University of Nottingham partners with Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority to deliver staff training to spot labour exploitation

Monday, 18 October 2021

Staff at the University of Nottingham are to receive training from the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) to help them spot signs of modern slavery and labour exploitation.

Experts from the GLAA will train colleagues from all key university professional service departments, including front-line staff members in Estates, Security and Catering, on the key signs to look out for in modern slavery and labour exploitation cases and how to report and respond to concerns.

The first workshop today coincides with National Anti-Slavery Day (Monday 18 October 2021), with two further sessions; between 18 October and 2 December, International Day for the Abolition of Slavery.

The training is part of a 38-step Slavery-Free Campus Blueprint which the university launched earlier this year. Through the blueprint, the University of Nottingham has committed to doing everything in its power to make its campus free of modern slavery.

One of the areas within the Blueprint covers Awareness and Training on modern slavery amongst university colleagues and as part of the Universities for Nottingham initiative, Nottingham Trent University staff will also attend the sessions.

Our research behind the Blueprint highlighted a need to educate staff and students on the signs to look out for in identifying potential cases of modern slavery and labour exploitation. We are home to the world's leading modern slavery experts in the Rights Lab, who have excellent links to the sector and global anti-slavery community, and through partnering with the GLAA, we are delivering the highest quality training to improve staff and student awareness.
Dr Lisa Carroll, Commercial Director at the University of Nottingham

Dr Carroll added: “We are committed to a fundamental analysis of the university’s operations and supply chain and the university will report each year on our systematic progress against this Blueprint in its Modern Slavery Statement.”

To help design this Blueprint, academics in the university’s Rights Lab analysed 160 UK universities in which the resulting report highlights three main areas of exploitation risk: staff, students, and procurement.

As part of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (MSA), universities are expected to prepare a slavery and human trafficking statement for each financial year if their turnover is £36m or more. The Slavery-Free Campus report offers a model for how universities can move beyond minimum compliance with these reporting requirements, to lead in making a distinct and important contribution towards the achievement of UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 8.7 of ending modern slavery.

We greatly value our long-standing partnership with the GLAA, including work on exploitation in hand car washes, and on a new Level 1 Award in labour exploitation. We are thrilled that the GLAA is providing this important training to colleagues across our university, as part of the journey to becoming a Slavery-Free Campus, and are excited to continue working with Dr Carroll and the university’s Modern Slavery Act Working Group to deliver the Blueprint as a model for the higher education sector and beyond.
Professor Zoe Trodd, Director of the Rights Lab

Frank Hanson, GLAA Head of Prevention and Partnerships, said: “We are delighted to provide this training to ensure that frontline staff at the University of Nottingham are aware of their rights and can spot and report the signs of modern slavery.

“Universities are directly affected by the issue of modern slavery. The academic research produced by the Rights Lab has offered a blueprint for how they can rise to the challenge and become leaders in taking action against modern slavery and labour exploitation.

“The practical steps suggested in the report in terms of education, awareness-raising and community engagement are ones that can be easily replicated on campuses across the country and we would encourage all universities to play their part in preventing the exploitation of vulnerable workers.”

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More information is available from Katie Andrews in the Press Office at the University of Nottingham at

Katie Andrews - Media Relations Manager Social Sciences
Phone: 0115 951 5751

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Notes to editors:

The University of Nottingham is a research-intensive university with a proud heritage. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our students. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement. Ranked 103rd out of more than 1,000 institutions globally and 18th in the UK by the QS World University Rankings 2022, the University’s state-of-the-art facilities and inclusive and disability sport provision is reflected in its crowning as The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021 Sports University of the Year. We are ranked eighth for research power in the UK according to REF 2014. We have six beacons of research excellence helping to transform lives and change the world; we are also a major employer and industry partner - locally and globally. Alongside Nottingham Trent University, we lead the Universities for Nottingham initiative, a pioneering collaboration which brings together the combined strength and civic missions of Nottingham’s two world-class universities and is working with local communities and partners to aid recovery and renewal following the COVID-19 pandemic.

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