The Greater Manchester Colleges Group is a partnership of 10 Further Education colleges, covering all boroughs across Greater Manchester.
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A formal Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has this week been signed between: Greater Manchester Centre for Voluntary Organisation, Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, Greater Manchester Colleges Group, Greater Manchester Learning Provider Network, The Manchester College and The Manchester Growth Company. For the purposes of this agreement, the organisations will work under the banner of GM Futures.

The signing took place at Elliot House, Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce’s new Head Quarters on Deansgate, Manchester. CLIVE MEMMOTT, Chief Executive of Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, on behalf of all member organisations of GM Futures said:

“Delivering an effective employer-focused skills offer to Greater Manchester businesses is hugely important to the future success of our city region. This strategic partnership gives us real strength and depth to bid for funds to produce top class skills provision for Greater Manchester and I’m really looking forward to working with a large range of businesses of all shapes and sizes to do that. From the Chamber’s perspective we see this as building on the excellent work we have delivered over the last few years on our Employer Ownership of Skills programme. The partnership provides a strong framework for collaboration to ensure a clear and progressive skills offer for individuals, employers and communities across Greater Manchester”

The above MOU has been drawn up to add weight and gain momentum in driving economic growth and prosperity for businesses and individuals across Greater Manchester. The intention is to harness the expertise of the signatory organisations to create a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts and rising to the challenges and opportunities ahead.

Representatives from each organisation have been working together to establish a strategic partnership that will enable a collaborative approach to the European Social Fund (ESF 2014-20) funding opportunities. This work will contribute to the development of a more coherent and effective integrated employment and skills system in Greater Manchester which supports individuals, employers and communities, creating secure and sustainable employment underpinned by accessible and coherent progression routes.

This approach builds on the successful work previously undertaken and lessons learned in delivering the ESF Skills Support for the Workforce programme. The intention is to augment this proven way of working that has brought synergy and improved alignment of other funding streams for the greater good of Greater Manchester.

Along with the opportunities presented by the devolution of powers to the city region, the agreement to create a strategic alliance of the above named partner organisations as GM Futures offers a chance to make a long-lasting positive impact on skills and employment in Greater Manchester.

Each of the signatories to this Memorandum of Understanding has committed to:

GM Futures strategic partnership principles, strategic objectives, governance and management arrangements as set out in this Memorandum of Understanding.
To exclusively support GM ESF 2014-2020 funding applications that GM Futures agrees to bid for. Exclusivity applies to the named partners in GM Futures. Where partners are representative bodies there is no requirement that constituent members of those bodies enter into exclusive arrangements with GM Futures or its designated Lead Accountable Bodies.
Their organisation being profiled as a member of GM Futures Programme Board at events and via a GM Futures website.
Support partnership development activities, meetings and bid development with appropriate representation.