Ex-offenders, aged 16+ in Sheffield are now benefitting from specialist support in helping them find and progress in work, thereby reducing the risk of re-offending and making the community a safer place. As part of Sheffield’s Working, the service which helps residents overcome barriers to and find work, Sheffield City Council have selected Prospects – the education, employment, skills and care company – to focus expert help on supporting ex-offenders as they rejoin the community.
Prospects recruits ex-offenders on to the programme through its work with JobCentre Plus, community groups and the probation service. Prospects also uses its work in local prisons providing careers information, advice and guidance as part of the National Careers Service, to provide support prior to release and immediately afterwards. The support is not just for those who have recently been released from prison but anyone with a conviction they feel is holding them back.
Those who join the programme receive tailored, person-centred, holistic support through one to one meetings, group work and other interventions. At the first meeting an employment expert assesses the individual’s capabilities, qualifications, skills, experience, aspirations and any barriers which might be holding them back from achieving the career they want.
From that meeting a plan of interventions and coaching is agreed. Regular meetings will take place to review progress and continue to focus on achieving goals. When the individual is ready, the Prospects brokering team will look for and match the individual with relevant employment opportunities. Once in employment, support will be provided to both the individual and their employer.
Clare Slack, Operations Manager for Prospects, said:
“This contract will make a lasting difference to the lives of those who often feel hopeless and without choices. We know that ex-offenders have lots to offer to employers and this is an opportunity for them to get the support they need to showcase their talents, skills and passion to companies. Helping ex-offenders find work also benefits local communities too as the risk of reoffending is and levels of anti-social behaviour may reduce, and improved income distribution within neighbourhoods helps to reduce inequality. We look forward to working with individuals to inspire them to develop their potential, which is what our work at Prospects is all about. We are delighted to be working with Sheffield City Council as we provide this specialist support.”
If you, or someone you know, would like to benefit from the support of Sheffield’s Working please call Prospects on 0114 2799760 to find out more.
Alona de Havilland
07790 803882 or 01823 362804