23/04/2015 - Permalink

Shropshire Criminal Justice Forum to host their fourth Employ with Conviction event in Oswestry on 21 May 2015

Related topics: Community / My area / News from our partners / Partner organisations

News from our partners Voluntary Community Sector Assembly

Employ with Conviction, a group dedicated to demonstrating the benefits to businesses and the wider community of employing people with a criminal conviction, will host a free event in Oswestry this May (2015).

With support from the West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner, a substantial grant has enabled the group to develop Employ with Conviction and, to date, host three events across Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin, engaging over 100 local businesses from across private, public and voluntary sectors.

Employ With Conviction sessions have involved influential speakers including partners from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, West Mercia Police, Department for Work and Pensions, Greggs and Timpson Ltd.

Bill Longmore, West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner, who attended the last event, said:

Finding work for people coming out of prison is vital. Reoffending rates currently are far too high, and one of the main reasons for this is that people come out of prison with no job, no home and no support network. I am pleased that this event addressed some of these things; I’m sure some of the potential employers there were impressed with the presentations. I hope they will now consider giving more opportunities to offenders leaving prison, which will in turn benefit the whole community.”

If you are interested in Employ With Conviction and would like to attend the free event on Thursday 21 May 2015 at 4pm-6pm at Walford and North Shropshire College (Oswestry Campus) please email ewc@imagematch.co.uk or book your place directly through Eventbrite (www.ewc3.eventbrite.co.uk).

Further information

Employ with Conviction is a sub group of the Shropshire Criminal Justice Forum. The Shropshire Criminal Justice Forum (CJ FoI) provides support to criminal justice voluntary organisations to help decipher government policy, exchange information and ideas, enable strategic influence through the Voluntary Sector Assembly and other relevant decision- making boards, and to provide a platform for potential future funding opportunities. With vast changes occurring in the world of criminal justice and related public services, it is important for voluntary organisations with interests in criminal justice to have a platform for discussion, consultation and information exchange.

For people with a criminal conviction and ex-prisoners, one of the main barriers to rehabilitation and prevention from reoffending is lack of employment. Anecdotally, members of the Shropshire Criminal Justice Forum had evidence that many ex-offenders have a wide range of academic and vocational qualifications; however, a criminal record is a considerable barrier to securing an interview and subsequently employment. The Forum members have developed Employ with Conviction with the aim of highlighting to local employers the benefits of employing individuals from this group of people. The benefits include, for the wider community in terms of crime reduction, to the individual employed an opportunity to break the cycle of offending and to employers by tapping into a work ready, well-qualified resource.

A number of Employ With Conviction events have been held across Shropshire and we are delighted to be holding our next event in north Shropshire at Walford & North Shropshire College, Oswestry.

More details can be found the EWC website – www.employwithconviction.org