Helping to unlock hidden potential
28 Jun 2022
A good education can set you up for life, opening doors to many exciting opportunities. Sadly, people who go through the criminal justice system are some of the most disadvantaged in society.
The Ministry of Justice reports that 42 per cent of prisoners entering custody have previously been expelled or permanently excluded from school. The most recent data also reveals that more than half of adult prisoners have literacy levels that are lower than would be expected for an 11-year-old.
Ingeus is working hard to tackle this issue by delivering education, training and employment (ETE) services for people on probation. This work is part of our Commissioned Rehabilitative Services (CRS) to remove any obstacles preventing people on probation from reintegrating into society.
Ingeus is delivering ETE services in the East Midlands (Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire), North East (Northumbria, Durham and Cleveland) and South Central England (Thames Valley and Hampshire).
How it works
We offer help and support to service users to enable them to develop their skills and gain access to colleges, employer networks and community resources. Our experienced advisers and mentors are on hand every step of the way to offer guidance and practical support.
Our advisers draw up tailored action plans for each service user, ensuring they have a support package that’s right for them. We have forged strong partnerships with a network of community-based support services and the charities Change Grow Live
and Leonard Cheshire
to maximise the amount of help available.
Being able to access the internet is crucial in today’s fast-paced digital world. Prison leavers are often digitally excluded, which can be a huge stumbling block in their efforts to secure a job.
- Leicester City Council has launched a new project where service users can borrow laptops and tablets from their local library. Ingeus can help service users join the library to benefit from the scheme.
- We regularly work with Right Track Social Enterprise, which offers online Level 1 and Level 2 qualifications as well as literacy and numeracy courses. Right Track also loans out tablets and laptops to help people complete their courses.
- Digital exclusion was a problem for our service user Lee. He had applied for a cleaning role but needed to complete a health and safety exercise online. We were able to provide him with a free tablet which he found very helpful in moving forward.
- We’ve teamed up with Trackwork, a leading provider of construction and engineering services to the railway network. The company runs training courses in Doncaster and Mansfield, and those who pass the course have a guaranteed job interview at the end.
- Likewise Portland Training offers a comprehensive list of online and face-to-face courses. These include construction NVQs, CSCS, forklift truck courses, warehousing and more, as well as links to job vacancies.
- We also have close links with the The Prince's Trust charity for young people up to the age of 30. The trust offers a range of programmes ending with guaranteed interviews with local employers.
- Service user Ben wanted to be a self-employed gardener or handyman. His Ingeus adviser referred him to NBV for training and support in setting up his own business.
- Proof of ID: Ingeus can help people access important documents so they can prove their identity when applying for jobs. Many of the people on probation who are referred to us do not have a birth certificate. The Department for Work and Pensions is funding the purchase of a copy birth certificate for prison leavers.
- Disclosure advice: Discussing past convictions can be a stumbling block for many service users when approaching prospective employers. Service user Jack believed prospective employers were put off by his criminal conviction. His Ingeus adviser, Gemma Box spoke to Jack about disclosure legislation so that he was fully aware of when his conviction would be spent. She explained when he legally had to declare his conviction and advised him to create a disclosure statement. Gemma also helped Jack to rework his CV and craft a covering letter. After receiving some useful interview tips from Gemma, Jack secured a full-time job.
- Street Soccer Academy at Leicester City Football Club: Service user Ian was educated to GCSE level but needed to explore more options to achieve his dream of working in the motor industry. His Ingeus adviser Mohsin Shaikh helped him to rework his CV and then referred him to Street Soccer Academy with Leicester City Football Club.
This programme is living proof of how football can help people turn their lives around. The goal is to allow people to pick up transferable skills that will stand them in good stead for any future role.
During his 10 weeks with the academy, Ian picked up valuable employability skills, working as part of a team and building his confidence. He received excellent feedback from the football coaches. For Ian, the opportunities he has accessed through ETE have been life changing. He has secured a job at a local garage, working full time, and is loving his new role.
Belief in everyone
Prison leavers have often been dealt a poor hand when it comes to education. But Ingeus is drawing on many years of employability expertise to support some of the hardest-to-reach people in society. No matter how limited a service user’s education or employment history may be, we know they can unlock their true potential with the right kind of support.