A skill-boosting scheme, which is the first of its kind in the country, is running in Wythenshawe.
Now, every single employee with a public service role in Wythenshawe can play a key role in finding work for jobseekers - by helping with a one-page referral system.
The unprecedented scheme, called 'Real Opportunities' is a proactive move, led by Manchester City Council with eight partner organisations and members of the voluntary sector, at a time of major reform of the out of work benefit system.
At the moment 6,000 Wythenshawe residents are claiming incapacity benefit. Pilot studies indicate that following Incapacity Benefit reassessments, which are now underway across the country, there could be 30% - approximately 2,000 residents - who will now deemed fit to work in Wythenshawe.
With that in mind, a 10-strong Real Opportunities partnership has been created between Manchester City Council, Parkway Green Housing Trust, Willow Park Housing Trust, Manchester and District Housing Association, Greater Manchester Police, The Manchester College, Next Step, NHS (South Manchester Clinical Commissioning Group), Jobcentre Plus and the voluntary community sector.
The concept is simple and direct: Any employee from the partnership who meets a resident looking for help back into work, can fill in a brief referral form to accelerate a process to bring the right support quickly.
That form is then sent in confidence to a dedicated part of the Wythenshawe Regeneration Team at Manchester City Council, who will make an initial, face-to-face appointment - ideally within 10 days.
From there an individual action plan will be created using the services of relevant training or advice agencies. A range of courses will be on offer from computer skills to literacy classes or interview and CV workshops. Residents will also be told of job opportunities.
And, crucially, for the people who make the initial referrals, there will be feedback, subject to residents' permission, which will outline positive results.
Councillor Sue Murphy Deputy Leader with responsibility for employment and skills at Manchester City Council, said: "This scheme is about standing shoulder to shoulder as a united team to help the whole community gain vocational skills, experience and jobs.
"Real Opportunities uses the expertise of the people who already know the area and its residents well. That familiarity and knowledge will kick-start what needs to be a fast, streamlined reaction to bring real opportunities to residents so that they can support themselves and their families. It's not an intrusive process - it's quick, simple and brings direct results."
Real Opportunities launched last month and to date 65 referrals have already been made through the scheme.
Nigel Wilson, Chief Executive of Parkway Green Housing Trust, said: "We know from research* that many new jobs in Greater Manchester will require 5 GCSEs or an equivalent - so it's vital that we address any skills gaps in Wythenshawe. We also need to ensure that the next generation is prepared for the workplace, especially as youth unemployment in the UK has just hit the one million mark."
Joe Doherty, Chief Executive of Willow Park Housing Trust, said: "This service can only improve neighbourhoods - and more people in jobs puts less demand on support services. What we have signed up to is a jobs pact, but ultimately it's a wider pledge to support opportunities, training and faith in the future of Wythenshawe and its residents who have so much to offer."