Elevate Cymru launched

More than 60 businesses attended the highly successful launch of the innovative project Elevate Cymru held at Bangor University recently. (Thursday March 1st).

Elevate Cymru is a pioneering work based learning programme providing both employers and employees access to fully funded training on work related courses encouraging future growth and sustainability. The launch saw three key note speakers address the over 100 strong crowd. There were also a series of taster workshops which delegates attended.

The event was officially opened by Bangor University’s Vice Chancellor, Professor John Hughes who welcomed the launch of Elevate Cymru as ‘an exciting time for the university’.

Speaking at the launch Professor John Hughes said:

“This is an exciting time for the university. We are interacting like never before with further education and businesses. A common strategy is being developed in Wales through universities collaborating with each other and with colleges. This strategy allows us to work more effectively with the business community and support them to learn new skills.”

Anglesey AM, Ieuan Wyn Jones in discussion with Prof Phil Molyneux, Head of the College of Business, Social Sciences & Law at the opening event.Anglesey AM, Ieuan Wyn Jones in discussion with Prof Phil Molyneux, Head of the College of Business, Social Sciences & Law at the opening event.Also speaking at the launch, Anglesey AM Ieuan Wyn Jones, praised the concept of Elevate Cymru as a ‘project bringing new opportunities to businesses in Wales’.

He described Wales’ economy as a “tough and cruel market to compete in.” Continuing by saying:

“In order to keep ahead one has to be innovative. Not only do businesses need to be providing goods and services people want to buy, they need good marketing skills, firm financial control and strong leadership.

“Many businesses lack the time and capacity to upskill their own workforce, so we need the help of our universities and colleges to create links with businesses to address this. The Government doesn’t create jobs, businesses create jobs and Elevate Cymru can assist businesses to be innovative.

“The economy is a dynamic place in any period. We are here to adapt to new opportunities or die and Elevate Cymru will help upskill the workforce. Elevate Cymru’s ultimate success will be in creating more and better paid jobs. Businesses need to grow stronger and create more wealth by becoming slicker, faster and more creative.”

Head of Lifelong Learning, David Sullivan, expressed how Elevate Cymru was there to interact with businesses and provide courses and skills that business demanded, not what the university or colleges felt they needed.

Sarah Ellwood, Managing Director of Supertemps, an employment agency with offices in both Bangor and Colwyn Bay addressed the delegates with her story of how enrolling on LEAD Wales helped transform her business. She welcomed Elevate Cymru as a ‘natural progression’ which would benefit both business leaders and employees.

Bangor’s project leader, Bill Farnell hailed the launch event an ‘overwhelming success’.

He said: “The response we’ve had from businesses who attended the event has been just fantastic and the launch was an overwhelming success from the point of view of both businesses and the Elevate Cymru team.

“Many business owners and employees who I spoke to recognised the unique approach of Elevate Cymru which allows businesses to avail themselves to fully funded training across Wales, due to the collaboration all Wales’ universities. Both business owners and employees felt that enrolling on the programme would be of great benefit. In fact at least 16 delegates have already expressed a keen interest in joining Elevate Cymru and we’re hopeful even more will enrol over the forthcoming weeks and months.”

One such business owner is Marina Kogan, a professional coach based in Colwyn Bay.

Speaking of Elevate Cymru, she said: “Providing local businesses with such massive support is a very good idea.

“It is clear that the main objective is to give a lot of tools and practical help to increase productivity. With such a wide range of tangible benefits the return on investment from enrolling on the programme will undoubtedly be high.”

Publication date: 15 March 2012