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Companies sign up to employ ex-offenders

05 December 2018

More than 120 businesses have recently registered to work with prisons to provide employment options for offenders.

Having expressed their interest, the companies will work with the Ministry of Justice to consider how they can develop their relationships with prisons.

The applications have been received via the Education and Employment Strategy initiative, launched by the government six months ago, which aims to allow prisoners to gain new skills and improve their chances of employment following their release.

Another of the aims of the scheme is to address the issue of reoffending, which costs the UK £15bn a year.

Studies show that ex-offenders in employment are less likely to reoffend, leading to the government calling for a "culture change within companies so that they see beyond an offender's conviction to their potential as an employee".

More than 300 businesses have previously signed up to work with prisons, with a view to providing more favourable options for those with criminal records.

Justice Secretary David Gauke said he "passionately" believes that increasing offender's skills and helping them to find employment allows them to avoid reoffending and provides benefits to "society as a whole".

"I would encourage more businesses to consider getting involved in our New Futures Network and help ex-offenders into work," said Mr Gauke.

Amey chief executive officer Andy Milner described his company's efforts in this area, including its Passport into Employment scheme as part of its prisons maintenance contract and waste recycling partnership with Recycling Lives.

The Education and Employment Strategy has also seen a £250,000 contribution towards a construction academy at HMP Leeds and more than 160 education providers signing up to deliver educational services to prisons.

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