Dream Watersports Job Follows Training



Unemployed mum Sarah Wardle has landed a job as Centre Administrator with South West Lakes Trust after receiving ESF (European Social Fund) Convergence support from Cornwall Marine Network (CMN).

Sarah, 29, who lives in Saltash, had enjoyed sailing related activities at school and heard of CMN while volunteering for South West Lakes Trust. She completed the RYA Powerboat Level 2, First Aid, and RYA Sailing Level 2 courses – all funded through Skills Support for the Unemployed (SSU).

SSU is led by the Learning Partnership and receives ESF Convergence co-financed by the Skills Funding Agency. A variety of partners deliver the training across Cornwall, including colleges, the TUC and CMN.

Sarah finished the training in April 2014 and by July she was Centre Administrator, based mainly at Roadford Lake. She also now teaches high ropes and indoor climbing.

Sarah said, “The training was a great help as without CMN funding I wouldn’t have been able to progress as fast as I have through the RYA courses due to the cost involved. Thanks to them, within a year I went from a complete beginner to competent sailor ready to take an instructor’s course.”

CMN then supported Sarah through an RYA Level 3 Sailing course via another ESF Convergence project Skills Support for Redundancy. Sarah now hopes to complete an Archery Instructor course, also CMN funded, to allow her to further her career.

Kate Reed, General Training Manager at CMN, said, “Sarah has been a delight to work with, as she had clear aspirations and goals which we were able to fulfil in order to help her gain employment in an area which she had such a passion for.

“We are still working with Sarah now, providing further training in sailing-related disciplines and hope to provide funding for an archery instructor course in the next few months to make her an all-round water and land based instructor.

“Although we are a training provider in our own right, we have long established links and relationships with many other training providers across Cornwall and further afield, which makes it easy for us to source relevant and cost-effective training solutions for those in need of support.”

Phil Timings, Outdoor and Active Manager for SWLT, said, “Sarah has come a long way from when she started with us a little over a year ago – this is thanks to funding from CMN who have enabled us to provide Sarah with the training required to progress. The combination of practical vocational training and NGB qualifications is a great way to progress into a career as an outdoor instructor.”

Mark Yeoman, Head of ESF Convergence Communication, said, “Having the right skills is increasingly a vital part of both getting a job and then being successful in it. It is great to see ESF Convergence playing its part in supporting Sarah to help herself and thereby her family. Congratulations to everybody involved.”