Tag Archives: City & Guilds

Welcome to Exeter RWC 2015 Host City

We are delighted to be able to share a flavour of over 1500 hours of training in less than 3 minutes! Please enjoy finding out more about this collaboration between Exeter and Heart of Devon Employment and Skills Board and Purple Cloud Consultancy following our successful bid for European funding. Just click the link:

Welcome to Exeter Video

81 tourism and hospitality organisations from Exeter and beyond took the opportunity to prepare to give a world-class welcome to the expected 165,000 RWC 2015 visitors by participating in a fabulous free day of training.

216 delegates enrolled on 16 courses held at Sandy Park to help their help businesses:

  • Maximise the opportunities for rugby-related business
  • Understand how to manage super-happy or unhappy rugby supporters
  • Promote places to visit in the area
  • Gain a competitive edge

Each delegate received:

  • A mini-tour of Sandy Park
  • A special Visit Exeter guide, a Host City pin badge and a certificate
  • The option of taking a free City & Guilds Level 2 qualification at the end of the day.

By all accounts RWC 2015 visitors from home and abroad have enjoyed their stays!


“firsthand knowledge will enhance the service”

Promoting RWC 2015 coming to Devon
Promotion of RWC 2015 in Devon

This pilot RWC 2015 Event Customer Service Training for Hospitality and Tourism sectors was highly successful. It received very positive and complimentary delegate feedback, exceeded targets, was within budget and developed a model which could be adapted for training in preparation for other significant events in this region and beyond.

Some learning points from the pilot are listed in the table below. We also carefully reflected on other areas including how to reach participants, the information required by Europe and the Skills Funding Agency on the application form, the “Logo Conundrum” (the Catch 22 of logo compliance) and collaborative working. The evaluation report is available in full below.

Learning Point Reason
Use the event venue or location if possible for the training It forms an important part of the learning
Encourage the event venue or location to positively support and engage with the training Ultimately the venue or location will benefit from the training and a positive relationship would add value to the programme
Encourage accreditation, make it free but not compulsory To reinforce value to employers and encourage individuals especially those attracting priority sector payments
Integrate event resources in to the programme delivery To acquaint the delegates with the material and demonstrate its usefulness
Use networks and multi-media for recruitment To reach a broad spectrum of potential delegates and reach those with which you do not currently network
Mix cohorts from different organisations For mutual benefit and more interesting discussions
Invest time in clarifying the funder’s requirements for paperwork at the outset despite the pressures to start to recruit In order to minimise irritation to delegates and work load of training organization

Some interesting facts and figures:

Participants 256
  •  Funded
  • Non-funded
  • Non-eligible
Percentage of target achieved (excluding non-eligible) 109%
City & Guilds Level 2 taken 203
Percentage of delegates undertaking accreditation 79%
Courses delivered 14
Businesses trained 80
Businesses with 1 or 2 delegates 55%
Mean rating of trainers 97%
Mean rating of overall course 91%

Exeter and Heart of Devon Employment and Skills Board and Purple Cloud Consultancy worked well together. Our approach leveraged our capacity to use networks, to quickly formulate the bid for the second tranche of funding and most importantly to access the initial funding opportunity and deliver excellent customer services training to the local hospitality and tourism industry. We would like to work together again!

You can read the complete  RWC2015Customer ServiceEvaluation here.

Devon construction labour demand peaks April 2016

Graph showing Devon construction labour demand
Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership Labour & Skills Study January 2015 – Figure 3.6.1. Showing Labour Demand in Devon 2015-2019

Labour demand for construction workers in Devon is expected to increase from now until 2019, peaking at 17,000 workers in April 2016. At the moment there is a mismatch between labour supply and demand. So the challenge is to get the people with the right skills and knowledge in place to meet the workload. The dynamic is further complicated by planned re-development work in Plymouth and the construction of Hinkley Point C, the largest construction project in Europe.

Construction labour demand in the South West is expected to be 22,000 higher in 2019 than in 2014 representing an annual increase of 1.9%, higher than the UK average of 1.4%. Labour demand isn’t all about brick laying, it includes a huge spectrum of occupations:

Number of workers employed in a small sample of the 28 broad construction occupation groups (2014) for Heart of the South West (HoSW) (Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay)
Architects 830
Building envelope specialists 3,350
Electrical trades and installation 4,130
Non-construction professional, technical, IT, and other office-based staff. 9,500
Plumbing and HVAC Trades 6,200
Senior, executive, and business process managers 3,870
Wood trades and interior fit-out 9,140

The Exeter & Heart of Devon Employment and Skills Board (EHOD ESB) have been working with local councils and the Growth Point team to maximise the potential for recruitment of local skills development and labour. Council leaders from East Devon District Council, Exeter City Council and Teignbridge District Council have now signed a concordat to align their approach to construction skills development and employment opportunities. This will set the expectation that construction companies and their sub contractors, whether new build or for maintenance, will invest in local skills development in the same way across all three council areas.

Over the coming months we will be:

  • Supporting the newly formed South West Shared Apprenticeships, an organisation set-up to employ apprentices who are then allocated jobs within a number of construction companies and contractors. Over a number of projects and over a two-year period apprentices will accumulate enough experience to complete Level 1 and 2 NVQs. Thus, removing the barrier for some building companies, who do not have sufficient work to employ an apprentice full-time.
  • Working towards the implementation of the Construction Industry Training Board’s ‘Client Based Approach’ which has clearly defined requirements in support of the development of a local skilled workforce through key performance indicators (KPI) for skills development and employment, commensurate with project type and scale.
  • Considering the benefits of a two stage procurement process through the Construction Framework South West for greater collaboration and localism.
  • Working with the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership and the Construction Industry Training Board to develop their construction employment and skills strategy.

The EHOD ESB has set out it’s mantra of ” Improving peoples’ lives through Employment and Skills whilst consciously reflecting that we are doing the right thing”. The size of the opportunity within the construction sector is significant. The proactive approach in tackling difficult challenges in an open forward-thinking collaborative approach, has begun to bear fruit, and it is vital that the momentum continues in order that the potential is realised.

Mark Shepherd, Chair of EHOD ESB said: “The success of this initiative so far, is a real credit to all those from Local Government, Employers, Funders and Facilitators whom without their contributions this would not have been achieved. For all partners this is a fantastic example of what proactive collaboration can achieve!”

Apprenticeship Summit in Devon Countryside

Delegates and apprentices at the River Cottage Summit
Delegates and apprentices at the Apprenticeship Summit held at River Cottage HQ

In Exeter and the Heart of Devon, National Apprenticeship Week 2015 started with an Apprenticeship Summit. The summit, held in the very special surroundings of the farmhouse at River Cottage HQ, got underway as the fire crackled and brought some cheer to what was a very grey and misty day. River Cottage apprentices met with the delegates and brought additional delights of their own creation to add to the occasion.

Following a welcome from Chris Griffin from River Cottage delegates got down to work. Briefings from Tony Skeel, (Skills Funding Agency), Cathie Kessell, (Careers South West) and Nigel Howells (SERIO) set the scene. Mark Shepherd, Chair of the Exeter & Heart of Devon Employment and Skills Board then chaired a round table discussion of councillors, council officers and representatives from City & Guilds, HOSW LEP and Springboard UK to explore ways to create a local World Class Workforce with a special focus on Apprenticeships.

Ideally apprenticeships are jobs with sustained and substantial training progressing to future-focused careers.  Discussions included improving the perception of apprenticeships, over-coming the barriers for potential apprentices and employers, and working together to bring about change. Mark Shepherd said “Summit output exceeded expectations”.

Hugh Fearnley-Wittingstall welcomed guests to an evening apprenticeship event in the barn and Chefs School following the summit. More in-depth information about the summit and the evening event will be posted soon!

Welcoming the World

Visitors on Cathedral Green Exeter with over-sized RWC 2015 ball
RWC 2015 – brings opportunities for a well prepared local hospitality industry

Exeter is hosting three international rugby matches at Sandy Park in September and October, attracting international and VIP visitors to Exeter and the Heart of Devon. Visitors will be greeted with world class customer service from businesses in Exeter and the Heart of Devon thanks to free customer service training courses which are being run from January to May by Purple Cloud Consultancy in partnership with Exeter and the Heart of Devon Employment and Skills Board (EHOD ESB).

Helen Jones, training manager of Purple Cloud Consultancy, said: “It is fantastic that we are able to offer these fully-funded courses to businesses to help them prepare for this important event. Excellent customer service gives businesses a competitive edge and is vital for the businesses success and the success of a tourist destination. Those companies who deliver a great service will not only stay in business but they will continue to grow and also benefit the region by creating a positive, long-lasting and welcoming image of the South West.”

EHOD ESB secured full funding for the courses through the Skills Funding Agency from the European Social Fund.  The EHOD ESB hopes that it can secure additional funding to offer more of the same before the first match. With great feedback from the first five courses it is not surprising that all 160 places were filled quickly. Delegates say:

‘Having been on a lot of courses over the years this is by far the best!’ B&B owner
Excellent – so thought provoking’ Holiday Cottages owner
‘This is the best – far better than my extensive customer service training for a large well known reputable department store – I learnt more today in one day than in 5 years of ‘department store’ training!’ Attraction employee

The courses help businesses maximise the opportunities for rugby-related business, understand how to manage super-happy or unhappy rugby supporters and promote places to visit in the area. The vast majority of delegates have taken the option of taking a free City & Guilds Level 2 qualification at the end of the day. Each delegate receives a special Visit Exeter guide, a Host City pin badge, a certificate and a mini-tour of Sandy Park.