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GC Employment Update: October 2023

  • Thursday, October 19, 2023
GCE Update October23
  • Over the past few months, the Growth Company (GC) has announced several new contracts, hosted a unique event, and been recognised by two respected awards bodies.  
  • In August and September, we launched the Refugee Employability Programme (REP) across Yorkshire and the Humber, Jobs for Hongkongers in the North West, and Working Well: Individual Placement and Support in Primary Care in Manchester (WW IPSPC).
  • We also hosted an ‘Empowering Your Business with Migrant Talent’ event and were shortlisted at the Employment Related Services Association (ERSA) Employability Awards and Sheffield Community Awards.

It has been another busy few months for the Growth Company’s employment services team, from new contract announcements and programme launches to packed events and awards nominations.

Here is a brief overview of what we have been up to.

Refugee Employability Programme

In August, we launched the Refugee Employability Programme across Yorkshire and the Humber, with well attended events in Rotherham, Sheffield, and Leeds.

Commissioned by the Home Office, REP aims to help refugees into sustained employment. To achieve this goal, we match participants with a dedicated case worker (often with lived experience and/or fluency in community languages), who provides practical support and a learning plan tailored to each individual. This includes assistance with language and employability skills, work experience opportunities, and community integration.

We also work closely with employers in different industries to make sure that refugees are factored into recruitment strategies across the region.

To find out more, visit the REP Yorkshire website and read our review of the launch events.

Jobs for Hongkongers

In September, we unveiled Jobs for Hongkongers. The initiative, which builds on the success of United for Ukraine, is funded by the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) through a regional and national VCSE grant. It aims to help Hong Kong BN(O) nationals in the North West of England into sustained employment.

Hongkongers in the region are now able to search a wide range of job vacancies across different sectors – including full-time and part-time roles – on our purpose-built bilingual website. All listed positions have been submitted by employers that have pledged to promote an inclusive and supportive working environment.

If you are a Hong Kong BN(O) national in the North West and you are interested in learning more about the support services we offer or browsing available vacancies, visit the Jobs for Hongkongers website.

If you are an employer or employment support provider in the North West and want to get involved in the initiative, contact us today.

Working Well: Individual Placement and Support in Primary Care

A week or so later, we were pleased to announce that we had won the contract to deliver the Working Well: Individual Placement and Support in Primary Care initiative across all ten boroughs of Greater Manchester.

Initiated by Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and funded by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), the initiative aims to help adults with physical and/or mental health disabilities into – or back into – sustained employment. WW IPSPC follows the “place, train, and maintain” model.

This means prioritising flexible one-to-one support for individual participants, from guidance on how to write a CV and apply for jobs to bespoke career advice and follow-up assistance once paid work has been secured or resumed. It also involves direct and ongoing engagement with employers to produce the best possible outcomes.

Go to our website to learn more. 

Migrant Talent Event

At the end of September, the Growth Company and North West Regional Strategic Migration Partnership hosted the very first ‘Empowering Your Business with Migrant Talent’ event in Manchester.

Over 100 people attended, including representatives from many forward-thinking businesses across the North West, who had the chance to network and join important conversations on addressing talent challenges, overcoming skills shortages, and achieving diversity and social value goals.

The event included an emotive session hosted by Marianna Vaszilyiv, Project Coordinator for United for Ukraine, as well as a panel session on best practice for employers.

Read our roundup of the day’s outcomes.

Award Nominations

More recently, we were delighted to learn that we had been shortlisted at the ERSA Employability Awards and Sheffield Community Awards.

The ERSA Employability Awards – which will be held at Park Plaza Westminster Bridge, London, on 28th November – recognise exceptional performance, dedication, and creativity in the employment support sector. The finalists were chosen by an independent panel of industry experts from more than 300 entries across twelve categories.

Kim Walker, an experienced senior services manager who oversees GC’s provision of the Restart Scheme in Greater Manchester, has been nominated in the Frontline Manager of the Year category. This award celebrates inspirational managers who encourage and support their teams to achieve excellent performance, benefitting customers and meeting challenging targets.

Meanwhile, the GC Employment Central Support Functions Team has been selected for the Behind the Scenes Award, which commends teams or individuals that support frontline services such as IT, service design, and research.

The Sheffield Community Awards, run by Voluntary Action Sheffield (VAS), celebrate the collective spirit, achievements, and resilience of local communities in the region, from volunteers and voluntary organisations to charities and faith groups.

Our United for Ukraine initiative has been nominated for the Employment and Skills Award, which rewards individuals or organisations who have helped others realise their potential through learning, confidence, skills, or employment.

The winner will be announced at the awards ceremony held at Cutlers Hall, Sheffield, on 2nd November.

Present and Future Opportunities

Reflecting on the past few months, Michelle Leeson, Managing Director of GC Employment, said: “Our employment offering keeps going from strength to strength. There are countless opportunities from which individuals and employers can benefit if they have access to the right information and support – which we can provide.

“GC Employment helps people from all walks of life, and companies in a range of sectors, to find the jobs or candidates that suit their needs and maximise their potential.”

Get In Touch

The Growth Company is an award-winning social enterprise with a mission to generate growth, create jobs, and improve lives. We offer employment services across Greater Manchester, the Liverpool City Region, Lancashire, Cheshire, and Yorkshire and Humber.

Get in touch today to find out more.