One of the biggest barriers for ex-offenders is the lack of employment opportunities available on release. Finding employment after release is an important factor in helping to reduce re-offending, but with only 17% of leavers being employed 6 months after release ex-offenders are finding it difficult to get into work. At Novus, we take a particular interest in helping our learners into employment.
Novus staff have been making a real difference in helping learners find employment opportunities so that on release they are equipped with the skills, knowledge, and experience necessary to find work. Over the past couple of months, HMP Lancaster Farms and HMP Kirkham have taken part in exciting opportunities to help their learners into employment after release.
Employment Success For Prison Education Learners
A former learner from HMP Lancaster Farms, set up an interview for a chef role with Novus Employer Account Managers after his release. The interview was a success, and he was immediately offered the role of breakfast chef with a start date of 21st May 2023. The former learner is beyond happy with the speed in which he was supported by Novus and can't thank the Novus staff at Lancaster Farms enough for the support he received whilst learning new skills in the Hospitality industry.
The former learner stated:
Without the support of Sharon, Elain, Nicola, Nana and Denise I would not be where I am today with a job to look forward to starting and prospects to move forward within the Hospitality system.
Self-Employment Opportunities For Learners With Crown Paint
Representatives from Novus and Novus Works, Sam Pendlebury and Denise Fairhurst have met with Crown Paint who have agreed to donate start up equipment for those interested in becoming a self-employed decorator on release.
The opportuntity will give our learners the independence and freedom to become their own boss and create their own business ventures. It also gives them the opportunity to choose which career path they want to take, whether that's being self-employed or being employed by a company/business.
Creating Long-Lasting Professional Relationships at Employment Events
An employment event run by Martin Powell, the prison employment lead at Lancaster Farms, was well attended by learners. We took the opportunity to guide our learners towards employers who may be of interest to them and linked in with their chosen pathway.
At the event, a learner studying catering made a successful connection with Sodexo. They have been in contact steadily with the learner and state they are looking forward to working with him in October. They have already started the recruitment process to allow him to commence work with them on his release.
Events like this give our learners the opportunity to network with potential employers and create long-lasting professional relationships that will hopefully lead into future employment upon release.
Working With ASK Italian To Provide Employment Opportunities For Learners
HMP Lancaster Farms have recently been engaging with ASK Italian to upskill our learners currently taking part in the Level 2 NVQ Catering course. On the 26th July our learners spent the afternoon learning about the ethos and values of ASK Italian.
The guests explained to our learners the different pathways to employment in the company and the corporate progression and the diversity of opportunities available from apprenticeships to chef and management roles that are available as long as the learners show dedication and hard work.
The team from ASK Italian had the opportunity to field questions from the learners, who were particularly interested in the topic of employment after release. After the question session, our learners had the chance to learn a few key recipes from the ASK Italian menu and made them from scratch.
The learners were engaged throughout and have since prepared the same recipe for Governor Pete Francis and Police and Crime Commissioner Andrew Snowden.
The education team are incredibly proud of the learners and the skills and professionalism that they displayed throughout the classes.
Due to the interest from the learners, Lancaster Farms and ASK Italian plan to move forward with a larger programme which will see the lessons from the day embedded into the curriculum moving forward, as well as a repeat of the days event 3 times a year to reach as many learners as possible. The trainers have also been invited to ASK Italian in Manchester to work with their chefs to learn new skills and dishes to pass on to the learners.
A truly warming day, perfectly supported by the Novus team! If the men gained from us even a fraction of the motivation, inspiration and drive that they imparted onto our team then the day was a huge success. I am truly looking forward to this partnership with Novus and to be given the chance to offer hope to the men who society is often too quick to pass judgement on - Dan, General Manager of ASK Italian Manchester
Crown Paint and P&D Workshop Partnership
Crown paints visited HMP Lancaster Farms and Kirkham to look at partnering with the P&D workshops. They want to support the workshop, visually badge the workshop and are also willing to make donations where they can to support the course.
Job vacancies will be offered to learners in the P&D stores upon release and will be predominantly in retail across 160 stores across the country.
Supporting Learners into Voluntary Work with Furniture Matters
Furniture Matters are offering learners at HMP Lancaster Farms voluntary work for anyone who is returning to Blackpool or Morecambe whilst they are in AP's . The voluntary work will offer the learners the chance to update their CVs, a reference for paid employment and if a paid vacancy becomes available, they will be considered.
Opportunities like these all contribute to our learners finding employment after release. If you are interested in being part of what we do, read more about our partnerships and how you can get involved.