“To change the conversation, we have to change who is part of it”

Can a People's Powerhouse better support people into work?

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 that is 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 first People's Powerhouse event. 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 learnt early on 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 the money and opportunity made little difference to someone who was already long-term unemployed.

We want to include all sectors and sections of the community in the development of the People's Powerhouse. This includes harnessing the combined skills and leverage of the public sector, voluntary, community, civic leaders and business. 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, starting with the Doncaster event, but that’s certainly not the end of the conversation or the change we want to bring about.

To get involved in the People’s Powerhouse email Tracy Fishwick at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Read our latest guest blogs here or search for them by subject on the menu below. We are always looking for guest contributors for our blogs so if you’ve got something to say please email with a brief synopsis of what you’d like to write about and how it relates to our our five pillars of change.

* These blogs are a collection of thoughts and opinions from people living or working in the North. The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author, and not necessarily to the People's Powerhouse.




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Federation House
2 Federation Street
Manchester  M4 4BF

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