Thoughts, stories and events to share

Catch22- Employer Focus

Sophie O'Sullivan, about 2 years ago

It is long overdue that employers open their minds to supporting those with convictions – to close off such a large group of society, many of whom are seeking the chance to restart, is bad for business too. Organisations can find a resilient, loyal workforce if they just reach out to those with the expertise to support both employer and employee.


The last blog in our series with Catch22 looks at how employers can get involved and offer opportunities to people with convictions.

A look at the current statistics:

Reoffending is costing society at least £11 billion per year and reoffending rates for young people are even higher than adults – costing even more over a lifetime.

For offences with less than a 12 month sentence, 60% of adults reoffend within a year of release. We know that having a meaningful job on release is the number one preventer of reoffending.

Employment Q & A

We caught up with the team at Catch22 to learn more about their thoughts on employability support for people with convictions.

What can employers do, especially as a first step in adopting more inclusive policies and processes?

A small but significant step is to sign up to Ban the Box – an initiative which stops those with convictions being filtered out so early on in the application process. If the individual turns out to be the best person for the job, usually individual risks can be assessed during the interview phase and the discriminatory process of ruling out anyone with a criminal record is removed.

What opportunities are there for employers to connect with Catch22?

We have many forward thinking organisations working with us who need loyal and reliable talent but also want to ensure that they are addressing societal need too. Whether it's partnering with us at scale to provide many with opportunities, or if you are just a small enterprise who can give one person in need a second chance at a career, reaching out to offer your support is a huge step to giving someone a purposeful life.

Finally, what's next for Catch22?

Addressing unemployment is a focus of ours right now, particularly for young people who have often been undervalued in terms of employment. We also want to see reform across the prison education and employability sectors.
Examples of what we'd like to see in the justice system include individual education plans linked in with sentencing plans, ensuring work happening inside the prison gates leads to meaningful pathways on release.
Another would be apprenticeships starting in prison which can then be completed in the community, directly addressing local skill needs.

It has been a pleasure to showcase the outstanding work that Catch22 does in the justice and employment sectors as an example of best practice. The expertise, value and drive across the organisation has a hugely transformative impact on the individuals and businesses it supports.

We strongly encourage employers to get in touch to explore opportunities.

To contact Catch22 regarding employment, please click here.

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Here at The Exceptionals, we offer free support on the hiring process and celebrate best practice. Please do get in touch to find out more.