Construction Job Drive Gives Prisoners Tools to Turn Away From Crime

CONSTRUCTION FIRMS have pitched up in prisons for a major drive to match offenders with a job in sectors facing skill shortages, helping to cut crime.

More than 80 ‘Unlocking Construction’ events have been held in over 60 prisons as part of a two-week campaign – with scaffolders, crane operatives and building site managers among those showing offenders the ropes in their industry.

Firms have provided guidance on CV building, interview training and hands-on workshops giving them the chance to secure work ahead of release from prison.

Working at Height VR

At HMP Wormwood Scrubs, prisoners have also been given an insight into the scaffolding sector using virtual reality to simulate working at height. It will help prisoners decide if the job is right for them and increase the chance that successful applicants stick with it.

Ex-prisoners who have a job to go to are 9% less likely to go on to re-offend while 90% of businesses that employ them found reliable, motivated and trustworthy staff.

National Access & Scaffolding Confederation Training Manager, Henry Annafi, said: “If you get a successful candidate, what I can absolutely guarantee is loyalty – because you’re giving them an opportunity that very few, if any, people have given them and they will pay you back tenfold in that respect.

“Plus there are so many diverse experiences and skillsets that many of these men and women have that it is actually a no-brainer to give people that chance.”

A participating prisoner at Wormwood Scrubs said the day’s event, and others like it, would help prisoners to “engage their mind” and offer them “something positive to do on release”.

“A lot of prisoners have got skills, but they’re not being utilised, because we’ve committed a crime, so people don’t want to give us a second chance,” he added.


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