Ask people to name projects which have benefited from European funding and most will mention the University, Superfast Broadband or major road and rail improvements. Very few mention the projects which have received more than £64m from the European Social Fund (ESF) and yet these are the ones which are transforming the day to day lives of local residents.

Launched in 2014, the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Growth Programme has so far invested £310m of EU funding in supporting 93 projects which are helping to deliver smart, sustainable inclusive growth. The 34 ESF funded projects are helping people develop new skills and qualifications so they can progress their careers or find employment.

Cornwall Skills for Young People is one of three projects delivered by CSW group aimed at giving people the confidence to get into work, education and training. The project has so far helped 567 young learners to achieve 839 new qualifications and, together with ICAN and Family and Community Essential Skills, has supported more than 1,500 individuals and businesses over the past two years.

23 year old Sharina Timms was fed up with working in pubs and bars and wanted to have a career. CSW helped Sharina find a place on a pre employment into health care course run by Dynamo Health Care, leading to her being taken on as an apprentice by the company. Having completed her apprenticeship, she will have a permanent role in the company when she returns from maternity leave.  “A year ago I did not know what I wanted to do and now I will be coming back to a “real job” with a future”.

Other leaner quotes include:

Impact quotes from learners:

Pleased to have been on the course, to understand that there is a meaningful job for everyone and that we all need to believe in ourselves and have a more positive mind-set and that we can achieve anything we put our minds to.

“Feeling more confident and feels she has a better understanding of emotions and how to manage these”

“I enjoyed being treated by an adult with respect. Even if we don’t give respect we/I feel respected by the tutors”

“Takes me out of my comfort zone”

 “Nice to relax and not stress out about teachers/schoolwork. Made me feel better about myself”