We were invited to attend a careers event at Prescoed prison with a view to promoting careers in construction.
On the day, there were over 140 inmates invited to come and speak to a small number of organisations (max 20) about the work they were doing. However, on the day we were really encouraged to see how many trade qualified construction workers (who had been incarcerated for many different reasons) were looking to undertake work while still in custody and finishing off their sentences.
Prescoed is an open prison and after vigorous risk assessments etc. inmates are assessed for their suitability for work experience/ minimum wage paid positions. There were several who have completed electrician & plumbing qualifications that now need to have practical on the job experience.
There is significant evidence demonstrating that getting employment is the key to reducing re-offending, but they need to have these opportunities. We spoke to several men who were already using their trade construction skills at Tata Steel in Newport, who stated the benefits of these opportunities.
We were also able to get some CVs to pass on to our sub-contractors and will be continuing to keep in touch with the Ministry of Justice link officer for future opportunities. Our Community Benefits Co-ordinator was supported by one our site managers (trade qualified) and SHEQ advisor (trade qualified) who were able to suggest options to the men on release. It was a really worthwhile activity and has had over 2,400 impressions on Twitter.