News - Construction News

Ex-offenders offered construction work to reintegrate

A partnership between the contractor company Wates Residential and the recruitment company One Way has been struck to employ prisoners into paid work on construction sites as a way of reintegrating ex-offenders into society while also reducing the rate of reoffending.

Specifically, this employment programme for ex-offenders has been named Brighter Pathways by the Wates/One Way partnership and is designed to run over the course of an 18 month period wherein prisoners are supported in finding and retaining work as well as secure and affordable accommodation.

The Managing Director for Wates Residential, Paul Nicholls stated: “Everyone deserves a second chance and the Brighter Futures programme offers a real opportunity for ex-offenders to access sustainable training employment opportunities to support their rehabilitation back into the community and set them up for the future. It also makes real business sense to recruit from a wider talent pool if we are to remain fit for the future and address the industry’s widening skills gap.”

A successful pilot process has taken place with HMP Ford in West Sussex where prisoners assisted with regeneration work to the river wall at Free Wharf in Shoreham, in partnership with Southern Housing Group, to make way for more 500 new homes.

The Project Leader at One Way, Sasha Bayly-Simmonds commented: “For One Way this is very much about making a change, we have the resources to change someone’s life. Why wouldn’t we? The programme has enabled us to offer someone a career and a real chance at reform. The Brighter Futures partnership has enabled us to move someone straight into work on release, with career prospects and a fresh start”.

The Chief Executive Officer of the New Futures Network, Duncan O’Leary added: “NFN are looking forward to working with Wates Residential and One Way on future projects; and to support prisons to put forward talented, motivated individuals to be part of their workforce.”

If you would like to read more articles like this then please click here.