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University engages ethical recruitment agency.

27 Nov 2008

One-year pilot project to widen recruitment pool for temporary staff.

As a part of its commitment to the Manchester City South Partnership, The University of Manchester has embarked upon a one-year pilot project with the 'Aspire' recruitment agency to widen the pool from which it recruits temporary staff to include people from local communities.

The Manchester City South Partnership is a new development agency for Manchester which has been established to drive the knowledge economy and create employment opportunities for people resident in the communities immediately adjacent to Oxford Road.

The Partnership includes The University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University, the Central Manchester and Manchester Children's University Hospitals NHS Trust, Manchester City Council and the North West Regional Development Agency. The Manchester City South Partnerships' board is chaired by Professor Alan Gilbert.

'Aspire' is a social and ethical recruitment agency which operates on exactly the same basis as the nationally recognised temporary staff and recruitment agency brands but with a quite different financial model. ‘Aspire’ does not have shareholders and therefore surpluses generated by the agency are used to finance employment and skills programmes, delivered by other arms of the organisation, to assist unemployed people into work. The fees charged to employers for the provision of temporary staff are generally below the market rate.

Some of the people registered with ‘Aspire’ for temporary work are previously unemployed Manchester residents who have completed employability programmes; others may have significant work experience and skills but have been out of work for some reason.
'Aspire' has found that opportunities afforded by temporary work significantly enhance the likelihood of local residents securing long-term, and therefore sustainable, employment. The agency will only register people for temporary work it deems to be job-ready, recognising that to do otherwise is counter-productive.

As part of this pilot programme the University has asked the agency to focus on the communities immediately adjacent to Oxford Road, Ardwick, Rusholme, Moss Side and Hulme; residents of which are poorly represented on the University's workforce. The Directorates of Estates and STARS have already committed to using Aspire alongside existing providers.

The Central Manchester and Manchester Children's University Hospitals NHS Trust and Manchester Metropolitan University are also participating in the pilot.

If you would like to discuss any temporary staffing needs or have any questions about the project you can contact Alan Davies at Aspire directly or speak to the relevant Human Resources team:

If you would like to know more about the Manchester City South Partnership, please contact: