Future proof your business thanks to the Skills Hub

After 25 years working in the plumbing and heating industry, Will and Helen started WJ New Plumbing in 2020.

Following two decades working under somebody else, the News thought that last year provided the chance to take the leap and be their own boss.

WJ New Plumbing was born in the early part of 2020. Yes, the early part of 2020; just as COVID was starting to take hold the world over.

“We registered the business in December 2019 and started things officially in April 2020. It wasn’t an ideal time to establish a new business, as Will had given up his previous job, but we just had to go with it,” said Helen.

Despite a few bumps along the way the business is now thriving, and while the team remains small the News have high hopes for the future.

“We’d like to increase the number of staff over time, but we want to have that stability there first so we can offer staff a full-time job with a decent wage. We’re not interested in offering zero-hour contracts,” Helen said.

To spur on that development, Helen approached the Skills Hub for assistance with acquiring training to help them work more in the field of sustainability. Skills Connector Clair worked with Helen to help her identify what skills the team needed to move forward. Clair used her in-depth knowledge of the skills and training arena to refer Helen to the training solution that was right for her business.

Now with increased Government focus on reducing emissions and equipping homes to be fit for an eco-friendly future, Helen believes that this is where their future focus work-wise will lie.

“Your business is only as good as the skills you have got. On the engineering and tech side we want to embrace the push towards more environmentally friendly options so this can become something that we can offer to the Cornish community.

“With new Government policy coming into play around sustainability and the environment as a whole, we see this as being an area in which we need to be doing more work,” she said.

“Knowing that we could come to the Skills Hub and for them to know what is available, it certainly made it all very easy.”

Bethany Allen, Skills Hub Project Manager, said that with so many changes to the way in which many people are working, there has never been a better time to think about training;

“In a survey conducted by PFA Research last year on behalf of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Growth Hub, almost 80 percent of those businesses surveyed had made changes to their workplace or processes. Investing in skills and training is a fantastic way to overcome any challenges you may face, and will no doubt confirm the adage that learning unlocks opportunity,” she said.  

The Skills Hub supports businesses in Cornwall from all sectors and sizes to overcome barriers to growth, or areas of underperformance. They start with an informal chat to uncover the business’ skills needs and find the right training to help them reach their business goals. The service is free of charge. To find out more and to book a free and impartial skills review, visit http://www.ciosskillshub.com or call 01209 708660.

The Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Skills Hub is part funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and match funded by Cornwall Council and Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership.