Tag Archives: rugby

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.

“Big smiles all round”

REEP is for any young person between 16-24 years who is struggling to take first steps on their career ladder. With the benefit of an intensive 10 day programme and on-going mentoring from trained volunteers REEP is currently making a positive difference to the lives of two groups of young people


REEP 1 individuals celebrated a successful end to their 10 day programme on Friday 13th February and since then 8 of the 9 young people have continued to make real progress. Their volunteer mentors maintain their support which can bring many challenges but which has undeniably had a very positive impact. This is what Charlie who is working for an IT company reported to his mentor:

 “Anyway! Good to hear from you, everything is going pretty darn well with the job, still there and my probation period is up at the end of May so it’s all looking pretty good. They’ve already got me going up and around the country to do stuff at our other sites, including today where I’ve been up to Oxford to fix a bunch of stuff.

That REEP course though has really helped me out with my confidence and all as well, lost a bunch of weight already and buying a motorbike in the next couple weeks, so it’s all go!

 Thanks for the job advert, really, I don’t think I’ll be applying for anywhere at the moment though, one of the first times I’ve really enjoyed my job; great people, good work, never bored and waiting for anything and it’s right up my alley, big smiles all round!”

 An inspiring update on the young people on REEP 1:

Aaron Doing voluntary work for Hospice Care, has applied for the Army, looking to do CSCS card and possibly finding work in construction
Amy Working at Crealy Park
Charlie Working at Co-op, completed CSCS card
Charlie Working at an IT company and contributing to REEP 2
Hamish Applied for Bricklayers apprenticeship at Exeter College
Jacob (Jacob’s mentor is trying to make contact sadly without success at the moment.)
Jemima Working at Coaches Cafe
Mike Working at Devon Recycling
Ryan Re-taking CSCS card, improving CV and has a part-time job at Yodel

Meanwhile young people on REEP 2 are just coming to the end of their 10 day programme. REEP 2 is a smaller group of young men who have overcome significant multiple challenges to make huge amounts of progress on the programme. Some young people have not received help from any of the usual agencies. Confidence, self-esteem and aspiration building have been fundamental stepping stones to their progress. They have met their new mentors. For one young man who was extremely nervous and who literally froze prior to the first meeting with his mentor Motiv8-SW’s coaching and mentoring techniques successfully persuaded him to meet his mentor. His satisfaction at finally overcoming his severe lack of self-confidence was immense.

We are looking forward to the REEP 2 presentation day Friday 22 May at St Loye’s. We are really proud of the REEP programme and cannot thank everyone enough for their help, time and involvement. REEP 1 has an 89% success rate of young people starting the REEP programme to progressing into work. But we are we are fortunate to be able to and feel compelled to focus on every individual as an individual. Where other programmes targeting unemployed young people may have cancelled a programme with a small number of individuals we have remembered that “every individual matters”.

Once again thank you to everyone who has supported REEP. Between us all we are making a positive difference to young people’s lives!

REEP reaps more!

Sandra (right) catching up with Amy during a working day at Crealy
Sandra (right) catching up with Amy during a working day at Crealy

REEP could be EEP! REEP gets its name from Rugby Empowering Employment Programme. The connection to rugby is due to generous funding from Rugby World Cup 2015 legacy funding. REEP uses some sporting values: preparation, commitment, hard work, skill and collaboration but in reality REEP is for any young person between 16-24 years who is struggling to take first steps on their career ladder regardless of their interest in sport or rugby.

Young people from the first REEP are still on track! They are demonstrating their determination, newly acquired skills and confidence, whilst continuing their valuable relationships with trained volunteer mentors.

We are delighted that a second REEP project will start on Monday 11 May 2015. We would like to hear from three groups of people:

  • Young people aged 16-24 years from East Devon, Exeter, Mid Devon and Teignbridge who would like to join the project. Charlie from the first REEP programme said: “The course leaders have been great. They know how to motivate and really got everyone to open up… the course has been good for me already.” Charlie is now working for an Exeter IT company.
  • Potential mentors who receive free training to help them with their vital role of helping young people transition from the REEP 10 day programme in to work or education. Sandra, Amy’s volunteer mentor from the first REEP programme said “Amy was devastated when she was initially unsuccessful at her first interview at Crealy (before REEP), this shows how empowering this 10 day programme is and how her renewed confidence and skills have resulted in such a positive outcome for Amy”. 
  • Employers who would consider recruiting a local young person who has completed the REEP programme and who has the support of a mentor. Craig Clews, Assistant General Manager at Devon’s Crealy Great Adventure Park said: “It was a real pleasure to attend the REEP presentation day and I’m delighted that Amy got in contact with me.  We’re thrilled that she’ll be joining the Crealy Crew. We’re always on the search for new talent, especially those with a ‘Can Do’ attitude and Amy showed just that.  We are fortunate to be able to offer flexible working in a fun environment at Crealy. New members of the team will join us for our biggest and best year to date.”

“Every individual matters” (Karime Hassan, Exeter City Council Chief Executive and Growth Director ) so we encourage you to find out more about REEP by reading the blogs posted here or by contacting Motiv8-SW on 0844 848 9594.

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.