Businesses join with prisons to find ex-offenders work

A further 120 businesses have signed up to working with prisons to help offenders into work on their release.

The development, revealed by Justice Secretary David Gauke today, follows the launch six months ago of the government’s 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 upon release. The strategy also seeks to encourage a culture change within companies so that they see beyond an offender’s conviction to their potential as an employee.

Businesses that have registered an interest span a range of sectors, including construction and retail. Having registered their interest, the businesses will now work with the Ministry of Justice to explore how to take forward their relationship with prisons. The newly-registered businesses could join more than 300 already working in prisons.

Commenting, Gauke said he was 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.”

The government also revealed launch of a new construction academy at HMP Leeds, set to open in February next year, that will benefit seven prisons across Yorkshire and which will be funded by a £250k grant.


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