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Employability Partners

Posted By Tracy Fishwick, Transform Lives, 21 April 2017

Can a Peoples Powerhouse better support people into work?

By Tracy Fishwick of Transform Lives

Personally, I’ve never been convinced by arguments that economic growth always benefits everybody in a community. Lots of studies have shown that not to be the case, as has my own first-hand experience as Managing Director of Liverpool based Transform Lives.

The aim of our organisation is to transform peoples’ lives and communities through coaching, training, and consultancy. We have expertise in areas such as designing and mobilising volunteer and employment programmes, supporting people and groups with their health and wellbeing, and delivering employability training through our Positive Workology modules.

My interest in good growth and a Northern Powerhouse about people regeneration as well as place regeneration in the North of England is how I came to be one of the team involved in organizing the upcoming Peoples Powerhouse event in Doncaster next month (May 9). 

Other people on the core group are Jo Miller, Chief Executive at Doncaster Council; Barbara Spicer from Plus Dane Housing, and regional and national bodies such as SOLACE, LGA and North West Employers. 

One of the things I learned early in my career was that relying on inward investment and physical regeneration to deliver economic growth for all doesn’t work - that model is broken. The people we really want to benefit from new jobs often are the people who continually miss out. We only need to look at areas of massive regeneration in the North to see real examples, where money and opportunity made little difference to someone who was already long term unemployed. 

We’re very much hoping that as many interested groups, people and organisations as possible will make the trip to Doncaster on May 9 and contribute to discussions on how we can deliver a North that benefits everyone - particularly those people who might not have benefited from economic growth in recent times, or can’t see the relevance of the Northern Powerhouse as a concept to them and their lives.

We want to include all sectors and sections of the community and this includes harnessing the combined skills and leverage of the public sector, voluntary, community and civic leaders, and businesses. It absolutely means hearing from the employability sector, those of us who see the consequences of a lack of social inclusion on a daily basis.

We’ve been overwhelmed by the interest and offers of support. We’re starting with the Doncaster event, but that’s certainly not the end of the conversation or the change that we want to bring about. We hope you can join us on May 9, and help work with us to shape a People’s Powerhouse we all benefit from and are proud to be part of. 

IEP Chairman Scott Parkin FIEP said ‘Helping to support people who are just starting their, what can be, long journey to employment requires a great deal of skill, compassion, empathy and understanding. These are traits of a large number of employment support professionals who do a fantastic job up and down the country, helping to turn around peoples’ lives every single day. The IEP is dedicated to supporting those people who support others gain work, progress in work and retain work, in whatever setting they provide that support from, whether it is private sector employment and skills organisations, Jobcentre Plus or other sector settings such as housing, skills and justice. We wholeheartedly encourage employability professionals to get involved in this event to look at the issues that really matter and to find solutions that really make a difference.’

To get involved in the People’s Powerhouse email Tracy Fishwick at

To register to attend visit

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