Bodmin-based pasty company Proper Cornish has joined a new recruitment scheme, exclusive to Cornwall, which helps graduates get jobs in local businesses.

The scheme, known as Unlocking Cornish Potential (UCP), is a Combined Universities in Cornwall partnership project, managed by Cornwall College and part-funded by EU social and economic programme Objective One, under its European Social Fund (ESF). The project aims to assist businesses like Proper Cornish to improve efficiency, competitiveness and growth. The scheme enables companies to recruit graduates for particular areas of their business that need development.

Proper Cornish has already used the scheme to recruit three new members of staff – Lucy Atherton, Jo Balchin and Alison Green. Ms Balchin is carrying out market research that, without extra funding and support from UCP, could not take place. Ms Atherton is developing sales relationships and Ms Green is assisting the technical team with a salt- and fat-lowering programme, which endeavours to reduce the salt and fat levels across the company’s range of pasties, without affecting quality.

The intention of the scheme is to improve small local companies like Proper Cornish and, in turn, have a positive knock-on effect on the local economy and community.

Managing director of Proper Cornish Phil Ugalde says: “The UCP scheme is a great way to invest in the local area and helps businesses like ours to undertake crucial development. A business like this is part of a huge network of other businesses, so by enabling us to grow and prosper, we will also be able to help the companies we work with.”

Ms Atherton, marketing and sales manager, comments: “I assumed the opportunities in the south west would be relatively limited, so when I heard about UCP and discovered the quality of projects on offer to me, I jumped at the chance to get involved.”

Ms Balchin says: “My role at Proper Cornish is extremely challenging and, in particular, the research area I am focusing on has huge business benefits.”

Proper Cornish is a handmade Cornish pasty manufacturer which has been making pasties for 18 years.