13 March 2017
Prospects inspires offenders to turn their lives around and helps them fill skills gaps in a range of industries.
Prospects provides careers advice and employment support on behalf of the National Careers Service in London, the South West, and the Midlands. They provide information, advice, and guidance tailored to each individual’s needs, including identifying the challenges faced by offenders and supporting them ‘through the gate’. This includes moving into training, learning, and work, all of which help to end the reoffending cycle.
Victoria Blakeman, Director of Offender Management:
At Prospects we support offenders through resettlement, assessing their skills, identifying learning needs, and setting career goals to improve their job prospects.
While in prison, we support offenders with information and advice to help them plan for release. Many offenders have never had a job or been given the opportunity to learn new skills, so we are sure to be thorough with candidates to understand the specific gaps in their employability.
We first met Keiran in 2013. He contacted us after being told about the National Careers Service during his prison induction, and over the last few years we have helped him plan his time in custody and advised him of his options on release, providing information on future career plans.
Working with Keiran, we have developed a number of action plans which give Keiran direction and show his Probation Officer that he is considering his future employment goals. We have helped him update his CV because he was unable to access the right tools while in prison, and he has now enrolled on a Business & Accountancy Open University course.
The information and encouragement we provided has helped motivate Keiran into becoming self-employed when he is released. He has been working on a business plan, and wants to work in the property development industry. He has always known that he wanted to do this, but needed our help to break down this long-term goal into achievable tasks, as well as our motivation and belief that he could succeed.
Working closely with the voluntary sector, businesses (see DHL case study), and other local partners, we help offenders realise their potential and create opportunities which they might never have been given before. Many employers come to us to address specific skills shortages, and we are able to work with our candidates to find the right match. We make sure that offenders are being given the skills they need for the real world of work, focusing on employability rather than just unrelated qualifications.
Kegan approached us because he was struggling to find work after being released from prison. Initially Kegan thought he just needed helped getting a CV and covering letter prepared, but with our help he underwent a Skills Health Check and identified his transferable skills. We helped him with interview skills and job searching, and we also encouraged him to look at the range of courses he could enrol on if he wanted to upskill.
Using our advice and highlighting his transferable skills, Kegan gained the confidence to apply for roles he previously thought were beyond him, and successfully found employment.
"The National Careers Service has enabled me to gain employment and better equipped me to have the confidence to apply for roles as I have a better understanding of job hunting and how to apply for roles. My main barrier was my past history and not having an understanding of how to reflect my past skills and experience in regard to getting a job."