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The University scoops another national award for The Works

31 May 2016

The University has won a national prize for The Works, our ground-breaking employment and skills initiative

We were the only university shortlisted in any category of the prestigious ‘Guardian Sustainable Business Awards’, winning the Social Impact Award which gives recognition to an initiative: “that seeks to solve a challenging social issue while simultaneously creating shared value for the organisation.”

Since it was set up in 2011, The Works has helped 3,000 local people to find a job, the vast majority of whom were previously unemployed.  It has achieved this by providing training and support to enable local people to access temporary and permanent jobs with the University and other local employers.

People have been supported into work across the University in administrative, catering and house services roles.  It is the only initiative of its kind in the higher education sector and one of only a handful nationally in any sector.

The Works operates through a unique partnership between the University, the Manchester Growth Company (MGC) and other employers.  It also seeks to embed the University more firmly in its host communities through having a much greater proportion of local residents becoming part of the University‘s own workforce and thereby having a direct stake in the University’s success. 

The Works is also a key partner in The University of Manchester Construction Academy which has been developed to support the three major construction businesses Laing O’Rourke, Balfour Beatty and Sir Robert McAlpine to deliver skills training and job outcomes on the University’s £1bn Campus Masterplan.

In addition, working with other employers such as Greater Manchester Police has meant that The Works is now a portal to other employers.

Steve Grant, Assistant Director of Human Resources at The University of Manchester, who devised and leads The Works said: “During the past five years this programme has positioned the University as an employer of choice both amongst those communities which are our neighbours and as far afield as Wigan and Chester. 

“We intend to build on this success by working closely with other employers across Greater Manchester to create new opportunities, particularly in communities where worklessness continues to blight the lives of residents. To this end we are about to embark upon a major recruitment exercise with Amazon for its new distribution centre in Wythenshawe.

“The success of The Works is a direct result not only of the University’s commitment to raising skill levels and thereby reducing worklessness, but also the unique partnership with MGC which is the key delivery agent for many of the interventions we have developed.”

The Works also won the Outstanding Contribution to the Community in the 2013 Times Higher Education Awards, was runner-up in the 2016 Guardian Higher Education Awards and is shortlisted in the Innovation category in the 2016 Greater Manchester Skills for Business Awards.