Prospects supports #InternationalMensDay
Thursday 19 November is International Men’s Day, which highlights issues faced by many men, including mental health problems, a lack of positive male role models and unemployment. Prospects supports males of all ages to overcome their personal barriers and take steps towards work.
Although men have historically had professional and social advantages in the UK, there are areas where this is not the case: 95% of the adult prison population in England and Wales is male (gov.uk – Population bulletin: weekly 13 November 2015). Prospects is the prime contractor for the National Careers Service In Custody offer in London, the South West, the West Midlands and in Yorkshire and the Humber. The service helps offenders in the resettlement phase prepare for release and supports them ‘through the gate’, by offering Careers Information, Advice and Guidance (CIAG). Helping offenders into education, employment and training (EET) helps break the reoffending cycle. Prospects provides education for all young people within Feltham Young Offenders Institution. Prospects has increased the number of hours a young person in custody at Feltham spends in education every week to equip them with qualifications and skills to break the cycle of reoffending when they leave detention.
Mental health is a serious issue, and in 2013 78% of suicides in the UK were men (Samaritans Suicide Statistics Report 2015). Prospects helps young men hardest to reach, who often have mental health issues, into EET. In Bradford Prospects runs the Connexions Service and the Youth Contract on behalf of local authorities, and in April 2013 only 5.3% of local young people were Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET), the lowest in the sub region and well below the national average.
Prospects is the prime contractor for the Work Programme in the South West, the Government’s flagship welfare to work scheme, and subcontractor in Bristol and London, helping adults take steps towards employment. In April to June 2015 1.85 million people were unemployed, of which 1.01 million were men (Office of National Statistics ‘UK Labour Market, August 2015’). In the South West Prospects launched Ascent, which uses a variety of interventions to help customers overcome barriers to work. More than 23,000 customers have started this initiative designed to move them towards the labour market and sustainable employment.
Prospects is committed to providing fair and impartial support to all customers, and recently achieved Investors in Diversity status. The national accreditation recognises organisations that have a structured approach to embedding Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) in the workplace. Prospects is now working towards Leaders in Diversity, the highest level of accreditation.