Ex-offenders could provide untapped pool of talent

Recruiting
ex-offenders may be a growing necessity for employers at a time of low
unemployment and high demand for skilled workers, according to the Chartered
Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

A
new report says the Government needs to do more to ensure that programmes to
assist ex-offenders to return to work are properly geared towards the needs of
employers.

A
large proportion of the working population have some kind of criminal
conviction.

One
in three adult men under the age of 30 have criminal convictions, but many of
these are for relatively minor offences, and two-thirds of criminals sentenced
to custodial sentences serve
less than 12 months.

Yet
the labour market remains tight: Unemployment is at historically low levels and
more than 85 per cent of employers report difficulties in recruiting suitably
skilled and experienced people to fill vacancies.

Dianah Worman, CIPD diversity adviser, said:
"Employers no longer have the luxury of being able to label every
ex-offender ‘a bad ‘un’, not to be recruited at any cost. Employers who won’t
consider ex-offenders when trying to fill vacancies may find themselves losing
out in the war for talent.

CIPD
research shows that only 6 per cent of employers who have knowingly employed
people with convictions have had a negative experience.

"The
Government needs to engage with employers to ensure that ex-prisoners, in
particular, have been given skills that are relevant to the jobs market in
their own home area, as well as ensuring that employers’ legitimate fears about
employing ex-offenders are addressed," said Worman.

www.cipd.co.uk

By Mike Berry

 

 

 

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