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Lauren Bennett and Philippa Iwnicki
The Inspiring Change Manchester (ICM) programme has aimed to improve outcomes, including employability, for people experiencing multiple disadvantage in Manchester. This…
The Inspiring Change Manchester (ICM) programme has aimed to improve outcomes, including employability, for people experiencing multiple disadvantage in Manchester. This paper aims to compare learning from the ICM partnership with wider literature to demonstrate what helps people with experience of multiple disadvantage to achieve training, volunteering or work outcomes and what may prevent this.
Semi-structured interviews with people with experience of multiple disadvantage and employers in Manchester working with this group were thematically analysed, and the findings were compared to wider literature, previous ICM research and programme data. The primary research took a peer research approach. Peer researchers co-designed the topic guides, co-facilitated interviews where possible and helped to identify key themes.
Entering and succeeding in training, volunteering and/ or paid work has many positive impacts for people experiencing multiple disadvantage. Ongoing and better awareness raising will be key for more individuals to benefit from such pathways, alongside accessible recruitment processes. Continuous personal and professional development opportunities are important to positive experiences, as is organisational culture. Short-term contracts arose as an issue in the research, more needs to be done to support people with experience of multiple disadvantage into secure work.
Although there is a range of literature on good practice and challenges to enable people to engage in training or employment, this often focuses on a particular characteristic or need, rather than experiences of people facing a combination of interrelated needs. This paper also includes first-person lived experience voice, rather than this perspective being interpreted through a particular lens.