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ERSA Employability Day 2020

ERSA Employability Day 2020 will see Novus host a series of virtual stakeholder events to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on employment and ex-offenders, and what we can do together to support our learners during this time.

Novus has been involved in the Employment Related Services Association (ERSA) Employability Day for a number of years. Using the annual event as a platform to start conversations around employing ex-offenders, celebrate positive outcomes for learners and host employer recruitment events in prisons. Due to COVID-19, this year’s Employability Day may look different, however Novus is still as committed in showcasing the importance of employment for ex-offenders.

This year’s ERSA Employability Day is Friday 26 June. On the day, and throughout the week, colleagues from the Novus Works team will be hosting a series of interactive sessions with colleagues, stakeholders and partners. The eight events will focus on the specific challenges in each of the Prison Education Framework (PEF) lots, bringing together the relevant stakeholders for each area. 


The region are hosting two events. The Collaborative Working session will look at how the Novus team will support Novus Advice careers activity within prisons as we move forward.

This will be followed by a session that will look at the issues and factors facing employers and employees moving forward from COVID-19 and into a new workplace landscape. From recruitment in growing and declining sectors to working from home and commuting, issues under discussion are all factors we will need to address in the employability support we offer our learners going forward.

Lancashire and Cumbria

The team will host a partnership meeting with key stakeholders including HMPPS, DWP and New Futures Network. Discussions will include growth in unemployment within the labour market in general and how do we prepare our learners for this tougher job market.

West Midlands

A Key Stakeholder and Partnership Forum will look at local labour market information (LMI) data and changes in the labour market. Attendees include Will Quince MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Welfare Delivery). The discussion will focus on ‘what needs to improve to enable better employment outcomes given the current pandemic’.

Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Cheshire

A partnership event with New Futures Network, IAG Service, DWP, Achieve, HMPPS and employers in the construction sector Bowmer and Kirkland will include a general update from all key stakeholders looking at plans moving on from COVID-19, with a specific construction sector update from Bowmer and Kirkland.


The region’s Employment Partnership meeting will include attendees from HMPPS, sub-contractors and employers. The event will look at employment opportunities for our learners, best practice and moving forward with employment plans following on from COVID-19. The discussion will feature contributions from education, partners, resettlement, education, training and employment (ETE) and Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRC). 

Women’s Estate North

The Partnership and Stakeholder event will include attendees from New Futures Network, key employers and partners from within the justice space, with discussion centred on employment opportunities emerging from COVID-19 for Women's Estate.

Tees and Wear

The final session planned will look at how COVID-19 has affected the labour market in the North East, which sectors are the most at risk of decline in business/have suffered the most, which have remained stable and which have seen an increase. 

Discussions will centre on how we can translate what we know into accessible advice and support for our learners and how this can inform what skills, training and qualifications we currently offer, and plan to offer, our learners in the future.

Chris Horton, Director of Operations, said: “At a time when there is so much uncertainty surrounding how the employment landscape will look going forward, these events are vital in enabling us to have frank and open discussions with key partners and employers, which will directly help us to support our learners on the next stage of their rehabilitation journey.”

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