The Leading News & Information Service For The Facilities, Workplace & Built Environment Community

Drive To Employ Ex-Offenders Attracts An Extra 120 Businesses

Ministry of Justice
10 January 2019

More than 120 extra businesses have registered to work with prisons and set offenders on a path to employment, Justice Secretary David Gauke has revealed.

Newly-registered businesses could join more than 300 already working in prisons.

The businesses have come forward in the 6 months since the launch of Government Education and Employment Strategy, which set out a series of measures to boost prisoners’ skills while in custody and improve their chances of securing work on release.

Reoffending costs the taxpayer £15 billion each year and evidence shows that ex-offenders in employment are up to 9 percentage points less likely to commit further crime.


Seeing past convictions

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.

From the Ministry of Justice, David Gauke said: "I believe that building up offenders’ skills and helping them into work encourages them to turn their backs on crime, benefitting them and society as a whole. I am delighted that so many businesses are recognising the value of giving ex-offenders a second chance and a job - their interest sends a clear message to offenders that if they work hard and behave well in prison then real opportunities await them.

"I would encourage more businesses to consider getting involved in our New Futures Network and help ex-offenders into work."



Andy Milner, CEO of Amey (which has a substantial FM arm), said: "At Amey, we believe in hiring the best people for the job, no matter what their background or history. For us, hiring ex-offenders is not only the right thing to do but it also makes good business sense."


Skills gap

Milner continued: "There is a growing skills gap within our industry and within our prison population there is a pool of highly motivated people learning new skills such as engineering, carpentry and plumbing who just need someone to believe in them to help change their lives.

"The ‘Passport into Employment’ programme we have in place as part of our prisons maintenance contract together with our waste recycling partnership with Recycling Lives is helping to support men and women to transform their lives and demonstrates our commitment to rehabilitating ex-offenders."


Other achievements since the strategy was launched include:

  • Prisons in Yorkshire have secured a £250,000 investment to start a construction academy at HMP Leeds – to equip offenders with valuable skills ahead of release.

  • A new body, the New Futures Network, has been established to build partnerships between prisons and employers - filling skills gaps in companies by providing job opportunities for men and women on release from custody.

  • More than 160 education providers have signed up to deliver education in prisons, after a new system was put in place. Governors will be running competitions to bring in these new providers from April.

Picture: More than 120 extra businesses have registered to work with prisons.

Article written by Brian Shillibeer | Published 10 January 2019


Related Articles

Scousers Score As Liverpool Nets Skills Boost

The contractor behind several important building projects in Liverpool has launched a skills academy in the city to equip dozens of local people with qualifications to...

 Read Full Article
A New Hat In The Prison FM Ring - Gov Facility Services Limited Formed

The Ministry of Justice has created a new government owned facilities management company to take on the burden of contacts abandoned by the defunct Carillion - in the...

 Read Full Article
Amey Trials Data Capture Robots Across Education Portfolio

Amey’s facilities management business has collaborated with Trimble, to trial the use of robotic technology as a means of capturing usable data across its education...

 Read Full Article
Redefining the FM Engineering Skills Gap

Conrad Dean and Mike Bentman from CBRE consider the skills challenge that the FM industry is facing and explore how it can attract talent from diverse backgrounds,...

 Read Full Article
Boeing Aircrafts to Cut 2,000 Office Workers

Boeing intends to refocus on engineering and manufacturing this year, cancelling around 2,000 current employment contracts mostly held in finance and...

 Read Full Article
Wates Completes COVID Response Project for Ministry of Justice

Wates Smartspace has completed a major COVID-19 response programme on behalf of the Ministry of Justice. Wates was appointed to carry out mechanical, electrical and...

 Read Full Article
OCS Group Supports Veteran Employment with The Poppy Factory

OCS Group UK, a UK facilities management company and part of the OCS Group, has announced its partnership with The Poppy Factory, the employment support charity for...

 Read Full Article
Amey Raises Over £300K for Armed Forces Charity 

Amey’s Secure Infrastructure business, a provider of critical facilities services for the public sector and UK Defence, has raised over £300,000 for...

 Read Full Article
Amey and Mace Launch Health Platform for Menopause Support

In an industry first, Amey and Mace have launched a digital health platform to support people experiencing menopause and other major health journeys. Amey and Mace...

 Read Full Article
Mace and Amey to Tackle Gender Inequality in Construction

Two industry leaders from Mace and Amey have been appointed to spearhead a campaign to challenge gender inequality in the construction sector. Amanda Fisher,...

 Read Full Article