A couple of weeks ago, we hosted a webinar to showcase all the brilliant things that Brigad has been doing in Manchester since relaunching in Spring. Led by Pauline Sumowski, our Global Community Manager, and Lianna Pim and Gwenaëlle Sobilo, Community Experience Specialists, the team talked us through how to use the app to help new and current users make the most of Brigad.
Brigad in Manchester: where are we at?
Brigad relaunched in Manchester this Spring, April 2022; in just two months over 220 professional freelancers have been onboarded onto the platform, over 70 missions staffed and over 50 businesses are now using the service. Several famous Manchester businesses have joined, including Blues Kitchen, Common Bar and Nell’s Pizza, as well as catering services all over the region. In terms of fine dining, lucky Talents have the opportunity to work at The Three Fishes - a restaurant in Clitheroe run by a Michelin star-winning chef. In just two short months a community of professional freelancers has formed and continues to grow - there is now a great variety of work on offer, and this is reflected in the diversity of Talents using the app.
Looking towards the future, Brigad is expecting to see over 100 missions being posted in Manchester per week by September 2022, with 70 businesses using the platform and the community of Talents growing to be over 300. “With so many missions being posted, Talents should be able to count on the platform to find work that is interesting and exactly what they’re looking for.”
Brigad has already seen this type of success in London. In May alone, over 3000 missions were posted, with 363 businesses involved, and the average monthly earnings per professional freelancer being £975. We can use this to forecast the great things coming Manchester’s way as the Brigad community continues to grow in the north as more great hospitality businesses join the family.
The benefits of using Brigad
As ever, the number one benefit to using Brigad is being able to work when you want to work - freelancing offers flexibility, freedom and choice when it comes to working hours and choosing businesses. Talents are solely in control to choose which missions they want to work - this means there is no expectation for you to take on work you don’t want to do! On top of this, payments through Brigad are made every week - so no more scrimping and saving till the end of the month waiting for payday.
Another great benefit for freelancers is that they are protected by two kinds of insurance. The first is for public liability with Collective Benefits - you are insured and protected whilst on shift - and the second is Brigad’s income safety program, which will offer compensation for sick days and days missed because of accidents, with Indeez and AiG. All the information can be found on the Brigad website. The Brigad community has your back and we’re always here to help!
Brigad can also offer opportunities for career growth - Pauline tells us that “users of the platform can upskill with Brigad and our partners, giving them access to new jobs after six months on the platform thanks to a new program called “Career Path”. Professional freelancers will have the opportunity to automatically upskill if they meet certain criteria and therefore progress in their career. One Brigad partner is Virtual College, which gives Talents access to online courses. For example, if you are a chef wanting to upskill and get your food safety level 2 and 3 qualifications, you can use Virtual College and get 50% off all courses thanks to Brigad. Motivated Talents can use this access to fast-track their skill growth, getting to the positions, and the pay range, that they’re aiming for quickly and efficiently.
Brigad wants to empower its users to be able to evolve and progress in the platform, to continue growing and striving for higher-paid jobs, and receiving acknowledgement for hard work with achievements, like earning the Super Brigader Badge - an achievement gifted to Talents with over 90% job satisfaction scores after three months of using the platform. This achievement will appear on profiles, signalling your credentials to businesses, and showcasing your skills. It will also offer the opportunity to receive 1-1 career advice with one of our team members, to support your career growth even more.
Self-employed, and community-based
Whilst Talents are self-employed, they are far from working alone. There are plenty of Brigad-run events and webinars where users can meet with passionate members of the community. Brigad’s partners are also available to support users of the platform. Brigad’s partnered with Coconut to help manage your expenses and taxes, as well as Tax Ninja which can help Talents register their Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR).
But you’ve heard enough from us - how about we hear from a Talent?
“As an independent chef, I now have more time for my family, as I have more freedom and I earn a better living”
- Wolfe C., Chef and Brigader.
To give you an idea of how Brigad might look like to you in a year or two, Wolfe has used Brigad for two years now. He moved from owning his own restaurant, and never seeing his kids, to now taking his kids to school and cooking them dinner every day. He works over ten missions a month, and his earning ranges between £3,000 and £5,000 per month. Not only does this disprove myths that freelancing is temporary, but it proves that a full-time wage is definitely achievable through Brigad.
Enjoy your first missions
For readers who have never been self-employed before, we understand that taking the leap into freelance work might be a little daunting. However, Brigad is there to support you every step of the way.
How do I pick up shifts?
Download the app. You can’t receive missions on the website, so you will need to download the app from the App Store or Google Play. Register with your details, your home address and your I.D. Book a slot with a member of our team to help you get fully set up, and you’re good to go. It really is that easy. Registering your home address ensures that you’ll be seeing missions in your area - you can sort propositions by distance, if that is your priority. Remember to keep your notifications turned on to know when business post missions that you will be interested in.
Create your profile, register your skills
It’s important to customise your profile and register your skills and job history - this way the platform will be better able to match you to suitable jobs. Contact assistance via the app if you think some of your skills are missing and our team can help you fill in the missing pieces.
Update your availability, regularly
Whether you’re picking up missions or heading off on holiday, it’s important to keep businesses aware of when you’re available. This is easily done via the app on the ‘update my availability' tab on the homepage. Here you can tailor your availability hour by hour, day by day and craft a schedule ideal for your routine.
Prepare for your missions
Once you’ve created your profile and updated your availability you can begin accepting missions. Each mission will list an itinerary which details everything you will need to know, such as the address, your scheduled hours and any required uniform - we recommend you read through this carefully - no one wants to turn up to a black-tie event in their jeans! We recommend arriving at least 10 mins before the shift starts, this extra bit of time will help you get settled.
The business's contact information will also be listed if you want to make a good impression and introduce yourself, or if you want to check some of the details listed on the itinerary.
Here for you - using the assistance service
Both Lianna and Gwen are part of Brigad UK’s assistance service and are trained to solve a myriad of problems to support users of the platform. Whether it’s helping set up your profile or helping connect users to suitable work, Lianna and Gwen are part of a team dedicated to supporting users and are there to “answer questions, concerns, and anything in between.” Don’t be shy and reach out to our team for chat - they’re guaranteed to help. You can reach them via the Assistance icon in the top right corner of the app. They are available every day, from 7am to 6pm.
Community events - stay tuned!
In May, we organised our first community event in Manchester in 2 years! It was a great opportunity for us to connect with Talents, businesses & partners. These events are the best way for you as well to get to know us and meet other independent workers using Brigad!
We’ll be back after summer with more events, so stay tuned!
Brigad has now connected over 100 missions to Talents at an array of pubs, events, fine dining restaurants and local coffee shops. But this is only the beginning. As Brigad expands to support even the furthest of Greater Manchester boroughs, the opportunity for career progression will only grow, to offer full-time, part-time, seasonal, as-you-want-time missions. Freedom, flexibility, great pay - all in the Brigad app.