A global construction firm, with a base in Birmingham, says it will be one of the first organisations to sign up to a new Charter that commits it to hiring and supporting people with criminal records.
ISG, which is a construction and engineering company with more than 2,000 staff in the UK, says it is looking forward to putting pen to paper and signing up to the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Second Chances Charter.
The PCC, Simon Foster, will launch the new Charter on the 18th January at his Business Summit and is delighted big companies are already signalling they will commit to the pledge.
In his Police and Crime Plan the PCC made a commitment to helping those with convictions get back into employment.
The Second Chances Charter requires organisations to guarantee people with convictions an interview for entry level jobs, provide them with workplace mentors, training, work experience and incentives.
More than 12 million people in the UK have a criminal record and, on average, a quarter of people who have offended go on to reoffend. Experts know that if they are to break the cycle of crime then we must ensure people who leave prison can find and stay in work.
“I made a commitment when I was elected to ensure more people with a criminal record are helped to find and stay in work, said the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, Simon Foster.
“This second chances Charter is designed to encourage organisations, large or small, to commit to helping.
“I’m delighted a company as large as ISG is already signalling it is willing to put pen to paper and sign up to the Charter. I believe more organisations will quickly follow their lead.”
Whilst Joy Woods, ISG’s Senior Social Value Manager, commented: “People with convictions want a chance to transform their lives by acquiring skills and finding work after release from prison.
“The role of employers is a critical success factor, and businesses can help by having an ongoing commitment to supporting individuals through engagement and recruitment.
The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner’s (PCC’s) Second Chances Charter provides a framework and guidance for employers, helping them to employ people with convictions.
“We are proud to sign up to the Charter and to be encouraging our regional supply chain partners to sign up, along with other West Midlands organisations.”
Another key partner, Nina Champion, Director of the Criminal Justice alliance, said: “One in six people in the UK have a criminal conviction.
“There are many people with convictions or leaving prison who want to work, but too often face the barriers of stigma and lack of support. This is holding our country back as employers – struggling to fill vacancies – are missing out on a diverse, talented and loyal workforce.
At the CJA we want to set people up for success and are proud to have ‘banned the box’ on our application form so we don’t ask people if they have a conviction.
“We promote our roles to people with convictions, offer paid internships to people who have been in prison and have set up a leadership programme for people with lived experience of the justice system.
“We value the expertise, skills and passion they bring to our organisation.
“We hope more employers sign up to the Second Chance Charter, which is an impressive initiative from the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner.”
Meanwhile, Bally Nijjar, Inside Job Programme Director at Beating Time, an organisation that works to help people put Prison behind them, said: “Beating Time has been part of the West Midlands community, in prisons and out, for over 8 years.
“What a fantastic opportunity the Second Chance Charter is to bring the business and social sectors together and commit to making real, positive changes in our region and beyond.
“Our Inside Job team supports people who have served sentences to thrive on release and become active, working members of society.
“We see every day the difference open-minded Midlands employers make by giving our candidates a second chance – rebuilding confidence, self-respect, and families.”Back to News Archive