Property Direct is the DLO responsible for maintaining 7,870 homes at Willow Park Housing Trust, an LSVT in south Manchester, with 180 staff and a turnover of £11 million.
They set up Willows Future Academy to create training and employment opportunities in and around Wythenshawe, entirely funded from the £400,000 pa efficiency savings arising from increased productivity. This includes 10 new apprenticeships this year, 3 NVQ placements at The Manchester College, and 24 job trainees all of whom had personal development plans and 6 of whom got jobs at the Trust.
With other local partners they helped run Get Hired events in the area giving local people access to jobs, with local employers who used the event to showcase their vacancies. 1,700 people attended and 101 were employed.
Some 140 people have come off benefits as a result of this work, at a saving to the public purse of £475,000.
Property Direct used £100,000 of their own resources to convert their old office HQ into a Business Enterprise Centre with 25 units, 14 of which have been occupied since they were completed in September 2011, enabling local entrepreneurs to create employment opportunities.
They now provide evening and weekend repairs, largely funded from reductions in overtime, reducing the average time to complete a repair from 7 to 5 days, and increasing customer satisfaction from 92% to 96%.