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Operations Director

Employer
GREATER MANCHESTER IMMIGRATION AID UNIT
Location
UK
Salary
Competitive
Closing date
5 Oct 2021

View more

Sector
Charity
Contract Type
Permanent
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Introduction from the Chief Executive Officer

Thank you for your interest in applying for the role of Operations Director with Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit.

This is a truly exciting opportunity for someone who wants to be at the forefront of making sure that this remarkable organisation remains sustainable and strong at a time of considerable change in the years following a global pandemic.

Our work ensures access to justice for people in the immigration system who face overwhelming hurdles and barriers that deny them the chance to feel safe, secure, and get on with their lives. Access to good quality legal immigration advice cannot be only for the rich.

We are a well-established and respected organisation that makes a difference to people locally and across the region. We also have a national voice and we aim to address the injustices and barriers in the system itself.

We have grown over the last few years and we're at the point where, to remain stable and effective, we have to invest more time and resource into the core management structure of the organisation.

This is a great opportunity for someone who thrives on challenge and who has the creativity, skills and commitment necessary to make a difference. We're grateful to the Legal Education Foundation for helping us to make this post possible.

The rest will be up to you!

Thank you for your interest in this position and we really look forward to receiving your application. Let me know if you would like to discuss the position before applying.

Denise McDowell

CEO

denise@gmiau.org

About Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit

Who we are

We are a not for profit voluntary organisation that was established in 1989 as an anti-racist response to immigration enforcement. Today we work with people of all ages and circumstances who face the hostilities and hardships of the immigration system. In any one year we expect to provide advice and support to over 5000 people. We prioritise working with people, adults and children, who are at most risk. This includes people who are claiming asylum, people who have been trafficked, people who face homelessness, destitution, violence and exploitation. We have offices in Manchester and Liverpool.

Immigration is a huge political issue and successive governments have brought in harsher and more hostile immigration policies and law. The Nationality and Borders Bill is the latest example. Our aim is to ensure that people have the legal support that they need to face the challenges of the immigration system and retain their dignity and respect. We have legal aid contracts in immigration and public law which provide roughly 50% of our total income. The remainder is mostly grants from Trusts and Foundations, with a very small amount from individual giving.

Staff and volunteers

We have a team of skilled and qualified solicitors and legal caseworkers who advise and represent people at all stages of the legal process. They are supported by staff with a range of skills and experience who help people who need additional support, such as children and people who are destitute. The CEO and the Finance Manager are the only 2 posts within the organisation that don't provide support to individual people. Volunteers are recruited from local communities and get involved in a range of activities including refugee family reunion, communications, and fundraising.

Board of Trustees

Members of the Board have a range of skills and interest and all share a common aim which is to ensure that GMIAU is well-governed in all aspects of finance, regulation and accountability, and strategic development. The Board members currently have personal experience and backgrounds in HR, organisation development, finance, and lived experience of the immigration system.

GMIAU is an equal opportunity employer and values diversity.

Our values

We have a strong set of values that run through all our work:
  • We take on difficult cases and we don't give up easily
  • We make sure we have the knowledge and expertise we need to succeed
  • We work with people to maximise the talents, humanity and values of our communities
  • We campaign for improvements in immigration law and policy.
  • We are not silent when we see injustice.

Who we work with

We place great value on working with others to maximise our impact, avoid duplication, and genuinely work in collaboration, whether this is in co-ordinating service delivery or campaigning at a national level about a common concern. These are some of the things we are currently working with others to achieve:

Justice Together

A major project led by GMIAU, including Boaz Trust, Asylum Link Merseyside, British Red Cross, Revive, and Manchester Refugee Support Network (MRSN), and Merseyside Law Centre to create a structure which will underpin a collaborative, strategic approach to transforming access to immigration legal advice in the North West of England. This includes investment in specialist legal advice for the future; securing provision of existing immigration advice services; and providing training, supervision, and development opportunities to people with lived experience and partner agencies to meet the needs of people most marginalised in the immigration system.

We're also working with Praxis and IPPR to generate change through systematic evidence gathering, political influencing and grassroots campaigning.

Families Together

Working with British Red Cross, Asylum Link Merseyside and others to support people who have been granted refugee status to bring their immediate families to the UK.

Step Change

A partnership of 9 refugee voluntary and community organisations working together to ensure that refugees and people seeking asylum will be able to meet their basic needs and secure their rights; to ensure organisations across GM will report increased collaborative working and capacity; and to strengthen the collective voice of refugees, people seeking asylum and the organisations that support them to ensure that decision makers understand their priorities.

Children in care and care leavers and Kids in Need of Defense UK

We are part of two national partnerships to highlight and address the issues for all children, including those in care and care leavers, who have unresolved immigration status.

The Role

We are looking for an Operations Director who will help take the organisation through its next stage of development. We need someone who is clearly committed to who we are and what we stand for and who has the skills and enthusiasm required to make a difference. This is an exciting new post which provides opportunities to do things differently by bringing fresh insight and vision.

Job description

Job Title: Operations Director

Salary Scale: Points 36-39 £38,813 - £41,675

Contract: Permanent

Pension: Employer will match employee contribution up to 6%. Minimum is 5%.

Responsible to: CEO

Hours: 35 per week

Based: Manchester

Summary of the post

This is an exciting opportunity to increase GMIAU's management capacity so that we can maximise our impact in support of people living in North West England who are affected by the complex immigration system. The post-holder will be responsible for strengthening our internal processes, developing income streams, and act as Deputy CEO on all matters operational, financial, and strategic.

Main Purpose of Job:

GMIAU's offer of high-quality immigration legal advice and representation to people in need in the north west puts it in a unique and special position. We have a responsibility to assist people who face the challenges of a harsh and hostile immigration system and who would otherwise not have access to justice through legal representation. Supporting adults, children and families, many who face homelessness and destitution, and a significant policy and influencing profile, we are looking for someone who has the passion, skills, and aptitude to help develop the organisation over the next few years.

This is a newly created position which is designed to shape and strengthen the Unit's management structure so that we remain strong, sustainable and capable of withstanding the many challenges we face. This is a significant leadership role which provides opportunities to do things differently. After a recent review of risks it was identified that, as a priority, we need to create a position which can provide back-up and deputise for the CEO and who can provide new insight, skills, and energy to take the organisation through the next stages of its development.

Summary of main duties and responsibilities
  1. To lead and support staff and volunteers to develop services that meet the needs of people most affected by immigration control, and to ensure that people with experience of the immigration system are central to every level of the organisation.
  2. To develop positive relationships and networks of people and organisations that will further develop the strategic interests and development of GMIAU and the people it serves
  3. To work with the CEO to develop income streams to ensure the long-term financial sustainability of GMIAU.
  4. To ensure that GMIAU has the necessary systems and structure in place to report effectively on all of its activities.

Main duties and responsibilities

Relationships:
  1. To develop strong, trusted relationships with external partners to further develop GMIAU's strategic priorities (funding, services, policy, people)
  2. To work in collaboration with individuals and agencies across the North West to enhance and develop joint approaches to tackling the issues that many people face, inter alia, access to quality immigration advice, homelessness and destitution, and having no recourse to public funds.
  3. To lead on the development of systems which will ensure that people and communities that are most isolated and affected have access to immigration legal advice.

Planning and Development:
  1. To work closely with the CEO and the Board to give effect to, and keep under review, the strategic plan and to make recommendations.
  2. Lead on the development of initiatives to ensure the involvement of people with lived experience of the immigration system at all levels of the organisation
  3. Design and develop new services to effectively meet the needs of people

Funding:
  1. To work with the CEO to identify funding opportunities to sustain GMIAU's core work and to fund new service and policy developments;
  2. To lead on the development of GMIAU's public fundraising campaigns.
  3. To lead on the development of commissioned services to underpin longer-term service developments
  4. To manage the process of identifying and funding new service and policy developments, including identifying need, securing funding, managing the service or project throughout its development, and reporting on outcomes and achievements.

Services:
  1. To provide effective line management and support to staff within the team
  2. To develop data management processes to ensure that GMIAU can report effectively on its work, including to funders and the Board.
  3. To be responsible for the quality and delivery of GMIAU's services through monitoring, evaluation and improvement plans to ensure they meet the needs of people most affected by the harshest and most damaging elements of immigration control.
  4. To work with the CEO to address issues of access to immigration legal advice and capacity to meet demand

Management systems:
  1. With CEO ensure annual delivery plans are developed and implemented.
  2. Provide timely and accurate management information to inform strategic planning and development
  3. Line manage a number of posts
  4. To ensure internal staff support, supervision, and management systems in place including
  5. staff development, appraisal and training plans
  6. an ongoing review of staffing requirements.
  7. system for reviewing GMIAUs policies (including health and safety, employment, data protection)
  8. ensure effective implementation of Units policies and keep them under review.
  9. To lead on administration systems management and to devise improvements and new ways of working.
  10. Review IT and digital systems and make recommendations to ensure best use of IT and digital systems
  11. Identify and manage operational risks.

General responsibilities:
  1. To maintain a professional and confidential approach to your work at all times
  2. To actively engage in regular supervision and team meetings
  3. To take part in training as agreed with the CEO
  4. To contribute towards the effective and efficient management of GMIAU by ensuring compliance with policies and procedures including health and safety
  5. To ensure data is managed in compliance with General Data Protection Regulations
  6. To create positive relationships and to treat all staff, volunteers, people who use its services, and members of the public with dignity and respect in line with GMIAU's core aims and values.
  7. To work flexibly as required.
  8. To carry out other duties as required by the CEO or Board of Trustees.

Person Specification:

This is a really new important role within GMIAU. It provides the right person with an opportunity to use their skills and talents to make a huge difference to people whose lives are controlled by their immigration situation.

We are looking for someone who is:
  • Creative
  • Challenging
  • Passionate - committed to human rights and working with people who are facing oppression
  • Strategic
  • Collaborative
  • Positive and Encouraging
  • Influencing
  • Continually learning and developing the way they work

Knowledge and Experience

Essential:
  • Extensive experience of and ability in managing people, projects and data.
  • Demonstrable experience of project management.
  • Demonstrable experience of delivering system and process improvements.
  • Extensive successful experience and ability in collaborating with a range of partners and stakeholders and developing new relationships.
  • Extensive successful experience and ability in fundraising and/or management of grants.
  • Successful experience of managing organisational change.
  • Experience and/or knowledge of the voluntary, not for profit, rights-based/community sector and the challenges it faces.
  • Proven experience of managing and developing teams.

Desirable:
  • Personal experience of the immigration system
  • Demonstrable experience and ability in working with and acting on the wishes and needs of service users.
  • Some knowledge and an understanding of the impact of immigration controls on individuals, families and communities.

Skills and personal qualities

Essential:
  • Ability to think creatively and strategically.
  • Ability to manage the operations of GMIAU and to deputise for the CEO.
  • Ability to build strong relationships.
  • Ability to demonstrate and practice anti-racism and anti-oppressive practices.
  • Ability to communicate clearly and persuasively to key internal and external stakeholders at all levels.
  • Ability to plan, write and submit successful funding applications.
  • Innovative and someone who has new ideas and ways of thinking.
  • Strong leadership skills.
  • High order written and verbal communications skills.
  • Strong IT skills including Microsoft Word, Excel, email, databases.
  • High order time management skills and the ability to prioritise conflicting demands.
  • Ability to work collaboratively with a wide range of interests and organisations.
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