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Service users offered jobs after impressing employers at prison events

15 July 2016

Employers were so impressed by the skills and qualities service users displayed at three recent employer engagement events held in prisons that many have been offered jobs or a second interview.

KSS CRC recently supported some employer engagement events at HMP Lewes, HMP Elmley and HMP Rochester.

The events were organised by National Careers Service provider, CXK, working alongside the prison service, as part of their Inspiration Agenda – an initiative aimed at increasing service users’ aspirations by giving them real-life contact with employers with vacancies.

They gave over 100 service users the opportunity to be interviewed for a live vacancy or training opportunity so they could demonstrate their work skills, personal qualities and commitment to moving on with their lives.

Employers who attended the events included Fencross, Driver Hire, Mitie, Cook Shop, Pen Optical Trust, Kier, Skanska, Mainstream, Gregg’s, Timpson's, All Pallets, Lobster Pots, CAP Enterprise, Wilmot Dixon, Brakes and various independent employers.

At the end of the three events, 36 service users were offered jobs, two an apprenticeship, 19 a second interview and 20 further training opportunities.

KSS CRC worked with CXK to get service users ‘work-ready’ before the event using our framework, My Solution Rehabilitation Programme (MSRP), to deliver support. MSRP is designed to challenge attitudes, change behaviours and develop the skills required by people to achieve a crime-free life.

Siamack Danesteh-Pour, Senior Probation Officer from our Resettlement Team, explains: ‘One of the key routeways within MSRP we deliver is called ‘Future’ which helps people improve their employability skills and secure jobs.

‘The type of support we provide to service users includes job specific training, help writing a CV or to prepare for an interview. We also develop a person’s work etiquette, time management and communication skills. We offer this help through the gate and to those on sentences in the community.

‘This type of work means employers willing to give service users a second chance, benefit from a pool of genuine talent.’

Simon Austen, CXK Custody lead, said: ‘My vision for these types of events is that employers become more in sync with prisons and offender services through the gate, to allow better sharing of available job and training opportunities. We are committed to continuing our work with employers, the prison service and KSS CRC to achieve this aspiration.’

Businesses can meet with service users, match skills and see for themselves what value they can bring. Please contact Suzanne Purcell, Suzanne.Purcell@ksscrc.scc.gsi.gov.uk, if you would like to find out about the work we do to prepare our service users for work and training or to discuss opportunities within your organisation to attend one of the future Prison Employer Engagement events or one of our careers fairs.

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