Novus is joining forces with Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) to celebrate National Employability Event on June 29 at a ground-breaking North West Conference. As part of the unique event, we are bringing together employers, prisons and those that support us to highlight how working with ex-offenders can help organisations grow their business and contribute to a safer society.
The North West Conference follows the success of our inaugural event at Wembley Stadium in March, which saw a wide range of businesses enjoy talks and demonstrations showcasing the benefits of employing ex-offenders and ease of working with prisons. Special guest Fred Sirieix, of popular Channel 4 programme First Dates and General Manager of the Michelin-starred restaurant Galvin at Windows in London’s Hilton Park Lane Hotel, also delivered a keynote speech about the impact of meaningful employment opportunities for offenders and his own experiences of transforming people’s lives through learning and skills.
Now our sights turn northwards as we prepare to demonstrate the value of recruiting ex-offenders and promote the real opportunities available to help fill the skills gaps in organisations. A range of experts will also be available on the day to discuss how easy it can be for employers to welcome a fully trained, work ready, loyal candidate to their team.
Research tells us that having a stable job is a critical part of an offender’s journey back into society. Employment provides an offender with independence, status, earning power, a structured routine, social contact and a sense of purpose and direction. It has a direct effect on reducing reoffending, cutting the number of crimes committed in our communities.
Helping ex-offenders into employment has a significant and lasting impact on both the level of crime and the cost to society, a cost estimated at around £60 billion in England and Wales. Around 18% of that is due to re-offending by recent prisoners. This puts the bill for the UK at around £13 billion per year, with each reoffending former prisoner potentially costing the criminal justice system an average of £65,000.
Each year, in England and Wales, approximately 66,000 ex-offenders will return to society after their sentence. At least three-quarters of them will be unemployed and almost two-thirds will reoffend within two years. Imagine being able to make a positive impact on those figures.
At Novus, we know that most employers want to do the right thing – for their business, their customers and for their employees. Now they also have the chance to do the right thing for society and for their own community – by opening their doors to an ex-offender.
Barbara McDonough, Chief Operating Officer at Novus, said: “We know that offenders are much less likely to commit further crimes if they are able to enter the world of work when they leave prison. By working together we can transform the lives of people in custody and equip them with the knowledge and experience they need to succeed.”
With the average cost of recruiting and training a new employee estimated at £5,000, we can help to create a recruitment pipeline that benefits everyone – employers, offenders and the community. We can even train offenders in the specific skills needed by an employer, and this is already happening in industries from catering and hospitality to construction. If we can better understand employer’s needs, we can work inside prisons to help offenders gain the skills they need before they’re released.
The conference is a real opportunity for us to develop new partnerships with organisations and support them in fulfilling their skills needs. If you’re an employer, you’re welcome to join us at our event. Get in touch and find out how working with an ex-offender can help you to succeed.
Play your part in a safer society and book your North West Conference place at [email protected]