Gainful employment: the key to reducing reoffending

Working in partnership to place service users in the energy, water and transport infrastructure sectors

Statistics show that the chances of service users re-offending are doubled simply by not having a job. Many have limited qualifications, and often see their criminal convictions as a barrier to employment. With around 55% of our service users being unemployed, part of our crucial work is to get them into the right mind-set to look for work or training opportunities, and where needed, provide appropriate support to help them do so.

“For someone to have that much faith in you, regardless what he knew of my past, was truly inspiring.”

Contain employment scheme

Costain provides technology-based engineering solutions and is a major employer in the energy, water and transport infrastructure sectors. We have worked in partnership with them since 2016 to help them fill a variety of roles, and address skills shortages.

Our Education, Training and Employment (ETE) Team carefully screen service users for suitability for the Costain programme, and identify what support they need to prepare them to interview with the organisation.

Costain then meet with service users to see if they are ‘work-ready’ or need further training and support. Service users can either be offered unpaid work experience to gain experience, or if they already have the necessary skills, they are given the chance to interview for a permanent role. Roles range from quantity surveying to project and financial management and administration, working on projects like Crossrail and HS2.

Successful outcomes

Once service users have completed any unpaid work placements, they may be considered for permanent positions within Costain. The scheme has been highly successful, with a 100% retention rate of service users involved in the scheme, and crucially no re-offending. “It’s built up my confidence,” explained one service user who now works in an administration role at Costain. “I’ve got a passion now, and a positive outlook for my future.”

“After a month on my work placement, my manager told me about a position that he felt I would be suitable to fill. I was in shock that he would even consider me for this”.

Costain are delighted with the success of the initiative and are actively considering rolling out the scheme across their organisation.

“I am finally moving in a positive direction with my life,” said one service user who now has a permanent role. “I have used the mistakes of my past as a lesson and a learning point in my life. I am now on a four year graduate apprentice scheme.”

Specialist support

Wayne Lewis, an ETE Advisor at London Community Rehabilitation Company, has worked closely with Costain from the launch of the employment scheme. He helps service users prepare to meet with Costain, including supporting them to write their CVs and practice interview skills, and coaches them on how to disclose their criminal convictions.

‘You feel like there’s someone holding your hand,’ said one service user, now successfully employed at Costain, ‘and guiding you through this process.’

Find out more

Contact ETE Intervention Manager, Theresa Gardiner for more information on our Employment, Training and Education services: theresa.gardiner@londoncrc.org.uk

Partnership working

In running this programme we aim to provide an innovative cost-effective recruitment route at a company level, to deliver reliable and highly skilled individuals, helping to address labour shortages in the construction industry. Members of society who receive custodial and non-custodial sentences, should not be stigmatised and alienated, but seen instead as an excellent source of skilled employees, who will greatly value the opportunity of employment.”- Costain

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