Manchester City Council: My Future ILM

(2013 – ongoing)

Manchester City Council (MCC) began their My Future ILM programme back in 2013 with a view to giving NEET young people across Manchester the support they needed to move into paid employment. They used their role as a procurer for large public sector contracts to ensure those on the programme had access to high quality employers.


  • Manchester has a population of NEET young people that struggle to access employment through traditional routes.
  • MCC started their My Future ILM programme, a pre-employment programme followed by a three-month paid placement with a trusted employer, to support NEET young people in Manchester into employment by removing their individual barriers to work.
  • MCC identified an opportunity to bring large-scale trusted local employers into the My Future ILM programme through introducing a social value requirement for tenders to employ a number of staff through the programme.
  • The programme has successfully enabled hundreds of NEET young people to attain permanent paid work with quality employers including several organisations that regularly provide work for MCC.

Using public sector procurement to provide quality work opportunities

The My Future ILM programme provides NEET young people with hands on support to become employment ready before helping them into a three-month paid work placement with a trusted employer. The paid placement allows the young person and the employer to get to know each other over time rather than forcing the young person through a 30-minute formal interview that many NEET young people on the programme struggle with meaning they can often lose out on good employment opportunities. The slower “getting to know you” approach that sidesteps intense formal interviews has suited both the young people and the employers and has resulted in full-time permanent employment for young people that would have had no chance of securing the role through interview.

Many of the employers that provide My Future ILM placements do so to fulfil their corporate social responsibility objectives, others get involved to fulfil their social value commitment in contracts they have signed with MCC.

For more than a decade MCC have worked social value into their tenders, ensuring that they are maximising the benefits for the city from every contract they award. In this instance, MCC identified an opportunity to bring large-scale trusted local employers into the My Future ILM programme through introducing a requirement to employ a number of staff to deliver the contract through the My Future ILM programme. This innovative approach to employing NEET young people contributes towards two pillars of community wealth building;

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