Government Minister Francis Maude visited a logistics business in Northampton today that helps former soldiers and prisoners to find work.
The Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General visited Goodwill Solutions, based in Brackmills Industrial Estate, and met representatives from national enterprise support service, Inspire2Enterprise, who both work in partnership with the University of Northampton.
Mr Maude experienced first-hand how the university works with these companies to offer social support to ‘at risk’ individuals - including former services personnel, ex-offenders and long-term unemployed - to go through work placements and training programmes to be able to re-enter the workforce with confidence.
He said: “Tough economic times demand creative thinking about how we can deliver public services to provide more for less. Organisations such as these are the sort of flexible, socially responsible businesses that can produce better value for money and better quality public services. That’s why our reforms will make it easier for a more diverse marketplace of suppliers to work with government.”
In 2013 the University of Northampton was designated the UK’s first Ashoka Changemaker Campus for its commitment to breaking down barriers to institutional change and fostering a culture of social innovation in Higher Education.
Professor Simon Denny, Director of Enterprise, Development and Social Impact at the University of Northampton, said: “The University has social impact, social innovation and social value at its core and we have been able to unite these values together within our focus on employability skills to make a positive impact through our work with our social enterprise partners.
“Mr Maude’s visit has been a fantastic opportunity to showcase the leading work of the University and our partners as well as the local impact this has on our community. An independent review, carried out by researchers from the University of Northampton in 2013, concluded that the value of Goodwill’s programmes to the taxpayer in 2011-12 was at least £3.5m.”