Powerday launches employment scheme for ex-offenders

London-based waste management company Powerday has teamed up with social enterprise Blue Sky and HMP Onley to launch an employment scheme for ex-offenders based in London.

Powerday launches employment scheme for ex-offenders
The partnership gives inmates from the Category C prison in Northamptonshire the opportunity to receive training and subsequent employment with Blue Sky and Powerday at construction sites across London.    

The initiative sees Blue Sky, which works to find employment for ex-offenders, and HMP Onley identify candidates to work towards gaining qualifications in the construction environment. After receiving onsite training, successful candidates will be offered a six-month contract of employment with Blue Sky who will place them within Powerday’s construction waste recycling teams.

Blue Sky will then provide ongoing support to candidates who, where deemed to be demonstrating a strong work ethic, will be considered for full-time employment.   

Employment has been found to reduce re-offending by up to 50 per cent, but in England and Wales, 75 per cent of all prisoners are released into unemployment with over 60 per cent going on to re-offend within two years. This rate drops to 15 per cent after working for Blue Sky, who have employed and supported over 1,200 ex-offenders since 2005.

Powerday previously ran an employment scheme, the KELP initiative, which helped over 100 candidates receive training and 90 candidates receive full time employment in the construction and waste industries between 2011 and 2015.  

Invaluable opportunities

Commenting on the scheme, Pete Middleton, Head of Reoffending at HMP Onley said: “The partnership creates invaluable opportunities for prisoners to transform their lives by gaining the confidence and essential skills in the workplace which in turn prevents them from reoffending.”

Last year, online retailer Ocado set out to reduce its landfill waste by repurposing old uniforms as aprons and tote bags in a collaborative initiative with HMP Northumberland and charitable organisation Hubbub.

The director of HMP Northumberland said that purposeful activity provided to the prisoners at HMP Northumberland aids rehabilitation by lowering their chances of reoffending.

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