Not only are many ex-offenders often unprepared for employment on release in terms of their skills and training, but there remains a stigma among some employers about hiring people with a criminal conviction.
The Ministry of Justice have launched a May 2018 strategy (pdf) to help adult prisoners develop their learning and skills and secure and sustain employment after they leave custody.
This strategy sets out how they will tailor their approaches on education and employment.
The policy paper finds:
- The number of prisoners working in prison industries (prison jobs provided by private sector employers or government departments) at any one time has increased significantly, from 7,500 in 2010/11 to over 11,000 in 2016
- Too many prisoners are still engaged in violence and disruption, rather than turning their own lives around. There were 28,000 violent incidents recorded in our prisons last year alone
- Prison education has delivered qualifications but not been tailored closely enough to the requirements of employers or the needs of different cohorts of prisoners.
The strategy aims to:
- Empower governors in England to commission the education provision most likely to meet employers’ requirements and prisoners’ needs
- Provide the right tools and support to governors to make the best use of these powers
- Recruit ex-prisoners directly into the civil service, providing jobs and acting as a role model for other employers.
The Secretary of State for Justice, Rt. Hon David Gauke MP states:
‘For those prisoners who want to work and are prepared to change, this strategy will help to break down the barriers and prejudices offenders often face in trying to find a job’.