Local businesses, schools, colleges and employment support agencies are urged to sign up to a free matching service, which will help them to forge lasting, mutually beneficial partnerships with other agencies.
Designed to introduce organisations who either want help, or can offer help to other agencies, Manchester City Council’s SNAP service allows education and learning providers to improve the offer they provide to their students – and makes life easy for local employers who are looking to put something back into their community, while strengthening their links with educators and trainers to help develop their own talent pool.
Interested businesses, education and employment support providers are invited to register at www.manchester.gov.uk/snap. Once registered, they will be matched with other organisations who could benefit from working with them.
While the precise make-up of the partnership is up to the organisations involved to determine, it could involve, for example, a new link-up between a school and a college, work experience placements, a business offering mentoring sessions, or delivering talks and activities to give learners a flavour of what it is like to work in a particular sector.
For schools, colleges and trainers, building strong relationships with employers helps to provide an enriched offer for learners, with career talks or work experience leading to increased motivation and attendance, plus increased awareness of career opportunities.
Councillor Sue Murphy, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “Through SNAP, we want to ensure that Manchester residents of all ages benefit from suitable learning opportunities, while giving employers the chance to strengthen their ties with the local community and help create the kind of workers they need for their future growth.”
Around 150 people attended a launch event for SNAP at the Etihad Stadium on Monday 31 March, with 32 learning organisations and 35 employers pledging to sign up to the service.
The keynote speech was given by Sir Howard Bernstein, Manchester City Council’s chief executive, with other speakers including local employers Wates Living Space and the Royal Exchange Theatre.
Lee Sale, Regional Business Director for Wates Living Space, said: “As a local employer, we believe that it is our responsibility to help equip school-leavers with the skills and knowledge to find full-time employment post-education.
“We know the value of hands-on experience and have been working closely with St Matthew’s RC High School for the past three years to deliver vocational activities that support the traditional curriculum and, hopefully, inspire young people to work in the construction industry.
“This is one of the ways in which we support the communities that we work in, boost our profile as a responsible employer and ultimately attract new talent to the business. We wholeheartedly encourage other employers to do the same.”
Fiona Gasper, Executive Director, Royal Exchange Theatre, said: “The cultural sector in the city is committed to Manchester and its young people and we work in partnership with the education sector to offer many different ways for young people to get involved in our activities as active participants.
“This work can help unlock creative potential, contribute to learning and personal and social development, and change the way young people see themselves and what they aspire to in the future.”