Vicky is programme director Connected Local Government, a regular host on CLGdotTV programmes and has served public sector IT for more than 25 years@vickysargent
The Federation in Manchester is a new workspace bringing co-operative principles to the age of the Internet says Emer Coleman of Co-op Digital. Rochdale’s Sue Ayres explains why all council managers now recognise the need for healthy local economies
If the future economy is to be Internet driven, it doesn’t have to just be about making and taking huge profits. The Co-op’s Federation provides flexible space for CICs, social enterprises and of course co-ops, and already has its success stories. North Coders, for example, has trained hundreds of people as developers in as little as 12 weeks, getting them quickly into well-paid jobs.
Rochdale Council, which provides its own developed workspace on the same flexible terms as The Federation, boasts its own home grown successes, including Zen, an Internet service provider that in 23 years and with the Council’s support has gone from kitchen table to an employer of 430 local people.
In return for council support – and contracts - councils are increasingly looking to businesses to demonstrate social value in terms of employing local people, using local suppliers, providing training and flexible working practices, and signing up to ethical business practices.
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