16th March 2017
‘Getting offenders into work’ event launches to packed audience in Manchester
A ground- breaking initiative to get offenders back into work has been launched to a packed audience in Manchester by Cheshire & Greater Manchester Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC) CEO Chris Edwards. It marks the formal launch of the Aeniad Project – a year long initaitive being delivered in Manchester by leading social justice charity Nacro and commissioned by the CGM CRC.
Keynote speaker Chris Edwards said: “I am very proud to be commissioning this service, which encourages employers to look beyond a criminal history, and pleased that Nacro is on board. There are colossal costs to the economy of re-offending. This is a statement of our intent to make a difference in Manchester.”
The talents and skills of more than 10 million people in the UK that have convictions are often overlooked due to many employers deciding not to consider applicants with a criminal record, regardless of whether offences are minor or irrelevant to the role being applied for.
The launch event ‘Recruiting safely and fairly: employing ex-offenders to capture talent’ was:
• attended by more than 100 senior business professionals from the private, public and voluntary sectors;
• featured an expert panel and speakers from Eversheds Sutherland, Freshfields, ACAS, Business in the Community (BITC) and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
• included a legal briefing to raise awareness of the complex legislation which impacts upon the recruitment and retention of people with criminal records and show how employers, with Nacro’s support, can implement safer and fair recruitment policies and procedures whilst confidently managing and mitigating any potential risks.
The project aims to use Nacro’s vast expertise and tradition of using innovative approaches to strengthen communities by:
• providing employers, educational establishments and other organisations the required resources, expert support and training that they need to confidently access the local talent pool of ex-offenders, enabling them to move on from past mistakes and have a real stake in their community;
• delivering essential training to Cheshire and Greater Manchester Community Rehabilitation Company (CGMCRC) and DWP staff that will enable them to help their clients understand the legal rights and responsibilities they have when disclosing their criminal record;
• delivering a tailored employability programme in partnership with Business in the Community (BITC) and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) that supports people with criminal records in finding and keeping jobs that match their skills, abilities and qualifications.