Recruitment firm wants to help equip prisoners with skills to get a job once released

Following independent think tank, Onward’s report in to the prison system, and how they should provide more development and training for prisoners, recruitment firm Robert Walters has written to Robert Buckland, QC MP, Minister of State at the Ministry of Justice to offer its services in helping achieve this.   

The report named “Unlocking a Better Life” shows jails how they can achieve an employment revolution in UK prisons. It also highlights the lack of development and training for prisoners.

The report requests that Ministers transform the current prison system to help get people in to work, once they leave their life behind bars.

Onward said:

The report draws on extensive analysis and field research, including visits to prisons in the UK and Norway. At the latter, prisoners are under a requirement to do full-time training, education and industry as default – and twice as many prisoners are in sustained employment on release.  To improve the availability of training and jobs for prisoners, Onward argues that leading employers and businesses should be more involved with the justice system, coordinated by the New Futures Network, a new government body established last year

Presently, the justice system does little to help prepare prisoners for life once they have completed their sentence. Evidence shows having a steady job cuts average reoffending risk by up to 38 per cent.

They are recommending both public and private sector training for inmates.  The report also suggests that every prison in England and Wales sets up an “Employment Council” which gives training to prisoners as well as offering job fairs and recruitment days.  

The think tank also recommended the Government creates a “Second Chancesscheme which offers training and apprenticeships to prisoners either in prison or upon release.

Robert Walters hopes that the Government will act on today’s report’s recommendations to establish “Employment Councils and a “Second Chances” scheme and would like to be represented on those prison Councils within the UK regions where it currently has offices:

  • Milton Keynes
  • St Albans
  • Leeds
  • Liverpool
  • London
  • Birmingham
  • Bracknell
  • Manchester


Robert Walters, CEO, said:

Having reviewed Onward’s findings we have decided to pursue a scheme with the government’s support, to offer our employees’ expertise in recruitment advice to prisoners looking for help.

There is no doubt that proper training and support for them for life outside prison will reduce the current reoffenders rate of 47.9 per cent which costs the UK £15 billion per year.

Over the last few months I have visited prisons in both the UK and Norway and currently the UK is lagging behind other countries in the rehabilitation of prisoners.

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Darius is the editor of HRreview. He has previously worked as a finance reporter for the Daily Express. He studied his journalism masters at Press Association Training and graduated from the University of York with a degree in History.