Policy briefing, Press release | 26 January 2021

Statement: With unemployment rising, the need to support women with convictions is greater than ever

Today’s unemployment figures from the Office for National Statistics demonstrate what we knew was coming: the pandemic has created a jobs crisis. In the period September to November 2020, the unemployment rate was at its highest for five years at 5%, while redundancies were at a record high. With 4.5 million people on the furlough scheme and the figures for this third national lockdown still to come, we know that the true extent of unemployment at this time is even more severe.

Women with convictions are some of the people hardest hit by the financial consequences of the pandemic, yet among those most committed to finding a job. Here at Working Chance, we will be working harder than ever to deliver employability training and recruitment services to level the playing field and ensure that groups who are already disadvantaged when it comes to employment don’t get left even further behind.

As we continue this work, it is vital that we have a helping hand. We must see compassionate employers continuing to offer work and training opportunities for women, to keep our economy going and ensure no one is left behind. Government plays an important role in supporting businesses, while communicating to them the benefits of hiring someone with a criminal record. From apprenticeships to full-time employment, a sustainable opportunity has the potential to carry women out of this crisis.