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A Fresh Start: RMF Construction

Sophie O'Sullivan, about 3 years ago

I want to see 100s of organisations start doing what RMF Construction does already.

- David Jamieson, Police and Crime Commissioner for the West Midlands

RMF Construction, a provider of high quality construction services, launched Fresh Start this year. This labour-supply initiative is progressive in its practical response to skills shortages in the construction industry, its social inclusion and use of technology.

One Sunday morning at 3am, Social Inclusion Labour Manager Dara McCarthy had a dream and was quick to put pen to paper. The vision was Fresh Start.

The flagship programme was a huge success at HMP Hewell Grange. This was partly due to the installation of a rail track, funded by Fresh Start. The course resulted in an impressive 100% employment rate.

Fresh Start is twofold. Candidates have the opportunity to train in a live working environment. RMF's purpose built 22-acre training facility runs CPCS accredited training courses. These qualified and motivated candidates will progress and have access to live job roles. RMF have created a digital hub that matches underrepresented candidates from a range of backgrounds, including ex-offenders, with RMF's extensive network of forward-thinking clients. It operates within 16 prisons nationwide, alongside multiple college partnerships.

For prospective clients who are looking to employ ex-offenders through the scheme, the team at RMF offer a full managed service and are at hand to manage any probation service and licence queries, so you can focus on the smooth and effective running of your business. They will work with you to provide the best candidates to deliver your project, upskilling to meet specific requirements.

Recently, RMF were delighted to announce its partnership with Reconomy waste management as part of the Reconomy Social Value Programme (RSVP). RMF will work with Reconomy and their supply chain partners in order to adopt Fresh Start's socially inclusive recruitment model. The scheme will offer tailored training programmes to up-skill candidates and match job requirements from within the Waste Management Industry.

The business case is strong. The CIPD has calculated that filling the average vacancy costs around £2,000. Social Inclusion initiatives, like Fresh Start, where employers work with specialist organisations to take people on from disadvantaged backgrounds can help reduce overheads and it is totally free to sign up

Currently, the programme has provided training and employment to over 250 ex-offenders. This has reduced re-offending rates from 30% to just 3%. Over the next year, a further 1,500 candidates are scheduled to be trained as a prerequisite to employment.

RMF Fresh Start candidates can be employed upon release as well as through ROTL, a temporary licence initiative, where many candidates have found success in sustainable, long-term employment and career progression.

When I get out, I'm going to continue working for RMF. I want to get a few more qualifications so I can progress and be more of an asset to the company.

-RMF Fresh Start Candidate

Fresh Start have helped me every step of the way from training me up and employing me for over 2 years as well as helping my progressing into a supervisor role.

-RMF Fresh Start Candidate

Martin was motivated to get involved with RMF Fresh Start in prison, signing up to the rail course. Unfortunately, he did not pass his medical assessment at the end of the course. The Fresh Start team helped him with this in further risk assessment and appeals. On release, he will continue working with RMF. This opportunity recognises his potential. For many people like Martin, it is life-changing.

You can learn more about another first-class candidate Justin's training and work below. Fresh Start provided Justin with the necessary training and qualifications whilst inside prison to enter long-term employment upon his release.

If you would like to open your recruitment to ex-offenders and underrepresented groups, please contact RMF Construction through our directory or on their website. Please do stay updated with their future projects on RMF's Twitter.