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Helping businesses in the Valleys to stay competitive

19 January 2009

Cardiff University’s Centre for Lifelong Learning has teamed up with the Heads of the Valleys Innovation Programme (HOViP) to equip businesses in the South Wales Valleys with essential skills to help them survive in a time of economic difficulty.

Cardiff is the first Higher Education institution to partner the Heads of the Valleys Innovation Programme in an effort to bring relevant, partially subsidized training provision to a target audience of businesses, including social enterprises, in the boroughs of Caerphilly, Blaenau Gwent, Merthyr Tydfil, Rhondda Cynon Taff and Torfaen.

Clare Sinclair, Business Development Manager in Cardiff Centre for Lifelong Learning, said: "In a recession the training budget is usually one of the first to go, especially for smaller businesses. Our courses respond to local business need and the funding offered by the Heads of the Valleys Innovation Programme will enable more businesses to access them during this difficult time."

Two courses are being offered to help delegates develop skills which are essential to local businesses, especially in this difficult trading time. Sales for Non-Sales Persons is a highly practical one-day training course aimed at people who could benefit from understanding the sales process and the basic skills required to sell successfully.

Media Relations is a course offering a concise introduction to the basics of professional and effective media relations. It is suitable for those who wish to gain more confidence and professionalism in developing positive relationships with the media.

Phil Burkhard, Heads of the Valleys Innovation Programme Manager, commented: "In these challenging economic times we are delighted to be working with Cardiff University to make relevant training courses more accessible to the business community in the Valleys. This includes courses that will be run at venues in the region as well as in Cardiff. It is a practical and exciting development that we are keen to build-upon."

The Open for Business Programme at the Centre for Lifelong Learning offers professional development courses in a range of subject areas. For more information about available courses, visit or telephone 029 2087 5274.


Note to editors

1. For further details visit or contact Katie McDermott at , Tel: (029)2087 4638.

2.Cardiff Centre for Lifelong Learning

Cardiff University is the largest provider of adult education in Wales. It offers professional development courses for local employers, many of which are custom made to suit an individual company’s needs. It also provides 700 part time adult learning courses in more than 100 venues across South East Wales, covering an area of population of more than one and a half million.

3.Cardiff University

Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities and is a member of the Russell Group of the UK’s most research intensive universities. Among its academic staff are two Nobel Laureates, including the winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize for Medicine, Professor Sir Martin Evans.

Founded by Royal Charter in 1883, today the University combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s breadth of expertise in research and research-led teaching encompasses: the humanities; the natural, physical, health, life and social sciences; engineering and technology; preparation for a wide range of professions; and a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning.

Visit the University website at:


Heads of the Valleys Innovation Programme (HOVIP) aims to increase the capacity for innovation in businesses in the region. Phase 1 was KEF ESF Funded and hosted by Merthyr Tydfil College. HOVIP2 is supported by the Welsh Assembly Government HoV Regeneration initiative and is hosted by Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council.

Visit the HOViP website at:

For further information contact:

Kelly Cumiskey
Cardiff Centre for Lifelong Learning
Senghennydd Road
CF24 4AG

Tel: 029 2087 9330

Jessica Kelly,
Public Relations Office,
Cardiff University.

Tel: 029 2087 0995