The UCP Story
With more than 800 graduate placements, 600 businesses supported and over a decade of dedicated support, Unlocking Cornish Potential has become a key contributor to Cornish business success because it works. Here’s our story:
From strong origins at the University of Plymouth in the late 1990s, the graduate placement programme UCP, emerged in Cornwall in 2001, finding it’s new home at Cornwall College. With initial support from Objective 1 and later from the Convergence Programme of European funding, UCP’s reputation with businesses has built up over time and through a track record of successful placements has gone from strength to strength. The legacy of this is clear to see today as businesses continue to recognise that we’re able to meet their needs.
For graduates too, the name Unlocking Cornish Potential delivers on its titular promise and pledge; to enable talented individuals the chance to grow and develop their careers and their skills, right here in Cornwall. From grads who want to return home and CUC (Combined Universities in Cornwall) partnership grads who want to stay, to grads who recognise Cornwall’s businesses can offer unrivalled career opportunities in a fantastic place to live, UCP is synonymous with graduate support in Cornwall.
Back in 2001 in Cornwall, there was no broadband coverage and very little higher education. With traditional industries dead or in decline, the trend was for young people to leave the County and Cornwall’s GDP was just 66.7% of the EU average. Fast forward seven years, and at UCP we played our part in improving the picture, as part of the vision of the Combined Universities in Cornwall and with the support of Convergence investment. By 2008, there was 100% broadband coverage, more than 6000 higher education students and young people being attracted to Cornwall to study and work.
UCP has built hugely on these early successes with the first phase of Convergence investment, strengthening and expanding its team to meet stronger demand. In the last three years alone, we have secured:
• 523 graduate placements
• 8 out of 10 graduates gaining permanent employment after their UCP project
• £19,500 average starting salary for graduates
• More than 1800 delegates, (graduates and company colleagues) at UCP training
UCP’s outstanding record with businesses and graduates has secured us a second phase of investment from the European Social Fund (ESF) and European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Using our experience, and working alongside our sister programme Unlocking Potential, we’ve been able to develop the range of other programmes you can read about on this website. All are designed to support business growth and graduate talent, all are delivering a brighter future for Cornwall. The UCP story continues…