The work experience revolution is rising up…in Salford, Manchester!

10th May 2019

19th century poetry was influenced by popular revolutions of the past – namely the French and American revolutions. Today, at a work experience revolution session in Salford, a poet crafted a poem inspired by the coming together of Salford Council, Salford University and Placer.

When our product innovation team worked with employers, universities and students for two years in 2017 and 2018, co-designing the unique Placer app and platform ready to launch on October 15th 2018, local councils weren’t involved in the process. Today, we changed all this, with the chance to take on board the revolutionary thoughts and innovative ideas put forward by Salford Council, winner of the Digital Council of the Year Award in 2018. I can see clearly now why they won that award as I left inspired by what a council can do and what they are destined to achieve in the future.

I’ll leave the poet in the room to tell the rest of this particular story…


Poem for the 'The art of the possible' – By Davina Whitnall.

The art of the possible, here's what was said,
A co-created pipeline is the common thread,
How knowledge exchange has a key role,
This is the story that's begun to unfold:
Key messages and working together to innovate,
From today's discussions, here's our top eight:

Number one is 'Economy' the hourglass model and living wage,
Growth and opportunity for all, regardless of background or age.
Second in-line is 'Civic Good'
Doing what we can and most importantly what we should,
Our third is 'Co-production' and what we can create,
A co-produced talent pipeline and the forms that they take.

The fourth is 'Diversity' people, places and contrast,
A tale of two cities, development that will last.
Our 'Service' to communities and residents is at number five,
Salford jobs for Salford people, help make our city thrive.
At six is 'Impact' - what's the difference that we make?
Considering growth and the future paths we can take.

'Learning' is our seven - Live, learn, play (and hopefully stay)a
The motto of our learning city, and key message to take away,
And finally at number eight,
'Opportunities' and what they facilitate,
From T levels for vocation to the 'Placer' app,
Addressing our social challenges and how we can adapt.

Our discussions of policy, communications, digital landscapes and prototype,
Realising benefits commercially, fresh ideas and getting it right,
Supporting the next generation and utilising our collective resource,
Personal stories, learning from experiences, developing a workforce
From city planners to health professionals and community volunteers,
Knowledge exchanges, living, working, learning and exchanging ideas.
Asking questions, opportunities lost, matching problems to address,
Opening up challenges, 'we can do more'  is the key message to impress,

We've considered three questions of what we want from today,
Short or long term recruitment and the role we play.
The barriers identified, qualifications, unemployment, mobility and support,
The help that's needed from finance to the format taught.
We've planted the seeds to help our city grow,
Through our interactions to learn and to know.
We've exchanged thoughts with colleagues and peers,
The discussing, sparking and sharing of ideas; help us remember another time,
Our ideas presented in this short rhyme.
The key messages to take away,
Are connections, talent, and innovation leading the way.
Together is better, so let's say it aloud,
We are Salford, and we're City proud!



And being originally from Manchester myself, I am also very Manchester proud!

David Barker,

Tech Social Entrepreneur and Placer Project Director.

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