GM housing consortium clinches skills contract

Several housing associations across Greater Manchester have secured a contract worth a minimum of £353,000 to deliver accredited employment, training and placement opportunities.

The Skills for Employment programme will be delivered through a supply chain, administered by the Skills Funding Agency and funded by the Local Growth Fund and European Social Fund.

The contract will be managed by the Manchester Growth Company on behalf of the SFA, following MGC’s successful bid for the contract. The skills and placement offer within the contract has been prepared by a strategic alliance of housing providers known as Manchester Athena, and will be led by One Manchester. It is the first time that Greater Manchester housing providers have come together to deliver such a programme.

This particular contract involves the following Greater Manchester Housing Providers: One Manchester, Bolton at Home, First Choice Homes Oldham, ForViva (City West Housing Trust & Villages Housing Association), New Charter Housing Trust, Northwards Housing, Stockport Homes, Symphony Housing, Wigan & Leigh Homes, Wythenshawe Community Housing Group.

Dave Power, chief executive of One Manchester, said: “This is an excellent opportunity for Manchester Athena and One Manchester to demonstrate that the term ‘housing association’ can be fairly deceptive. Manchester Athena delivers much more than housing alone and we’re absolutely delighted that our quality, consistency and ability to deliver, has been recognised by MGC and the Skills Funding Agency through this bid.

“The work placements and skills accreditations that will take place as a result of this programme will help to improve the chances of employment for more than 800 people. The wider contract of the Growth Company and other partners will reach thousands of Greater Manchester residents.  It is therefore a unique chance to really transform people’s lives and we will be working tirelessly to ensure this is the case and that the best outcomes are achieved.”

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