More than 2,000 unemployed people from Cornwall have started work thanks to free support they received from a local service.

Since 2016, Work Routes in Cornwall has been working with unemployed people to find and start work.

The service, which is funded by the European Social Fund and is free to all who use it, helps jobseekers to start working by providing training, advice, health and wellbeing support, as well as links with local employers. The support on offer is matched to each person’s needs whether it is a quick CV revamp and help with online applications, or sector- or job-specific training and practise with interviews.

Olga Humphries

Olga Humphries, from Truro, Cornwall, was Work Routes’ 2000th participant to successfully start working. She joined the service last year after a four-month period of unemployment. As a lone parent, Olga was struggling to find work that fit around her children’s school hours. She has since secured a part-time administrative position, supporting a local NHS team delivering Covid-19 vaccinations.

She said: “In Autumn 2020, I found myself single, unemployed, and homeless, with two little children to look after without any friends or family around. After joining Work Routes, I got lots of support and reassurance. I was able to get health & wellbeing support which allowed me to regain confidence.

“As a result of their professional support – including revising my CV and providing information about the latest job opportunities, I was finally able to apply for my job. And to my absolute happiness I was able to get it. Employment gives an incredible boost to self-confidence, self-respect, resilience, and the ability to deal with all other aspects of life. Yes, it can be more complicated with childcare arrangements, but it gives kids an example of the right choices in life. I am so glad I was able to receive life changing help, and it’s wonderful that so many people can have access to it and improve their situation.”

Last month, Work Routes hosted the Cornwall Hospitality Virtual Jobs Fair, pre-empting a massive hiring requirement across the county’s hospitality sector as it prepares to reopen in time for the holiday season. Attended by more than 15 actively hiring employers, including the likes of Haven Holidays, Newquay Zoo, and a range of hotels and restaurants, the event has so far generated more than 150 local vacancies for jobseekers using the Work Routes service.

Minister for Employment Mims Davies said: “It’s fantastic that 2,000 people in Cornwall are now in work thanks to Work Routes, which provides valuable local advice on building vital skills, CV and interview guidance, and helps jobseekers move into growing sectors.

“Olga’s story is yet another example of how our Plan for Jobs is there for everyone as we level up opportunity across Britain and push to build back better from the pandemic.”

If you are an unemployed job seeker who would like help to start working, you have until the end of June to contact Cornwall Work Routes and increase your chances of starting local work that suits your skills and personal situation.

For more information, visit

If you are an employer who would like to avoid costly recruitment services and instead access a pool of skilled, ready-to-work candidates for free, please contact Sarah King on 07970 263 442, or Lisa Stratton on 07395 375 160.