A new ‘Redundancy Support Task Force’ has been set up in Cornwall to offer joined up support and advice to residents who are facing the threat of redundancy.
Cornwall Council cabinet member for culture, economy and planning Tim Dwelly said: “The Chancellor’s announcement of a new job support scheme helps avoid the end of furlough cliff edge that was looming at the end of October. However, we are concerned that there will still be many viable businesses in Cornwall who don’t have enough work to bring people back part-time and those jobs will be under threat.”
The Council is working with the Department for Work and Pensions, Cornwall Development Company (CDC) and the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (CIOS LEP) to provide a co-ordinated response that both employees and employers can access to support people and organisations going through redundancy.
Cornwall Council cabinet member for culture, economy and planning Tim Dwelly said: “Even with this latest short term support to replace the furlough scheme from the end of October, the likelihood of substantial redundancies in Cornwall is significant compared to other areas in the UK. Our local economy relies on many of the sectors hardest hit by Covid and in May, we already recorded a 138% increase in the numbers of people claiming unemployment benefits compared to 108% for the rest of England.”
Our residents need swift action to get the help they will need. Here, the fragmented nature of our economy and the relative lack of large companies, means that delivering redundancy support to employers and employees alike will need a more targeted approach. That’s where the new task force can step in to help with advice, support and sign posting.”
As well as bespoke support, a series of online events will be taking place across the Autumn and Winter where businesses and individuals can find out more about the support on offer which includes:
- the People Hub – launched in April by CDC, following a £227,000 investment from Cornwall Council, to provide a coordinated emergency response to support residents in Cornwall. Since then, the service has provided free confidential advice and support to over 300 residents on issues ranging from employment and redundancy to benefits and financial matters.
- the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Growth and Skills Hub – a signposting service helping businesses to develop and grow by finding them the right support and training opportunities. The team has also helped local companies navigate the support put in place by the Government in response to the Coronavirus.
Mark Duddridge, Chair of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership, which has put extra resources into the Growth Hub to help meet additional demand from local businesses during the pandemic, said: “Cornwall’s key sectors like tourism, food and drink, retail and wholesale have all been hugely impacted by coronavirus. We have some of the highest take-up rates in the UK of the Government’s job retention scheme and have seen disproportionate increases in the numbers of people claiming unemployment benefits compared to the rest of England. It’s important that people and businesses understand the help that is available at this difficult time and the support that is being put in place by the new task force is very important.”
When the Eden Project announced earlier this summer that they would have to make some redundancies, Cornwall Council commissioned CDC and People Hub to work with DWP and a range of partners to organise redundancy support days for employees at the Eden Project.
Dawn George, HR Director at Eden said: “We know how well received the support events were by those who attended, and it has definitely helped people to build skills, contacts and confidence in what they are now doing post their time at Eden. A huge thanks to the team that came together to deliver this and work with us, to create a safe, socially distanced support event that was absolutely incredible.”
Mike King, Managing Director of Cornwall Development Company, said, “During these unprecedented times, with the launch of the People Hub, we have been able to broaden this remit to individuals as well as businesses, offering the residents of Cornwall immediate information, support, and guidance on a range of employment related issues”.
Growth & Skills Hub can be contacted Monday to Friday 9am-5pm on 01209 708660 or visit the website to request a call back or use their webchat function.
People Hub can be contacted Monday to Friday 10am to 5pm by telephone on 0333 0150699 or businesses can visit the People Hub pages of the website for more information.
Further information on the redundancy support can also be found on the CIOS LEP website.