It is estimated that more than 11 million people in the UK have a criminal conviction. This staggering figure equates to one in three men with the vast majority of offences occurring before the age of 30.
Many of these convictions are for relatively minor offences and didn’t require a stay at Her Majesty’s pleasure and have had no bearing on an individuals’ subsequent employment prospects. But what if the offence was more serious and did involve a custodial sentence? What then are your employment prospects?
The New Futures Network – a specialist part of the prison system in the UK that develops relationships between prisons and employers has revealed some key data surrounding the employment of prisoners:
- Only 17% of ex-offenders manage to get a job within a year of release
- Ex-offenders who are employed are 9 times less likely to reoffend
- 81% of people think that businesses employing ex-offenders are making a positive contribution to society
- 92% of employers say diverse recruitment has enhanced their reputation, helping them win new contracts.
Joining Chris Taylor to discuss this issue are three individuals with a unique perspective on how one particular organisation has made the employment of those most marginalised in society into a major success story.
Janet Leighton is the director of happiness at British multinational retailer The Timpson Group a family business renowned for its culture of upside down management and giving autonomy to its 2000+ stores in the UK and Ireland. Timpson is one of the largest employers of ex-offenders in the UK with approximately 10% of their workforce having a criminal conviction.
Darren Burns is Timpson’s national recruitment ambassador. He specialises in both the recruitment and retention of ex-offenders and others who face barriers to employment. Darren is a former police officer and his experience of working in some of the most challenging parts of the UK enables him to help break the offending cycle and ensure marginalised groups can find employment.
Sarah Barker has worked for Timpson Group since 2010. She was recruited when she was a resident of HMP Askham Grange, an open prison in York. When released she continued to work for the Timpson and is now a part of the Timpson Locksmith admin team.
This is a fascinating, heart-warming and positive interview that really shines a light on how engaging with some of society’s most marginalised individuals has really paid dividends!