Preparing for better job prospects
By Maggie Walsh
At A Fairer Chance CIC, we know that having a job is absolutely critical to reducing offending and reoffending. That’s why we work with businesses
to help people with convictions secure the right job. This ranges from entry level positions in hospitality, retail and construction, up to skilled roles as florists, butchers, account managers and even civil service jobs.
We focus on people with convictions who are living in or returning to local boroughs. We are exceptionally successful with women and we were awarded the Lady Corbett Award for Reintegrating prisoners in 2019.
We were delighted to be nominated by the Violent Crime Prevention Board (VCPB) last year, for the Special Achievement Award, and indeed to win. We were presented with the award at a socially distanced event, last month, at our building in Millmead Business Centre, by Anthony Peltier, Metropolitan Police Assistant Chief Officer and education lead at VCPB.
We are a small, dynamic team which includes people with lived experience, who make the business case for recruiting people who are not in education, employment or training (NEETS), and people with convictions. We identify skills and experience, and use this information to fill work vacancies.
Securing a job, especially when you don’t have to look over your shoulder all the time, is the best thing a young person can do to try and build a life free from crime.
We are employment specialists rather than offender specialists and this enables us to be client led rather than to signpost our people to ‘offender’ jobs.
The mainly young people we meet have never really been dealt a fair hand. We work with people brought up in care, who came to UK as refugees, and who have been excluded from school.
There is a completely disproportionate number of young men in the criminal justice system, of a Black or an Asian background. We regularly receive referrals from street pastors, sports coaches, and gang mentors as they know we do our very best to help these young people through all the stages to get their lives on track. We support them with housing advice, clothes, and styling, as well as helping with actually landing that job.
We don’t receive funding from Haringey Council or DWP, but we flex our other funding so we never have to turn a young Tottenham person away.
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