Cornwall Marine Network Celebrates Small Business Apprenticeship Champions

Members of Cornwall Marine Network (CMN), the Chairman of Cornwall Council and a number of EU partners and invited guests travelled to Brest in France in September to celebrate the end of the SERFA project

The final event was hosted by MEFP du Pays de Brest with whom CMN enjoys a long-lasting relationship, having worked together on a number of projects over the years to foster the social and professional inclusion of young people and promote maritime careers in Europe.

Businesses, apprentices, European and local partner organisations, representatives of the French State and the European Commission all attended the event, which was held in Brest on the 19th September.

Cornwall Marine Network CEO Paul Wickes MBE said:

“SME’s provide 2/3 of private sector employment, but a staggering 92% have never employed apprentices, and we have been working hard with our partners to change this. SERFA is about developing a more supportive approach, helping SMEs identify their internal capacity to generate apprenticeship vacancies and access the support they need with the recruitment, training and management of apprenticeship contracts, all based on the CMN apprenticeship model championed here in Cornwall.”

The hugely successful project has created new opportunities for apprentices across Europe.  An innovative model of Apprenticeship support is now available to businesses, with partners trained on Cornwall Marine Network’s pioneering skills brokerage model. 

Cornwall Marine Network Senior Project Executive, Aurelie Nollet, said:

“It’s been wonderful to celebrate the achievements of the SERFA project with our European partners in Brest. Thanks to the hard work of CMN and our partners 169 SMEs have benefitted from the skills brokerage service and a bespoke in-company training plan. So far this has already resulted in 106 businesses choosing the Apprenticeship route as a way to grow their workforce and an additional investment in the training of an average of two employees in each company in gaining new skills”.

The Chairman of Cornwall Council Mary May who was part of the Cornish delegation travelling to Brest said: 

"On behalf of Cornwall Council I was delighted to be asked to accompany the team from Cornwall Marine Network on their recent visit to Brest.  The organisation and professionalism between the eight countries and their enthusiasm towards Apprenticeships was second to none! I was indeed impressed. May the positive links that were forged within this project hopefully continue!"









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