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Free webinar on hiring ex-offenders for business

A free webinar has been organised to explain why it’s vital to break down business barriers to hiring people with convictions.

Offploy, a not-for-profit organisation which supports ex-offenders into employment wants to challenge perceptions and show how recruiting people with convictions can improve staff retention, reduce staff absences and improve corporate social responsibility.

Ministry of Justice figures show that, on average, only less than a fifth of former prisoners manage to gain employment within a year of release – but those who do are less likely to reoffend.

The event, which takes place on Tuesday 23 November will be led by those with first-hand experience of employing ex-offenders including Virgin, Johnsons Hotel Linen, and City & Guilds Group who will each make the case for more inclusive recruitment practices.

Research shows that 92% of firms employing ex-offenders reported enhanced reputation – leading to more contracts and 86% of employers rate ex-offenders they’ve hired as ‘good at their job’

Richard Strauss, Director of Sustainability at Offploy said:

Reoffending rates currently cost the UK £18bn a year – but organisations could play a part in reducing that figure if they would only consider offering opportunities to those with an unspent conviction.

Recruitment is expensive – £2,000 a head to advertise non-management positions, according to the CIPD. The ex-offender talent pool remains largely untapped, but if you know how to access it, the benefits for diversity, inclusion, and organisational capabilities can be transformative.

Julia Bena, community and networks manager at City & Guilds Group, added:

As employers, we have a moral obligation to help create a society that is fair and inclusive. Part of that must mean giving all people equitable opportunities to learn, develop new skills, and contribute in the workplace and their communities.

There are many ways employers can get involved and support people with lived experience of prison into employment whilst making a positive impact on their business. Joining open conversations to explore our biases is one of them. The City & Guilds Foundation is committed to help challenge existing perspectives, share best practice from our network and offer guidance for organisations to improve their approach.

The webinar will take place over Zoom from 10:00 – 11:30 GMT on 23 November, and you can register via the Zoom Webinar Registration.

Photo: Offploy