Development of the Greater Manchester Flexible Jobs Index 2021

Supporting the development of GMCA's Good Employment charter by assessing if flexible work is being offered by employers in the region

Using their IGN implementation advice, the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) have been working with Timewise to develop a flexible jobs index for the city region. Timewise are a flexible working consultancy who stimulate action to grow a quality two-way flexible employment landscape – a key component of Mayor Andy Burnham's Good Employment Charter. The Good Employment Charter already provides a range of support and guidance to employers to help ensure workers don’t have to choose between flexibility and security in work, thereby enhancing diversity and inclusion and encouraging fair pay.

The Greater Manchester Flexible Jobs Index 2021 provides new insight into the extent to which flexible work is being offered in practice, and how open employers really are to all aspects of flexible working at the point of hire. Flexible hiring across location, hours, and part time work, is a key factor in driving structural change in regional jobs markets in order to build an inclusive economic recovery from the pandemic and ensure fuller participation in the labour market.

Key Steps

The Combined Authority began by working with experts at Timewise to carry out analysis into where new jobs are being created in the city region, across which sectors, salary levels, and local authorities, and crucially to what extent the experience of the last 2 years has had on employers’ openness to advertise jobs as open to flexible working at the point of hire. The ratio of flexible job vacancies against all advertised vacancies in Greater Manchester for 2021 was then mapped out.

With input from the GMCA, Timewise has produced a report on these findings, including a practical toolkit to translate their recommendations into action. The report will be published with new and unique insight in Spring 2022, alongside a webinar for stakeholders in the region and a blog to highlight findings. By shining a light on the chasm between the demand for flexible working and the opportunities available in Greater Manchester, the outcome of the project will be to encourage employers in the region to respond to the data and insight by designing, advertising, and recruiting more flexible roles, and signing up to the Mayor's Good Employment Charter to receive practical support. It is also envisioned that the recommendations will be used to affect policy change on the part of policymakers, thereby playing a role in influencing the employment and skills landscape nationally as well as locally.