At 17 years of age, Kevin* was sentenced to three years at a young offenders institute for possession of a firearm. After completing half of his sentence he was released earlier this year.
Kevin signed up with two organisations who work with ex-offenders trying to find employment but unfortunately, neither were successful in helping Kevin to get a job. He was referred to A Fairer Chance by his Jobcentre Plus Adviser at The Hub**, and he met with Rozie, our National Campaign Manager, for a one on one diagnostic interview. He had been told we were currently recruiting for a retail supermarket store and before he met with us he had used his initiative to visit their website and research the type of vacancies available and note which ones he thought he would be good at. He came across very well and seemed genuinely interested in finding work to help keep himself out of trouble.
Rozie worked with Kevin to write a personal positive letter of disclosure, which he is happy for us to share with you:
I am really keen to start work and your company seems like a fantastic opportunity. After doing some research on the vacancies at your store I think I could be a good fit for an online retail assistant.
I am happy to start work early and work as hard as needed.
I do not have much work experience as when I was 17 I made a very stupid mistake and went and collected a package for someone, knowing that it could be something illegal, and it was. I was sentenced to a young offenders institute for 18 months for possession of a firearm.
Although this is one of the biggest mistakes of my life, while in prison I got an education, took a number of courses and really got a chance to think about how I want to live my life. Since release I have completely removed myself from all the negatives in my life, am working with a number of organisations and sticking to my probation.
I now really want to find a job where I can have some structure in my life, earn my own money and make my mum proud. I feel your company could be a fantastic place for me to do this.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.”
After working further with Kevin on interview technique and customer service based training, we invited him to a local store to sit an in-house customer service exam. He passed with a score of 98%. He was invited to interview for the department he had shown an interest in and was offered a job on the spot with a start date of the very next day.
Kevin has now completed his induction and started work.
Kevin says: “After looking for work for over 6 months I can’t believe how quickly A Fairer Chance found me something. I would recommend anyone who has been released from prison to AFC. I really appreciate their help.”
* Not his real name
**The Waltham Forest Hub was a Jobcentre geared toward supporting people who were 24 years old and younger.