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23.04.07
Opportunity thrives in Cornwall

The rising tide of opportunities for graduates in Cornwall and the positive effect they have on the local economy is becoming increasingly widely recognised and encouraged. Perhaps one of the best examples of how this is happening is Combined Universities in Cornwall's graduate placement scheme, Unlocking Cornish Potential (UCP), which is backed by Objective One and managed by Cornwall College.

Its success is best judged by those who have first hand experience - the participants. One such case is Chris Rowe, from Wadebridge, who has been able to begin a very promising professional career in his home county thanks to the UCP scheme.

After graduating from Oxford Brookes University with a 2.1 degree in Business and Finance, Chris initially joined the multi award winning Worldwide Financial Planning Ltd, at their head office in Truro, gaining experience in a support role. Worldwide has a team of Independent Financial Advisers (IFAs) who have achieved an array of accolades for excellence in their specialist fields, advising on savings, investments and mortgages for private clients and businesses.

By contacting the UCP team, a 12 month placement was then arranged at Worldwide enabling Chris to play a greater role in the business, taking on more involved projects and also training to become an IFA alongside their highly respected team.

Chris supported Operations Director, Neil Chamberlain in achieving direct regulation for the company through the Financial Services Authority, the UK's financial regulatory body, and also coordinated the computerisation of the commission system whilst training.

UCP mentor, Jeff Gill, provided Chris with advice on time management, organisational skills and marketing which strengthened his abilities further.

As Chris explains: "Because of UCP, I was able to give extra value to the company, and it also enabled me to train and qualify with outstanding colleagues. I am really grateful to them for making it possible and to Worldwide for their support." Operations Director, Neil Chamberlain, oversaw much of the training, which Chris says has given him huge potential: "Now I can be one of the people who can change the face of the finance industry, give good advice and raise professionalism as Worldwide have, and I can stay here in Cornwall to do it!"

As Chris has passed his regulatory exams and finished his UCP project, he will now continue as an IFA at Worldwide and aim to achieve Chartered status. He comments: "Some people think you can't achieve much in Cornwall but by becoming involved with UCP you find out that there are outstanding opportunities and, if you work hard, you can still earn the same money as elsewhere. There is a really vibrant business community here and many inspired young professionals, plus we have a more balanced way of life and surroundings that you can't put a price on."

Worldwide has two other UCP placements in post encouraged by Managing Director, Peter McGahan, who says: "UCP allows us to take on fresh local talent, nurture their strengths and train them with the professionalism that make Worldwide so exceptional. Chris has flourished in his role and now has a great future to look forward to. It works for everyone."

For further information contact Emma Stallard, Combined Universities in Cornwall PR and Communications Officer on 01326 370446 or email emma.stallard@cuc.ac.uk.

The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has invested in the Combined Universities in Cornwall (CUC) project, both Phase 1 and Phase 2, through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund (ESF) and in Unlocking Cornish Potential through the European Social Fund (ESF). Cornwall College is a partner of the CUC.

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Editor's notes:

The Unlocking Cornish Potential (UCP) project is part of the Combined Universities in Cornwall (CUC) initiative and is managed by Cornwall College. UCP builds on 5 years of highly successful, ESF funded activity by the University of Plymouth. The UCP project seeks to measurably improve the efficiency, competitiveness and growth potential of SMEs in Cornwall through the placement of graduates in companies to undertake business development projects. These projects can last from 6 to 12 months.

The Combined Universities in Cornwall is a dynamic and visionary partnership that is one of the driving forces behind Cornwall's economic renaissance. This partnership combines the Universities of Exeter and Plymouth, University College Falmouth, The Open University, The College of St Mark & St John, and the Peninsula Medical School, with Cornwall's Further Education colleges - Cornwall College, Truro College and Penwith College. It aims not only to provide the students of the future with more choice and greater opportunities, but also to boost the economic fortunes of the region for the benefit of one and all.

The CUC initiative has been invested in by the Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, the South West Regional Development Agency, Cornwall County Council and the Higher Education Funding Council for England.

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Clare Morgan
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439

cmorgan@cornwall.gov.uk

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