Last Tuesday, directors and managers from Rochdale’s Anchor institutions gathered at RBH’s Drake Street Offices to hold a workshop: “Rochdale Jobs: Rochdale People”. Health, leisure, education, local government and housing Anchors were all present.
As the title suggests, the aim of the workshop was to explore what actions Borough Anchors could take to increase opportunities for local residents to gain employment with them. The workshop went further than than just jobs. Jobs have to be good and there also needs to be opportunities for people to gain good skills.
The workshop explored three key themes:
Employing local people – we heard how when recruiting, Rochdale Borough Council now reserves all its Grade 1 to 3 job for residents of Rochdale Borough, only taking non-Rochdalians if local applicants do not have the necessary skills for the job.
Preparing young people for work and lifelong learning – Bridge GM is an important example (run by the Combined Authority and the Local Economic Parternship) of how to grow a large network of business, education and careers professionals to prepare and inspire Greater Manchester’s young people to be ready for the world of work.
Paying the “real” Living Wage – Nationwide 55% of households in poverty are in work. The quality of jobs really matters. The “real” living wage set by the Living Wage Foundation is presently £1.25 / per hour more than the national living wage set by the government and applies to everyone over the age of 18. RBH, Hopwood Hall and Rochdale Borough Council are Living Wage accredited and pay all their employees the “real” living wage.
During the workshop Anchors explored what more they could do individually and collectively to support each of the above three themes. On 19th July at the next Anchor formal meeting, the workshop’s findings and proposed actions will be presented to Anchor leaders for their consideration.