Procure Plus Brokers Local Employment Opportunities With Salix Homes
Published by Procure Plus for Procure Plus in Housing and also in Communities
Salix tenant, Michael Davidson
Salix Homes residents in Salford are being given a life-changing opportunity thanks to a pioneering sustainable employment scheme developed by North West procurement consortium, Procure Plus.
The scheme, which is the first of its kind in the area, has been created to give local residents who have been struggling to get back into work access to new training and employment. The opportunities have been geared towards tenants from three different backgrounds - ex-offenders, long-term unemployed and young people not in education, employment or training (NEET).
The residents will work within the housing association’s existing teams for a minimum of 12 months, completing recognised vocational qualifications as well as being coached and mentored by their peers.
To date, three Salix Homes tenants have been employed by the housing provider using Procure Plus’ ‘Brokerage Model’ and a further six will be appointed by March 2014.
Kate Parker, community investment and training manager at Procure Plus, explained: “As part of any contract, we work with our members and contractors to create two training and employment opportunities for every £1 million spent through our regeneration frameworks. These are provided by the contractors on our frameworks and are funded by a transparent levy placed on all goods and services procured through us.
“Yet wanting to take this a step further, we created the Brokerage Model which accumulates all levy monies generated above and beyond those needed to fund these regular activities. We then work with members who have generated this extra cash to create ways for it to be reinvested in their communities for maximum effect.”
As part of the Brokerage Model approach, Procure Plus works with Salix Homes to give best practice advice on funding its scheme and helps the housing provider access further funding streams to support the project. Procure Plus also supports Salix Homes in recruitment, mentoring and coaching of each candidate throughout the initial training scheme, and in finding their next roles.
To ensure the scheme has the best possible long term impact, the organisations are also beginning to develop robust relationships with local employers to create a pool of opportunities for those graduating from the scheme.
Sue Sutton, director of customer and neighbourhood services, Salix Homes, said: “This new scheme extends the reach of the regeneration activity we can support through Procure Plus and helps us to develop local talent.
“It’s already proven its success as the first three apprentices have now independently applied for their next roles - a huge step which has been made possible by the help and support they’ve received throughout their apprenticeships.”
Kate concluded: “By looking at the funding and models we have at our disposal in a different way, we have worked with Salix Homes to create a scheme that truly helps tenants both now and in the longer term. We hope that our success to date and proven community impact will offer an example of best practice that will encourage other social housing providers to develop new ways of supporting their local communities.”
For more information about Procure Plus, please visit www.procure-plus.com