A Fairer Chance supported Ossie, and here he writes about his experience in his own words:
I was released from custody in October 2012 after serving three months of a 22 month sentence for fraud. Before this, I had been a Business Development Manager, and during my sentence I was given the role as Head Chapel Orderly. I also studied Business Management and completed the Alpha course, and these two courses assisted me in becoming a Toe by Toe Mentor whilst in custody.
On my release I applied for numerous roles provided by companies supposedly supporting prisoners through the gate back out into the community to help them find employment. Unfortunately they didn’t have any positions which I felt matched either my ambition or my skill set, as I wanted a position where I could use my strong communication, analytical and organisation skills. This was frustrating as I was keen to get back into employment, as I have my family to provide for.
I contacted Rozie at A Fairer Chance, as their website displayed many good news stories of ex-offenders gaining employment and starting successful careers. Instantly Rozie began to seek career opportunities for me within large organisations. She got in touch with me one day to advise me that Transport for London (TfL) had six month placement positions in their Projects Department. I didn’t hesitate to ask her to please put me forward.
Rozie organised a day at The Transport Museum, which I attended to gain knowledge, to prepare and assist me and another 11 candidates for the interviews/group assessment day at TfL shortly after. We looked at the history of TfL, the types of roles across the sector, and I researched the job description for the role I was applying for. We also worked on team building and interview techniques and put together a ‘Yellow Panel’ that would be given to the person interviewing me. In the museum there are yellow panels dotted around the wall which each give a biography on people who have made a significant contribution to the transport industry. Rozie asked me to make my own panel so I could highlight all the things I felt I had accomplished to date. After I spent the day at the museum, I went on to write my letter of disclosure, again with Rozie’s support.
On the day of the interview and group assessment I attended along with seven other hopeful candidates. The day was very exciting and the opportunity to work for such a large organisation became much more real as the TfL management team went into great detail about the responsibilities of a Project Support Officer.
After the interview and assessment I desperately awaited the outcome to see if I would be offered the role at TfL. A short time passed and the great news was delivered to me by Rozie that I was successful and could start in April 2015.
I am now a Project Support Officer for the Project and Programme Directorate at TfL and I believe I am excelling in the role, which involves the delivery of projects like the £67m Wandsworth Project, to regenerate the town centre, transform the local area for residents and create new opportunities for businesses. TfL management team have welcomed me and treat me as a normal employee.
At the moment I am actively seeking another opportunity as my six month placement is due to end. I am very thankful to Rozie, A Fairer Chance and TfL, and I believe the work they are doing to support ex-offenders is second to none.
Breaking news: At the end of September, only days after writing this case study, Ossie was successful in securing a permanent position in the Projects & Programmes Directorate as a Project Support Officer. Congratulations Ossie.
The Equality & Inclusion Manager in the Projects & Programmes Directorate, Chad Frankish stated, “We are delighted that Ossie was successful in securing a permanent position and will be staying with us. He has proven to be an enthusiastic, hard-working, valued member of the team and has highlighted the talented individuals that A Fairer Chance has to offer.”