Greater Manchester Police’s (GMP) first cohort of officers in job share role have now passed their course and are heading out onto the font line.
Back in October 2021, GMP welcomed its first ever cohort of officers in a job share role for the Force, who all joined in the post of a regular police officer yet working on a job share basis of 20-hours a week.
The officers have now completed their classroom assessments and are heading out on duty. They were joined by their friends and family to celebrate with a passing out ceremony held at Hough End on Wednesday 25 May 2022.
The ceremony consisted of a parade and inspection of the officers, followed by ACC Sarah Jackson presenting the Carl Pilling trophy to the student who had the best overall performance. The award is being shared between two officers - like their jobs. This went to PC Kayleigh Armstrong and PC Sally Howard who was handed the trophy for their teamwork and commitment to learning and GMP.
GMP is aiming to make policing open to more applicants by offering this flexible alternative to full- time working. Expanding the offer enables male and female applicants who, for work, caring or personal preference, would prefer to be in a job share role, rather than a full-time role.
Policing is a 24-hour, seven day a week responsibility which in the past has restricted some people applying to join the Force, but it is hoped these new roles will open up policing as a career to suit a wider range of people.
Inspector Lisa Clarke, GMP’s Unit Head for Uniform Training, comments that: “The students have completed the exact same training as a full-time student officer, just undertaken on a job share basis, which has been nearly double the length of time to complete.
“Their dedication to becoming a police officer has been remarked upon by numerous members of the training team. It is clear to see that this is a cohort of student officers, who may not have joined the police service under normal recruitment circumstances, have shown such commitment and hard work.
“GMP are the only force outside of the Met who have embarked on a job share officer programme and these officers have paved the way for a positive change to policing. As a training team we are eagerly looking forward to welcoming the next intake of officers who, like our first 26, will bring a multitude of unique qualities to policing the communities of Greater Manchester.”
Detective Sergeant Anna Rickards has been the driving force behind making this possible and has worked with the Metropolitan Police to make this a reality within GMP. She comments that: "Recruiting job share police officers was our recognition that there lies untapped talent within our communities who either don’t’ want or are not able to commit to full-time employment but have the skills, ability and ethical compass to excel in the privileged role of being a Police Constable.
“I am passionate that working within a job share role in the police does not equate to part committed, nor part skilled, and I am delighted that this first cohort of police officers will be deployed to the front line in order to serve the people of Greater Manchester.
“These officers received identical training as full-time recruits and I am immensely proud that they all passed with flying colours, which demonstrates the value of this recruitment programme. Having worked in this way for many years as an inner-city Detective, I am extremely pleased to hand over the baton to these new recruits and for them to showcase how integral flexible workers are in protecting the public and fighting crime.
“Their recruitment represents an important shift, not only in historic police recruitment practices which favoured full time applicants but supports a cultural change which recognises that the modern-day workforce requires diversity, flexibility and agility in order to maximise our potential to protect the community we so proudly serve.
“I wish them all the best for their future with GMP”.
There was a high level of interest in the roles and the option to work in a job share role has been particularly attractive to a wider range of people from different backgrounds. We plan on recruiting for the next intake which is anticipated to be early next year. Please email [email protected] to register your interest. Please do not apply if you are wanting full-time.