A recent report into the skills and employment created by social housing providers in Greater Manchester has revealed that 10,222 residents have been supported towards employment in the last year.

The annual Skills and Employment report, produced by the Greater Manchester Housing Providers (GMHP) partnership, made up of 26 social housing providers in the region, also reveals that the partnership has supported 1,776 residents into work, employed 420 apprentices and provided online training content to 2,876 residents.

The launch of the report coincides with Living Wage Week 2020. The national awareness week is the annual celebration of the Living Wage movement. This year Living Wage Week will take place Monday 9th to Sunday 15th November 2020, with the new Living Wage rates announced on Monday 9th November.

Many of the GMHP partnership are Living Wage accredited, with a number being amongst the first organisations in the region to commit to the movement.

The real Living Wage is the only UK wage rate that is voluntarily paid by over 6,500 UK businesses who believe their staff deserve a wage which meets everyday needs.

Sandra Coleing, Assistant Chief Executive at Stockport Homes Group and Chair of the GMHP Employment and Skills Group, said: “Uncertain times have led to a fear around rising unemployment and I am incredibly proud of the achievements of the Greater Manchester Housing Providers partnership which have helped to tackle this  – by coming together we have made a big difference to people’s lives and found thousands of local residents a new path to employment.

This ambitious employment report proves how committed we are to creating sustainable jobs that improve people’s well-being and financial security. The report also shows the positive role that social housing providers can have on our society and this is not the end of our journey – whether employment or skills, we will continue to adapt to meet the needs of our residents.”

John's story

John joined Rochdale Boroughwide Housing in August 2019 as an Electrical Apprentice. He had been looking for an apprenticeship to gain the experience he needs to complete his qualification and achieve his goal to become a fully qualified Electrician, John said “it was very stressful looking for an Apprenticeship. Knowing that the average pay is much lower than the Living Wage and that I may have to take a pay cut, and the stress on my household that would come from that.”

As an older apprentice with a family to consider and support John is extremely positive about the Real Living Wage and the enormous difference it has made to him, “My wife and children definitely saw a difference in me when I joined RBH. I owe a lot of that to the fact that we can now go out more and enjoy our family time without worrying if we can afford it. I can take my children out more to farms, beach trips and restaurants with the extra income. These are all things that are made accessible now due to me being paid the Living Wage.”

And the difference extends beyond the impact in his home life, John also feels that receiving the Living Wage contributes to his motivation and achievement at work. “I was extremely lucky to gain an Apprenticeship with RBH. With the Living Wage I am financially secure and that shows in my attitude and well being. I can come into work fresh and ready for the tasks at hand without a worry, and I truly believe it shows in my productivity.” John has completed his NVQ almost 4 months ahead of schedule, even with disruptions caused by Covid 19.

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