About the contributors
Bounce BackBounce Back is a charity that provides training in prisons and supports people from prison into employment. The skills training includes painting and decorating, dry lining and it has just opened the first scaffolding centre in a UK prison. It is also a social enterprise that employs people as professional decorators on release, working on projects of all sizes in and around London. Its focus is the reduction of re-offending through training and employment, both in its own organisation and in partnership with other construction companies.
Working ChanceWorking Chance is an award-winning charity and the UK's only specialist recruitment consultancy for women with convictions and young women care leavers. Jenny Martín (not her real name), featured in the film above, is a former candidate. As part of the support, training and networking provided, Jenny participated in workshops, attended fairs and received one-to-one mentoring. Working Chance successfully placed Jenny in a nine-month paid internship as part of The Speaker's Parliamentary Placement Scheme and are delighted that she has since become an MP Assistant at the House of Commons.
THE RIGHT COURSE
The right skills and the right attitude go a long way in business. The Right Course is a charity training-provider that offers a pathway to employment for people in prison through industry-recognised qualifications and relevant work experience in the restaurant trade. Founder Fred Sirieix discusses the success of the scheme, with many graduates securing hospitality jobs on release.
Business plays a crucial role in building healthy societies and communities. Virgin's employment programme for prison leavers is one way in which they champion diversity and inclusion in the workplace. The scheme successfully placed 27 people in full-time jobs at the company, none of whom reoffended. Matthias Stausberg, Group Advocacy Director at Virgin, gives his top tips for tapping into this talent pool.
Specsavers do more for the community than just providing glasses. Sanjay Patel, Ophthalmic Director at Specsavers in Maidstone, shares the business benefits of hiring trained optical assistants and lab technicians upon release from prison through successful partnership with The Prisons Opticians Trust (formally Pen Optical Trust).
Attracting and retaining great colleagues from all backgrounds is a key priority for HSS Hire. Lisa Crawford, Head of HR, shares her experience of hiring in custody and in the community as part of inclusive recruitment programme New Futures. In 2019 HSS won an EFFRA (Employers' Forum for Reducing Re-offending) award for
Hiring prison leavers makes good business sense for Landsec. To continue to build as well as their peers, Landsec need a skilled construction workforce for the future. Debbie Akehurst, Head of Economy and Communities at Landsec, shares her experience of supporting people furthest from the job market into employment through partnership with the prison estate and specialist charities like Bounce Back.