New modern slavery resources available after pioneering Boston College pilot project
17th June 2019
Education and training providers from across the UK will soon be able to access ready-made tutorials and innovative visual resources as part of the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority’s (GLAA) ongoing commitment to prevent labour exploitation and protect vulnerable workers.
The materials designed by staff and students at Boston College bring to life crucial information on spotting the signs of modern slavery and how to report suspicions to the GLAA.
Students studying courses as varied as Construction, Travel and Tourism, and Hospitality and Care were actively involved in the pilot project which is the first time the GLAA has teamed up with a college to embed the subject of labour abuse across its range of academic and vocational courses.
A selection of the products was shown to businesses, charities and other stakeholders at an event on Friday 14 June marking the end of the project which has taken place over the 2018-19 academic year.
The resources will soon be available on the GLAA’s website.
Since the course was launched in June 2018, all 1,500 full-time Boston College students were given a tutorial on workers’ rights and spotting the signs of modern slavery.
The GLAA also provided training to more than 200 staff at the college to raise awareness and give them the skills to deliver tutorials on the subject.
An Employment Rights and Responsibilities Week was held in October and November, with ACAS, the Salvation Army, Citizens Advice, local employers and community groups delivering practical sessions designed to equip students with knowledge about how to spot the signs of labour exploitation and how they can better protect themselves and their work colleagues.
An evaluation of the pilot has been conducted by the University of Nottingham’s Rights Lab, home to the world’s leading modern slavery experts. This assessment of the project included focus groups with staff and students at the college and will be published shortly.
A number of the tutorials and learning resources have also been reviewed by Nottingham College.
The project was publicly endorsed by the Minister for Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerability Victoria Atkins, Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones, and Boston and Skegness MP Matt Warman.
GLAA Chief Executive Michael Rich said: “I am proud of how we have worked alongside Boston College over the past year to develop a course which truly can be described as ground-breaking.
“What has been particularly pleasing is how the students have fully embraced the project. The inventive products they have created for us are testament to this enthusiasm, and will be an invaluable resource in how we tackle labour exploitation.
“We are very clear as an organisation that we cannot simply arrest our way out of the problem of modern slavery and labour exploitation. Our work in educating as many as people as possible on how to spot the signs of exploitation will have the greatest impact in the long-term. This is of particular importance for people who will soon be entering the world of work.
“The aim of this project has always been to demonstrate the value of embedding modern slavery within a curriculum. Boston College has more than demonstrated this and we look forward to other colleges following their example in the years to come. These resources will give them a helping hand to introduce this most important of subjects to their own curriculums.”
Boston College Principal and Chief Executive Jo Maher said: “Boston College is delighted to be the lead education institution for this innovative pilot project. The staff and students involved are a credit to our organisation and the standard of work achieved is exceptional.
“We hope to encourage other providers to embed modern slavery prevention into their curriculum.”
Minister for Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerability Victoria Atkins said: “Modern slavery is an abhorrent crime and the government is determined to tackle it.
“It is all our responsibility to spot the signs of exploitation and abuse. Last year, I was pleased to attend the launch of this project, which gives people the tools and knowledge to recognise modern slavery and take action.
“These tools will be vitally important in the fight to consign modern slavery to the history books.”