W C Rowe, one of the first large-scale Cornish employers, has adopted the soon-to-be-mandatory National Living Wage (NLW) for its workforce.

The company has introduced the changes to all eligible staff, which includes 114 part-time and 118 full-time workers.

W C Rowe made the decision to be an early-adopter of the NLW as part of wider strategy to improve the culture within its business, communications, performance, skill level and delivery in role. It was also aimed at ensuring it attracts and retains the very best employees.

Kerry Lynch, chief executive at WC Rowe, said: “Having the best people is fundamental to our long-term success; we have embraced a cultural focus on having a team of people with improved skills, capability and development opportunity.”

Becci Blackburn, director of resource and development, said: “We are already seeing an increase in people’s interest in the roles that we advertise because we state we are a Living Wage employer.”

From 1 April 2016, the NLW will be a legal requirement, with a compulsory minimum wage premium of £7.20 per hour, aimed at staff over 25 years old.

W C Rowe has 18 of its own retail outlets and five concessions throughout Devon and Cornwall. It supplies major multiples and many independent retailers with branded and own-brand baked goods nationwide.

In December of last year, the founder of EasyRecruitUK, a Glasgow-based recruitment agency for the food and drink and hospitality industries, warned that businesses needed to adopt a “flexible labour mode” ahead of the NLW.