new employment platform, NP11
© Philip Openshaw

The North versus South narrative is currently making headlines – in the middle of the chaos, a coalition of Northern businesses is launching a new employment platform

The North has been more financially impacted by COVID-19 than the South, with an estimated decline of 20.7% in GVA between 2019 and the second fiscal quarter of 2020. With the hard negotiations over, regions like Greater Manchester are waiting to see the impact that Tier 3 restrictions will have on the lives of working people. Job losses in the arts and hospitality sector have been rampant, with many confused about how they will continue to pay their bills and make a living.

Roger Marsh OBE DL, Chair of the NP11 and Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, commented:

“Now more than ever, to achieve a confident North with the skills it needs to thrive, we must work across sectors to build a culture of progression and development in our business that helps both companies and individuals flourish.

“The North will be integral to the future economic recovery and prosperity of the nation. However, our region’s recovery can only be as strong as the economic strength and security of the people living here.”

Real-time vacancies, training courses and apprenticeships

The free-to-use platform, SignedUp Skills, will make it easier for those across the North, who have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, to find new employment and training opportunities in their local area. The website will be a comprehensive resource for accessing real-time vacancies, training courses, and apprenticeships across the region, as well as finding opportunities from throughout the UK.

Employment, apprenticeships, and training courses are among the opportunities to be found on a newly launched website, which is specifically designed to support people in the North who have lost their job as a result of the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The service promises insights into regional industries, along with a way to track which skills are most essential to learn right now for a better employment opportunity. People from across the North begin accessing employment and training opportunities instantly.

Liverpool’s Mayor Joe Anderson described some of the economic devastation facing hospitality-heavy Northern cities:

“We need to find a way to adjust the restrictions to ensure a balance in protecting public health and the need to protect businesses, many of which are teetering on the brink.

“Liverpool is a city which has built its revival on the leisure and hospitality sectors and it is a massive contributor not just to employment but also to business rates which fund vital local services.”

Who created the new employment platform?

The NP11 are a group of 11 Northern local enterprise partnerships, who work primarily to empower the economy of the North. NP11 has partnered with software specialist PDMS, to launch a pilot innovative online service called SignedUp Skills to help those affected. The pilot will continue to the end of 2020, to be extended if it really works to help people.

Chris Gledhill, Managing Director of PDMS, commented:

“Throughout the pandemic, technology has allowed us to stay connected with family, friends, and colleagues. As we enter a new phase of this crisis, we can draw upon our software expertise to now connect people with employment and training opportunities.

“We’re delighted to be partnering with the NP11 in the development of this pilot platform which will have the potential power to transform the lives of its users.”

Get the service here. 


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