May 2020 update

A Fairer Chance, like other businesses, has had to adapt to a new way of working now we can no longer access prisons, jobcentres or probation premises. But we like a challenge. For the time being we are accepting self-referrals, from people being released to London .

We are working particularly closely with Waltham Forest and we are piloting a little project with Eva, the amazing DWP Work Coach in HMP Pentonville. We have the first two lads she has referred to us fixed up with personalised CVs and disclosure letters and one has had a telephone interview already. If he passes his medical he will be back on track, rail track that is, next week.

We also continue to work with women due for release this year. So are there any employers out there interested in offering an advanced apprenticeship to a young woman with a Level 3 Electrical engineering qualification and the first year of an aeronautical degree under her belt? Having helped a young woman move from custody to completing a degree level apprenticeship as a Signalling Technician we know we can help industry access these fantastic women, who have a lot to offer, in an area of huge skills shortages.

Since March we have worked tirelessly with our retail partners. We have identified, prepared and risked assessed our jobseekers, for vacancies across the UK. As one of them said to me “I’ve gone from convict to key worker”. Indeed we have hundreds of AFC people working in key roles across environmental services, retail, logistics and even social care.

At A Fairer Chance we don’t expect our jobseekers to “wear a badge”. We only identify individuals, if they say they want to tell their story. We work with our employers to help them navigate the Criminal Justice System and give them the confidence to employ people on licence or in the community. Once our people are in work they are treated like anybody else that works for that organisation be they project managers, butchers, bakers, carpenters or now civil servants.

While you will find the details of some of our employers on our website they don’t all want to shout too loud about what they do for fear of identifying individuals and, I would say, attracting the attention of the wrong kind of media. However, they are all willing to speak to other employers about their work with us.

So if there are any employers who would like to find out more about what we do or talk to existing employers, then do get in touch

Stay safe and in these times think about everyone in prison. Not just the staff, who I know are doing an amazing job, but the prisoners too who are on a very restricted regime and at the mercy of the virus.