A successful partnership has been forged between HMP Manchester, which is one of the prisons in which Novus operates, and local manufacturer Duo UK.
It’s a little known fact that HMP Manchester has had a thriving print industry churning away within its red brick walls since 2011. Duo UK is a hugely successful packaging company, reflected in its £25 million turnover. The Manchester-based business manufactures and supplies bespoke packaging products for the retail, e-tail and industrial markets.
HMP Manchester needed to build relationships and share good practice with partners and external agencies, and also to increase opportunities for employment for offenders on release. Duo UK needed a method of assessing its staff and awarding a qualification to mark their high level of expertise.
The catalyst for this entrepreneurial reaction was Novus's employment broker for the North West, Gary Spann, who brought both parties to the negotiating table and delivered an education-based solution. Gary approached Duo UK to learn what skills manufacturers are looking for when recruiting new team members. The information shaped the course content for the City and Guilds NVQ Diploma in Performing Manufacturing Operations.
Gary and representatives of HMP Manchester visited Duo UK to look at how they work 'in the real world'. The course content was then formulated, agreed and the course went live, allowing Duo UK staff and learners from Novus and HMP Manchester to achieve an industry-recognised qualification.