The Works

Skills and employment levels in some of our local communities are among the lowest in the UK.

Key impacts

  • Over 5,000 residents placed into work over the last ten years.
  • Estimated £80.4 million of social and economic value a year.
  • Over 500 residents trained in entry-level qualifications by the Construction Academy.
  • Thousands of unemployed residents connected with hundreds of employers through job fairs each year.
  • Hundreds of businesses supported to recruit locally and to diversify their workforces.

We’re helping to address this through The Works – an innovative employment and training initiative at the heart of our local communities.

The University of Manchester is one of the region’s largest employers and we want to improve job opportunities for local residents.

A key aim for the University is to play a role in transforming life chances in our community by supporting unemployed people back into work. This is achieved through a partnership with the Growth Company, an award-winning social enterprise with a mission to enable growth, create jobs, and improve lives in Greater Manchester.

The partnership between the University and the Growth Company is well established, and in 2012 both partners invested in the creation of The Works.

The Works has and continues to provide thousands of people with access to advice, work-related training and job opportunities – both at the University and with a host of other partner employers. This facility is unique in British higher education and is the only employer-led employment and skills facility in the North West of England.

Many of the University’s non-academic vacancies are filled through The Works. Recruiting managers – covering areas such as the University’s estates, and catering and hospitality – have worked with the Growth Company to design training courses that provide unemployed residents with the specific skillsets needed to carry out the job roles available. This training means local candidates are more likely to succeed and increases productivity from day one.

The Construction Academy

The Works was first established next to Alexandra Park in the neighbouring Moss Side area but moved to Ardwick in 2019. The decision to move was taken in order to locate the service within the heart of the campus development and was carried out by large construction contractors.

As part of the development, the University insisted the construction companies employed a good number of local residents. The Works developed a Construction Academy, which trained local, unemployed residents in occupations needed by the contractors. This training resulted in many residents finding work on local sites and helped the University and its contractors to fulfil the social value objectives they’d agreed to as part of the multi-million-pound investment in the estate.

The Construction Academy continues to train residents wanting to enter the construction industry and works with contractors around Greater Manchester to give those residents access to jobs and apprenticeships.

In simple terms, The Works makes jobs more accessible for local people and gives residents the skills needed by the University as it grows and continuously improves its offering for students.

Making a difference in Manchester

Find out more about how The Works is making a difference in Manchester in the video below: