Manchester, Greater Manchester
£38,000 - £40,000 per year
Contract, 24 months, Full-time
Job description

Senior Programme Manager 

Reports to:                 Head of Programmes

Direct reports:           1 – 3

Location:                    Manchester - hybrid working including remote and in person. Occasional visits to Birmingham and London office encouraged. 

Hours:                        37.5 hours per week

Contract:                    2 year fixed term contract

Salary:                        £38,000 - £40,000 per annum


The Charity

Founded in 2015, Breaking Barriers is a fast-paced, growing charity with a mission to help refugees in the UK gain the knowledge, confidence and experience to secure stable and fulfilling employment in their new home.

We offer effective and flexible employment support in direct partnership with businesses that help refugees secure work, progress into better jobs, and successfully integrate into UK society. We have a unique approach, working with corporate partners to help refugees develop careers that match their skills, experience and aspirations.

Since Breaking Barriers’ inception, we have grown to support in excess of 500 refugees per year. We are really excited that we are now expanding into new regions in the UK with an exciting opportunity to launch services in Manchester and Birmingham.

We are a team of over 50 employees supported by several hundred volunteers, who are all driven and committed to helping the refugee community. We are looking for similarly driven and ambitious individuals keen to join an enterprising organisation where they can benefit from the opportunity to innovate and shape the direction of the charity. Colleagues who thrive are passionate, driven and have the confidence to work autonomously while remaining team players and sharing credit with all involved.

We are looking for someone who lives and breathes our values:

  • Mission-led: our clients come before everything else.
  • Welcoming: we want all people to feel happy, comfortable and secure with us.
  • Collaborative: we are supportive and considerate, curiously exploring other viewpoints to find solutions.
  • Enterprising: we are discerningly bold, entrepreneurial and have the courage to give things a go.


Overall purpose of the role

Your primary responsibility will be to lead Breaking Barriers’ employment programme in Manchester and Birmingham and support the Head of Programmes to ensure we provide clients with high standards of delivery and our programme is aligned to our Employment Strategy.

You will oversee our team and delivery in these new regions - with approx 12 staff in Manchester and 3 in Birmingham. You will manage Programe Managers and be responsible for enabling them to manage their teams effectively and coordinate the day-to-day operational activity to implement our new programmes in these regions.

We are looking for someone strategic, highly organised and a strong people and team manager. You should have at a demonstrable track record of transferrable work experience in overseeing service delivery and employability projects or programmes. You must also have extensive experience of working with marginalised populations, and experience working with refugees is a strong advantage. You should also have experience working collaboratively with fundraising to create sustainable programmes.


Key Responsibilities

We are a fast-paced charity that prides itself on its flexibility and responsiveness so your responsibilities may change, develop and grow according to the needs and development of our programmes.

1. Employment Programme Delivery

  • Responsible for Breaking Barriers’ employment programmes in Manchester and Birmingham, ensuring they are set up effectively and that they provide the best possible services to our beneficiaries.
  • Ensure there is high quality of delivery from staff and volunteers which is consistent with delivery standards in other regions.
  • Support the Head of Programmes to set and deliver targets, budgets, and review performance against targets for the Employment Programmes.
  • Implement Employment Programmes strategy in the region, delivering accessible and high quality services which are data driven, scalable and innovative. 
  • Lead initiatives to explore how we can grow and continue to improve and increase our services in the region.  
  • Act as an escalation point for service delivery challenges and issues, using your knowledge of working with marginalised groups to support the team with highly complex client issues.
  • Support the Safeguarding Lead in embedding a culture of safeguarding and ensuring policies/procedures are understood and followed by the regional team.  Support the Employment Advisers and Programme Managers with navigating challenging service delivery situations.
  • Work effectively with Education and Volunteering teams, embedding a culture of collaboration and ensuring effective ways of working to deliver seamless support across programmes to our clients.

2. People and Team Management

  • Take responsibility for developing and mentoring your direct reports to ensure that they feel supported in their role and access professional development opportunities. This includes regular catch-ups, feedback, appraisals, and performance management. You will also be required to support your direct reports to manage their teams effectively.
  • Ensure that Programme Managers work effectively together and collaborate across the organisation effectively.
  • Develop and upskill the regional Employment team, ensuring the team has the support required to deliver against their objectives and deal with challenges.
  • Embed a positive, enterprising, and inclusive culture across the regional Employment team and ensure effective relationships are held with London and other regions.
  • Oversee the hiring of new recruits within the region, including conducting interviews and overseeing the induction and training process.

3. Overseeing Project and Programme Management

  • Own the Employment team operational plan for your region and ensure activities are delivered effectively and in line with funding specifications.
  • Support Programme Managers to implement effective approaches for projects and programmes, including developing project plans, designing activities, setting milestones and monitoring progress towards targets.
  • Oversee internal improvements projects for the Employment Team in the regions, and in partnership with the team in London, such as strategy development, monitoring and evaluation, ensuring accurate data and reporting through our CRM system.

4. Innovation, Data & Collaboration

  • Feed into monthly and ad hoc reporting, extracting data from database and tracking individual and team performance. Present reporting for the region to SLT, Funders and other audiences.
  • Foster a data driven approach to innovation, ensuring we use data to optimise decision-making and adapt our programmes to client need. 
  • Ensure the regional team works effectively with other key teams at Breaking Barriers, setting up processes for effective working and collaboration, for example with the Corporate Partnerships team.
  • Work across Breaking Barriers Senior Management teams to support the Employment strategy and goals, for example working with the Fundraising team BB’s employment services can continue to grow.


We are an equal opportunities employer and welcome applications from all suitably qualified persons regardless of their race, sex, disability, religion/belief, sexual orientation or age.

Breaking Barriers particularly welcomes applicants with experience of migration and/or a refugee background.


If you are looking for a role where you can make a real difference, we want to hear from you. To apply, please submit a CV and max 500-word statement outlining:

•           Why you are interested in the role

•           What skills and experience you would bring to be successful in this role

Please note that applications without a covering letter will not be considered.

Please send your application by Monday 8th November.

Additional documents
Personal Specification (.pdf)
Job Description (.pdf)
More about Breaking Barriers
Breaking Barriers

Gaining stable, adequately-remunerated, fulfilling employment is a significant contributor towards the successful resettlement of refugees.

... Read more

Posted on: 13 October 2021
Closing date: 08 November 2021
Tags: Management, Project Management
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