Thoughts, stories and events to share


Claudia Vince, about 4 years ago

We are giving people a second chance which is what everyone deserves. We are also showing that this project is diverse and promotes equality.

Nicole, Legacy Coordinator, Tideway.

Having recently featured a blog on the innovative 'Out for Good' project, we spoke to Tideway's Central team (a joint venture of construction companies Ferrovial Agroman and Laing O'Rourke) , one of the companies involved in the scheme, about their recent recruitment drive to employ ex-offenders. Tideway is the company behind the Thames Tideway Tunnel a major new sewer to protect the tidal River Thames from pollution. As part of their commitment to leaving a lasting legacy for the project, Tideway are committed to including ex-offenders in this workforce.

As one of the biggest infrastructure projects in Europe, – Tideway recognize their duty not only to help clean up the River Thames but to also leave a skills and employment legacy for London by creating fair opportunities for ex-offenders. Tideway believe they are paving the way for a more inclusive and diverse construction industry that will benefit local communities, businesses and the city of London as a whole.

We work on the 'Out for Good' programme with Bounce Back and work hard to offer employment to candidates who are motivated and keen to get a second chance at a career. We have mentors who work closely with them to make sure they have support, as the process of leaving prison and starting employment is not easy.

Nicole, Legacy Coordinator, Tideway

Tideway have plans to hire at least one ex-offender per 100 full time employees. In order to deliver on this promise, Tideway have started running workshops inside HMP Brixton with the help of Bounce Back and the 'Out for Good' scheme. This allows Tideway staff to meet the candidates whilst they are in prison and ensure that the correct support is in place before they are released. This process also includes the supply chain, and, in this case, Tideway has worked together with Danny Sullivan to recruit candidates coming from Brixton prison. Danny Sullivan have been very supportive with Tideway 's strategy, attending the workshops at the prison and adapting the recruitment process for ex-offenders, according to their specific situations.

I went to the prison back in April and told them that I knew how they all felt because I was sitting in their place not too many months ago. There were many companies that came in and gave talks and nothing came of it, but Tideway have made an effort and actually give people jobs and help them rehabilitate themselves. The job has changed my life, it's nice to have money coming in every week and being able to be free again.

Terry, ex-prisoner and Tideway employee.

In recognising that ex-offenders often face a number of difficulties when being released from prison, Tideway has set up a mentoring scheme which ensures all their new employees receive the right kind of support when starting their new jobs. This helps ex-offenders recognise that should any problems arise, their mentors are there to help. So, should they require some time off from work to deal with issues relating to housing or family difficulties, they are safe in the knowledge that they can be open and honest with their employer.

With this mission of creating an inclusive workforce, Tideway have joined the growing list of employers backing BITC's 'Ban the Box' campaign. Through their workshops in HMP Brixton, Tideway recognises that often-what people need most is a second chance.

By removing the criminal convictions question from our applications forms, we are ensuring a fair and equal opportunity for anyone who applies for a job at Tideway. We are confident this will encourage more people with the right skills and abilities to consider how they could get involved in the hugely important work we're doing for London.

Julie Thornton, Head of HR, Tideway