July saw the regular joint Trafford Council and GM Chamber’s Trafford Park Business Network take place at Hotel Football in Old Trafford. As well as the usual itinerary of networking and presentations, the event was also host to the new University Academy UA92 and property business Bruntwood officially signing the Trafford Pledge.
Proceedings started with a welcome from Graham Dixon, Group Director of Esprit Warehousing and Docks, who was host for the morning. The first speaker was Simon Guy, Interim Principal of UA92, who went on to describe the formation and intentions of the new Academy.
Next to present was Jane Keys, Director of Apprenticeships, Trafford College. Jane went into detail about the role of apprenticeships in terms of the modern business community. She then went on to describe the specific offering from Trafford College. This led on naturally to the next presentation – Richard Waggott, Apprenticeship Development Manager, Manchester Metropolitan University. Richard went into detail about the structure of degree level apprenticeships and how they can be actioned to nurture talent within businesses, saving significant amounts of funding for both businesses and students alike by leveraging the new levy on larger businesses.
After a question and answer session Graham then organised a business card draw, where 10 businesses each presented a 60 second elevator pitch to the room. Councillor Andrew Western, Leader of Trafford Council, also gave a short speech on the signing of the pledge, and the exciting investment into Trafford of the new University Campus. The event then moved on to the actual signing of the Trafford Pledge by Bruntwood and UA92.
The new University Academy (UA92) co-founded by Gary Neville and the Class of 92 and local property company, Bruntwood, are the latest businesses to sign the Trafford Pledge, supporting local people into employment and training.
The new University Academy will open its doors to students in September 2019 and has pledged to support local employment, both through their own recruitment and also through their contractors. UA92 will work closely with Trafford Pledge partners; Trafford Council, Trafford College, and the Department for Work and Pensions to ensure new job roles are promoted locally and create opportunities to help support people back into work. Alongside this UA92 will be working with partners to create non-traditional routes into the University. The new campus will be built on the site of the old Kelloggs building adjacent to Emirates Old Trafford.
Bruntwood will be delivering the construction of the new UA92 University campus, and have pledged to identify jobs and apprenticeships suitable for local Trafford residents both within the UA92 contract and other developments in the Trafford area.
They will put out the construction of the University to tender to ensure that the principles of the Trafford Pledge agreement are built into any contracts, not just for UA92 but for other developments in Trafford as well. The overlying principles are:-
- To support recruitment of local Trafford talent wherever possible.
- Achieve maximum coverage of employment opportunities locally.
- To work towards a proportion (to be determined) of the jobs with Bruntwood or their supply chain on developments including the construction of UA92 to be from the local population.
- Support the development of new apprenticeship opportunities where possible for local residents.
The Trafford Pledge
The Trafford Pledge started in Partington in April 2013 as a response to the high number of long term unemployed young people in the area. The idea was simple; to match the 85 unemployed young people in the area with the 150 businesses to help support them into work. A partnership was formed between Trafford Council, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and Trafford College to deliver the Pledge and local businesses were invited to sign up to offer any one or more of the following; a job; an apprenticeship; work experience or practical support.
During the first six months the businesses that signed up helped move half the young people into work, saving over £100k in out of work benefits. The Pledge now covers the whole of Trafford and focuses on supporting people who are disadvantaged in the labour market such as; NEET young people (Not Engaged in Education, Employment or Training); Care Leavers; Army veterans; people with a health condition or people with complex needs. To date over 1500 people have been supported into work through the Trafford Pledge and over 50 businesses have now signed up including Laing O’Rourke, Cartwrights, Cargil, Hotel Football, Wilmott Dixon Partnership, Amey and Peel.