Principles of the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Skills Access Hub

  1. The purpose of the Skills Access Hub is to be an impartial skills co-ordination and engagement service providing referral and signposting services to businesses through web based tools, face to face and via telephone. It is imperative that this service is impartial and transparent to all; therefore it is the ambition that the provider of the Skills Access Hub will ensure that there is no conflict of interest issues in relation to the delivery of other skills support projects.   With the latest government priorities on Apprenticeships, we would also expect to see how the provider of the Skills Access Hub will work with businesses on developing and supporting apprenticeship opportunities.
  2. The Skills Access Hub will deliver a simple and straightforward diagnostic which will provide enough information to refer businesses to appropriate provision, and to avoid the need for other providers to collate the same information.   The intention is to provide a neutral impartial service to business.  Applicants will need to demonstrate how they will implement an independent and impartial service and how they would manage any potential conflict of interest that may arise, as a result of delivering any other EU funded programme in Cornwall and Isles of Scilly.  
  3. It is expected that the Skills Access Hub will be closely aligned with the full Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Growth Hub provision (including the ERDF funded element of the Growth Hub) to ensure a simplified business and skills support landscape. Messaging should be clear and concise and it is the ambition that the domain www.ciosgrowthhub.com can be used to lead on all marketing materials, so businesses benefit from the widest possible engagement.
  4. Use of branding will be discussed at full application stage, it is expected that the Skills Access Hub will use and develop similar branding as the C&IoS Growth Hub for a cohesive offer. The branding is owned by the LEP and will be made available to the grant recipient.
  5. The sharing of the diagnostic data (eg. Organisational or Training Needs Analysis) and other relevant information, is a core principal between the Skills Access Hub provider and the wider C&IoS Growth Hub provision. C&IoS LEP will separately fund a Client Relationship Management System for the Skills Access Hub to ensure the business diagnostic data is collected, stored and used in the correct way. This funding and its accompanying Grant Offer Letter will be clarified at full application stage. Skills providers should be encouraged to use the CRM through MOUs, SLAs etc. and partner licences should be offered at ‘cost’, to ensure the CRM is used and maintained.  In the event that the LEP should cease to exist, ownership of the CRM and its data will remain in public ownership and therefore pass to Cornwall Council.  
  6. The businesses should have the same point of contact within the Skills Access Hub throughout wherever possible. It is envisaged that the 'hand-over' for skills referrals will happen seamlessly through the CRM and will dovetail with the work of any other skills provider Funded under ESF IP2.2 to avoid duplication.
  7. The credibility of the advice is crucial and the provider of the Skills Access Hub are expected to be experienced in the training and skills sector and of a high-enough calibre to ensure the most appropriate advice based on the business need. It is envisaged that the salary level for any such posts (if applicable) will reflect those requirements.
  8. Engagement with a wide network of businesses is imperative, ensuring innovative and best practice approaches to communication are utilised. Communication should be aligned with the C&IoS Growth Hub to ensure promotional activity is joined up, cost efficient and best economic use of public money.
  9. The Skills Access Hub will work closely with other training and skills support providers, in particular those funded via the European Social Fund (IP2.2) and private sector led business networks.  This will include having a working group of providers which meets regularly. In addition, it is expected that the Employment & Skills Board (ESB - a sub-group of the LEP) will have strategic input into the Skills Access Hub alongside the wider Growth Hub Steering Group wherever possible. This will ensure greater links between ESF and ERDF provision.
  10. It is the intention of the LEP to request additional and much higher levels of business engagements than the Call requires, as it is expected that the Skills Access Hub provider should be engaging with a significant number of businesses within Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. The LEP match will require the potential applicants to demonstrate added value with a significant increase in business engagements across the 3 year project. The definition of a business engagement in relation to the LEP match will be discussed and agreed prior to submission of a full application and the LEP will work with any potential applicants to determine the increased levels of engagement. It is proposed that the grant recipient will not be expected to turn these additional business engagements into ‘results’ as per the ESF requirements.

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Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership, PO Box 723, Pydar House, Pydar Street, Truro, TR1 1XU

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