It's National Inclusion Week next week – an important opportunity to promote real, actual inclusiveness in the workplace and the many benefits it can bring.
We know from our years of experience that women ex-offenders and care leavers make skilled, driven, reliable employees – a company that has truly inclusive hiring practises only stands to gain from this.
Research has shown that ex-offenders are actually more reliable than your average employee, and we know from personal experience that ex-offenders bring enormous value to an organisation – 40% of our brilliant staff have criminal convictions.
Our CEO, Jocelyn Hillman OBE, says: “We need to break down these barriers that make employers reluctant to hire ex-offenders. There are so many myths surrounding this area, such as ex-offenders being unreliable, and we are working hard to dispel them. We are fortunate to be working with some wonderful companies, large and small, but we want to work with more of them.”
There are so many myths surrounding this area, such as ex-offenders being unreliable, and we are working hard to dispel them.Jocelyn Hillman CEO, Working Chance
There are very real benefits to having an inclusive workforce – we know ourselves that often the best talent is found in unexpected places. Don’t just take our word for it – read some of the glowing candidate and employer stories from Virgin to Timpson.
Nicki Fisher, Head of the Pret Foundation Trust, says: “We employ some fantastic Working Chance candidates and we have a great working relationship with the team at Working Chance. We would encourage other employers to get involved, there are some great opportunities to be had. Working Chance continues to make positive changes to employers’ attitudes towards women ex-offenders.”
We employ some fantastic Working Chance candidates and we have a great working relationship with the team at Working Chance.Nicki Fisher Head of the Pret Foundation Trust
Hiring women with convictions also massively reduces re-offending – the re-offending rate for our candidates is less than 7%, in stark contrast to the national average of 51%. This creates huge savings for the taxpayer, as the average cost of keeping a woman in prison for a year is around £45,000 - and the cost of keeping her child in care for a year is over £36,000.
We also can’t ignore the positive publicity that an organisation can generate for itself by actively developing an inclusive workforce – the large number of #NationalInclusionWeek hashtags flying around this week are just one testament to that, with National Inclusion Week providing an opportunity to showcase the businesses who’re practising everyday inclusion.
This creates huge savings for the taxpayer, as the average cost of keeping a woman in prison for a year is around £45,000 - and the cost of keeping her child in care for a year is over £36,000.
So having inclusive hiring practises within an organisation benefits everyone – businesses that gain a valuable employee and an improved public image, ex-offenders who’re rehabiliated and financially autonomous, their families who’re kept together and who have a role model, and the taxpayer who makes big savings.
It’s time for more businesses to join the growing number of organisations committed to inclusion and reaping the benefits.
The case is clear.