaker at the event and presented the award for Contribution to the Knowledge Economy. She said,
There is no doubt that we live in very interesting times. Under the clouds of public sector cuts, declining consumer spending and media scandal, shines a beacon of excellence which is Unlocking Cornish Potential. Over the years during Objective One and now the Convergence Programmes, we have watched it break new ground with Cornish business and evolve into the major economic success story which we celebrate today. Shaped with intelligence and local experience, from whichever angle you look at UCP - graduates, employers, mentors, expert team, bottom line results- it just does the business!
Hosting the event was Head of Placements at UCP, Allyson Glover. She’s delighted with the successes of the graduates and the success of this event which rewards them all:
The Keay Theatre in St Austell was transformed into a networking extravaganza where hundreds of delegates from Cornwall’s business community were able to gather, to make connections and to recognise achievements in others. This year, we were extremely fortunate to welcome a number of special guests like Kevin Lavery, Stephen Gilbert and Sheryll Murray to present the awards which really added to the sense of occasion. The nomination videos by Sideways Cornwall, beautiful wooden trophies by UCF student David Forsyth and the UCP “Network Notepads” designed by a UCP start-up business, Liminal ensured this event really went off with a bang and proved Cornwall is bursting with graduate talent.
Summary of Winners and Runners Up at the Unlocking Cornish Potential Awards July 2011:
Best Marketing Strategy:
Winner – Lucy Craven (Cornish Orchards - Liskeard)
Runners Up – Grace Williams (20/20 - Falmouth) and Natalie Grogan (TRAC Services Ltd. - Pool)
Contribution to Business Growth:
Winner – Jakki Magowan (Matthew Stevens & Son – St Ives)
Runners Up - Michael Randle (Absolute Software Ltd - Redruth); Stella Harlinghausen (Woof Wear Ltd - Bodmin) and Lina Dowd (Research Instruments Ltd. - Falmouth)
Excellence in Project Management:
Winner – Sarah Wooding (ShelterBox - Helston)
Runners Up - Olivia Harris (Red Hotels - Newquay); Tom Alden (Source Energy – Truro area) and Rosa Pedley (Wild Card - Truro)
Contribution to Business Improvement:
Winner - Andy Nicholas (PSG Cornwall – Pool )
Runners Up - Lee Dunkley (Redruth Town Council) and Gavin Millington (Spiral Construction - Helston)
Best Use of ICT:
Winner – Steve Jenkin (SouthwestCRM - Falmouth)
Runners Up - Jason Want (Dash (South West) Ltd. - Redruth) and Gareth Nightingale (Psychology Associates - Saltash)
Contribution to Environmental Sustainability:
Winner - Amy Hurst (The Hotel and Extreme Academy, Watergate Bay)
Runners Up - Richard Cull (Ecohouse Ltd. – St Agnes) and Tom Willmott (West Pharmaceutical Services - Bodmin)
Contribution to the Knowledge Economy through Innovation:
Winner – Marcus Hold (Engineered Arts Ltd. - Penryn)
Runners Up - David Morgan (Cornwall Development Company - Truro) and Alexandra Pumford (Research Instruments - Falmouth);
Catalyst to Business Growth:
Winner - Cherish Maxwell (Cornish Crabbers – Wadebridge /Rock)
Runners Up - Helena Graham (Sea Communications - Penryn) and Sam Manley (Aawen Design Studio - Truro)
Individual Achievement Award:
Winner – Antony Best (Eddie Jewell Acoustics - Falmouth)
Runners Up - Sam Lynas (Barefoot Media - Bodmin); Genevra Fletcher (Red Hotels - Newquay) and Rachel Barclay (Hall for Cornwall - Truro)
Creative Enterprise Cornwall (CEC) project:
Winner - Freya Morgan (Little Egret Press – St Germans)
Runners Up - Chris Rixon (Sea Communications - Penryn) and Cara Moore (3iDog - Truro).
Pictures To Be Sent After 1pm on Friday July 15th: Winners with trophies designed by UCF student David Forsyth
Attached Photo: UCP Award designed by UCF student David Forsyth
Contact: Jodie King
UCP - Marketing, Communications & Events Officer
01209 617664 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editors
Unlocking Cornish Potential (UCP) is the Combined Universities in Cornwall’s (CUC) graduate placement programme, which helps to create graduate level jobs in the county and support growing Cornish businesses. Unlocking Cornish Potential (UCP) is a CUC partnership project, managed by Cornwall College and supported by European Social Fund Convergence. For more information visit www.unlockingcornishpotential.co.uk or call Jodie King on 01209 617664.
Combined Universities in Cornwall (CUC) is a partnership of universities and colleges working together to create new opportunities for people and businesses to realize their potential in Cornwall. The CUC partners are the University of Exeter, University of Plymouth, University College Falmouth, Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry, Cornwall College and Truro & Penwith College.
The CUC initiative has received European Regional Development Fund and European Social Fund investment as part of the Convergence Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. CUC has also been supported by the South West Regional Development Agency, Cornwall Council and the Higher Education Funding Council for England.
Facts and Figures
UCP has supported over 600 businesses since its inception in 2004
Over 700 new graduate level jobs have been created.
Over 70% of graduates undertaking a 12 month UCP project remain with their companies after the project has ended
The graduate placement scheme is unique to Cornwall and has helped to increase graduate level salaries in the county – the minimum starting salary for businesses employing graduates through the programme is £16,000, although average salaries for graduates participating is £19,234