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Providing employment and training opportunities for offenders



Low qualifications and lack of employment are recognised within the Government’s strategy for Transforming Rehabilitation as key social issues related to re-offending.

Some local areas have already developed social enterprises as one way to overcome barriers around the employability of ex-offenders. However at the time of writing there is currently very little that brings together learning or examples of effective practice to assist others in doing this.

Recognising this gap, the Home Office commissioned a short term programme of work undertaken in February and March 2013 by Clinks and Social Firms UK.

The programme set out to explore and assess the role of social enterprises in enabling both adult and young offenders to access training and employment opportunities. The results provide a body of work that will significantly contribute to cross-Government thinking about how to embed and support social enterprises working with offenders. The programme included two elements:

  • The development and publication of this series of twenty case studies. The social enterprises featured were invited, following a competitive application process, to write about their own experiences and insights into the opportunities and barriers confronting their development and sustainability.
  • A Summary Report which brings together the key learning about developing and sustaining social enterprises offering employment and employability training to offenders.

Together they provide a valuable resource for newly established social enterprises, for those planning to establish social enterprises, for police, prisons and probation providers, for Police and Crime Commissioners, for local Integrated Offender Management (IOM) partnerships, and for policy makers.

These resources also complement previous work undertaken in partnership between Clinks and the Home Office aimed at increasing the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) Sector’s involvement in local IOM arrangements.

Summary report

Providing employment and training opportunities for offenders

The case studies

  1. Action Trust
  2. Acumen
  3. Aspire Trust
  4. Blue Sky
  5. Building Lives
  6. Changing Paths
  7. Elixir Group
  8. Ex-Cell Solutions
  9. Fifteen Cornwall
  10. Fine Cell Work
  11. Foundation Stone
  12. Fusion 21
  13. Green Office
  14. Grow Organisation
  15. Inside Job
  16. Midland Heart
  17. The Arc
  18. Trafford Housing
  19. Ubique Partnerships
  20. Working Chance