Falmouth-based Cornwall Marine Network’s (CMN) achievements in supporting apprenticeships have been recognised by the European Alliance for Apprenticeships (EAfA) as a best practice example.

EAfA was formed four years ago and gathers pledges from organisations across Europe to support the success of apprenticeships. The Alliance has grown considerably since its formation, with the initial 18 pledges now standing at 236 and includes businesses ranging from large companies such as Nestle to small representatives.

CMN joined the Alliance in December 2016 when it launched the Erasmus Services for Apprenticeships (SERFA) project alongside EU partners to lead an expansion of its skills support to SMEs model and co-design a package of support tools and services tailored to small businesses.

These tools, including recruitment templates, induction packs for apprentices and mentors’ resources, will be added to the service offer of the Cornwall Apprenticeship Agency (CAA), CMN’s subsidiary company dedicated to reducing costs and risks associated with taking on apprentices.

The tenth EAfA stakeholder meeting took place in Brussels last month when Sigve Soldal Bjorstad DG EMPLOY at the European Commission, presented the results of the third EAfA annual survey organised since its launch in 2013.

He highlighted the good work in areas of image, quality, supply and mobility from all partners and selected to present the achievements of CMN as a best practice example. Bjorstad emphasised CMN's outstanding levels of progress in delivering quality, supply and image objectives and their continued work in assisting and benefiting SMEs and apprenticeship delivery.

“This is an excellent recognition of the work of CMN and our apprenticeship recruitment agency teams to help small businesses, 92 per cent of whom have never been supported to employ an apprentice," said Paul Wickes, CEO of CMN. "With 1,200 apprentices placed into small businesses since 2013, a third in the local marine sector, the CMN approach is fast gaining a reputation as a winning formula to get apprentices into small businesses and help them grow.”

For more information on how Cornwall Apprenticeship Agency can assist your business or if you are keen to jump start your career, visit cornwallapprenticeshipagency.co.uk or call Steve Roberts on 01326 314904.