Bruntwood among first to sign Greater Manchester's Good Employment Charter

Jennifer Atkins, People Director at Bruntwood

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Bruntwood has become one of the first leaders to sign Greater Manchester’s Good Employment Charter, launched by Mayor Andy Burnham to transform working lives across the city.

We’re proud to be one of the first employers to sign Greater Manchester’s Good Employment Charter, helping to transform the working lives of people across the city and unlock economic potential through skills and talent.

Launched by Mayor Andy Burnham, the Charter encourages businesses to treat colleagues well, consult with them, and offer flexible working as well as training and routes for career progression and development. The Good Employment Charter sets out seven key principles for its members to demonstrate excellence. The principles include: secure and flexible work; paying the real living wage; promoting engagement and colleagues’ voices, and strength in diverse recruitment and people management practices; and prioritising health and wellbeing.

It provides an opportunity to drive change and shape the working lives of our city’s inhabitants, helping Greater Manchester become a hub of world-leading talent and productivity.
As a founding member of the Charter and a key player in Greater Manchester and the North, we are committed to supporting the development of our people to enable them to be the best versions of themselves, and to continuously strive for improvement in our culture and people practices.

Our commitment to creating thriving cities has always shaped what we do at Bruntwood. We believe that everything we do should act as a catalyst for growth in our regions, which is why we are fully immersed in our cities’ ecosystems, both culturally and economically. Earlier this year, we set out to explore what our customers, our colleagues, our communities and everyone in between think makes a city thrive. We gathered insights from the public and experts, and the common threads centred around people with a sense of passion and purpose, good business and plentiful opportunities. What we're learning from our research will help guide our action and investment into supporting the creation of jobs that have a long lasting, positive impact on individuals and the cities. As ambassadors of good employment that help create vibrant cities, we will continue to share our knowledge and best practice with other companies throughout the region and carry these values into our local communities.

At the launch of the Charter, Mayor Andy Burnham outlined what it strives to achieve: “We want to support our world-leading businesses, helping them to grow and invest in our places, while at the same time making sure our residents develop the skills to succeed and find good, secure jobs that pay a real living wage.

“This Good Employment Charter is a major step towards making sure that new and existing jobs right across our city region are underpinned by a commitment to equality, fair pay, and giving employees a say in how their workplaces are run.”

What are we doing?

At the heart of everything we do is our purpose to unlock the true potential in people. As a diverse and inclusive workplace it’s hugely important we reflect the wonderfully diverse, inclusive, rich and vibrant communities we work and live in and that we all enjoy. By leading the charge in creating diverse and inclusive workforces, we can in turn have a positive impact on local communities and contribute to a thriving economy.

Right from the beginning, we have worked to the principle that our success is down to our colleagues. And in return, we want to be able to offer the opportunity to learn and grow, take their career in new directions, and find a balance that works for them; which is exactly what the Charter sets out to achieve. We pride ourselves on an inclusive culture -making sure all of our colleagues inform the way our business is run, and the work we do. This way, we are the torchbearers for the workplace of the future, with engagement and social impact at the forefront of everything we do.

Our working environment promotes wellbeing, agility and flexibility, ensuring our colleagues are supported, motivated and engaged to succeed. We nurture the next generation of talent through our longstanding history of apprenticeships and graduate schemes, helping individuals to learn, grow and pursue their passions. In addition, we offer colleagues the opportunity to take up learning loans which can be used to either learn something new, such as a new instrument or language, or take part in a course that is related to a colleague’s role.

Not only do we focus on providing the best working environment for our teams, we are committed to bringing about real change in our local communities. Our talented teams care deeply about the world around us, and our Bruntwood Cares programme allows our colleagues to spend up to 24 hours a year volunteering. Last year alone, our staff volunteered more than 2,800 hours, equating to more than £23,000 when measured at the UK minimum wage, on supporting local community projects, from helping school leavers with CV writing and interview techniques to renovating community health centres. Just one example of this is our support for UpRising, a programme which helps young people from diverse backgrounds connect with career pathways, by coaching them in interview techniques and job application skills. Its participants have gone on to secure jobs in world-renowned companies, move onto education and start businesses. In addition, Bruntwood also runs an Insight Week, inviting colleagues’ friends and families to experience working life at Bruntwood.

Becoming founder members of the Greater Manchester Good Employment Charter is a huge achievement for our business - not just in recognising how much we acknowledge the importance of our people and the efforts we put into making Bruntwood a great place to work, but it’s also in recognition of the social impact and value we offer to our local communities. It underpins our commitment to understand what makes a thriving city and use this to drive everything we do.

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