Drive to employ Ex-offenders

More than 120 businesses have registered to work with prisons and set offenders on a path to employment.

The businesses have come forward in the six months since the launch of the Education and Employment Strategy published in May, which set up a series of measures to boot prisoners skills while in custody and improve their chances of securing work on release.  A major focus of the strategy is to encourage a culture change within companies so that they see beyond an offender’s conviction to their potential as an employee.

The interested businesses span a range of sectors, including construction and retail, and they could join employers such as Virgin Trains, DHL and Recycling Lives which are among more than 300 around the UK already seeing the benefits of employing those with a criminal record.

Having registered their interest, the businesses will now work with the Ministry of Justice to explore how to take forward their relationship with prisons.

A new construction academy is being delivered with the charity Bounce back which already works with HMP Brixton to train prisoners for construction.  It is due to open in February 2019 with prisoners working to get the building itself ready prior to that,