Ian Watkiss

Growth Connector

Originally from Stoke-on-Trent I swapped city life for the blue seas of Cornwall in 2002. Following roles in Supported Housing and the economic development department of North Cornwall District Council my career moved into the training, development and employment field as I worked as a Learning and Skills Broker for Devon and Cornwall Connexions. Here I had the hugely rewarding role of assisting young people to find in-work training to bolster future prospects whilst advising employers on vocational training. I was also a Careers Advisor and an Employability Skills Tutor and gained a Level 4 Advice, Information & Guidance qualification.

Most recently I have been supporting individuals with disabilities and long term health issues into employment and training through the DWP Work Choice Programme.

Away from work I am to be found at my happiest at the Glastonbury Festival, always seeking to push the boundaries of just how groovy a person can be in mud caked wellies!

My perfect day involves: being woken up early in my tent by birdsong and going on a long walk in stunning countryside with my wife, followed by stopping off in a country pub to reward ourselves for all that exercise and fresh air with a hearty meal and a couple of pints.

Local businesses that I salute: I’m always in awe of local entrepreneurs who show real creativity, commitment and energy in bringing their ideas and passions into reality.  People with the guts to follow their instincts and can demonstrate real intuition as to when they need support from others, appreciating the bigger picture.

Most useful training course I’ve been on: a course on developing interactions with young people during my time at Devon and Cornwall Connexions.  It was packed full of brilliant theory and really useful practical guidance on the best ways to help an individual to essentially get to the bottom of their problems and to find a way through them.  What made it great training was that everything it involves actually works and has formed the cornerstone for my ongoing love of all things advice and guidance – of which I am very much a self-confessed geek.