Building skills through funded projects

Goal driven workshop with logos of European Union European Social Fund, HLSM, EYCPP

This project is part-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF). 

Cornell Fox, the founder of Goal-Driven CIC, discusses how accessing funded projects from local universities has supported both his business and professional development.

Goal-Driven CIC was set-up in direct response to tackling social issues in deprived communities through educational workshops and sport qualifications. Working directly with young people from age 14, their mission is to break the cycle of inter-generational social issues.

What made you decide to take part in the Early Years Career Progression Pathways (EYCPP)?

“My decision to take part in the EYCPP was formed on the basis of developing my own career progression and having access to insight of the early years sector.” explains Cornell

“I believe that I need to assess my skills on a continuum throughout the year to help surpass milestones and identify other plans of action. My Skills Advisor has helped me in various ways and the advice has increased my confidence in business, education and interpersonally.”

How did you first hear about Higher Level Skills Match (HLSM) and what business problems were you looking to overcome?

“We were signposted to HLSM by GBSLEP in 2022 as a local social enterprise who received business support. The support that we were looking for was ways to overcome barriers to business growth, increase sales and reach out to further regions.

The project has allowed us to maintain sustained growth and widen our networks creating further sales and knowledge.”

What training have you been able to access through both EYCPP and HLSM?

“I have attended training sessions on Birmingham Parenting, Tots Talking, Supporting Behaviours in Early Years, and ESOL Introduction to Childcare. [From this] I have an increased skill set of understanding the Early Years sector: it’s purpose in our communities within parenting, migration, providers and professional services.

As a parent and HAF (Holidays, Activities and Food) provider, this project continues to present me with the opportunity to gain specialist knowledge which I am happy to apply in my everyday personal and working life.”

The recommended HLSM workshops in marketing, workplace wellbeing and bid-writing helped Cornell’s business in several ways.

The marketing workshops:

  • Improved marketing strategies.
  • Increased visibility.
  • Strengthened branding.
  • Provided a competitive edge.

The workplace wellbeing workshops:

  • Enhanced my engagement.
  • Improved productivity.
  • Potentially lowered mental/physical ill health costs.

And the bid-writing workshops:

  • Better bid-writing skills led to winning more contracts.
  • Efficient resource allocation.
  • Improved communication.

Continuing to grow and inspire

As Cornell and his business, Goal-Driven CIC, continue to work closely with both projects, the work the business has achieved is also something that highlights how direct support can then be fed back into the community.

After accessing the additional HLSM workshops at Birmingham City University, Cornell was able to address business challenges, which has helped to foster growth and success.

Working with his Account Manager for HLSM from Birmingham Newman University, Cornell received funding from an independent source to successfully deliver a football referee qualification and a financial literacy programme to young people. From this, the young people who took part were able to gain income working as football referees and put this money towards school meals or saving towards a long-term goal.