A partnership between a West Sussex prison and a local manufacturer has highlighted how offender employment initiatives can reap rewards for all involved.
Her Majesty’s Prison (HMP) Ford and Inpress Plastics, a manufacturing company based in Littlehampton, have been working together for almost a decade to help prisoners benefit from specialist training, significantly improving their chances of securing employment once they have left prison.
Research shows that ex-offenders who get a job after prison are up to nine percentage points less likely to reoffend. Therefore, schemes like this can provide a real benefit to wider society.
Furthermore, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) last year revealed that 81% of UK manufacturers struggle to find people with the right experience and qualifications to fill vacant roles. Partnerships between prisons and businesses like Inpress Plastics are helping to fill these skills gaps.
Inpress specialise in technical blow moulding, high volume bottle production and industrial injection moulding to produce medical and industrial products. They have been working with HMP Ford to provide employment opportunities on ROTL (Release on Temporary Licence) at two Inpress workshops: one next to the prison, and the main Inpress factory in Littlehampton. Since the initiative began, Inpress has employed five prison leavers and around 50 offenders on temporary release.
Image courtesy of Inpress Plastics
Henry Powell, Commercial Director at Inpress Plastics, said: “Our partnership with HMP Ford over the years has been incredibly valuable for Inpress Plastics. I have found the offenders that have worked for us on temporary release to be skilled, hardworking and reliable.
“We provide training for all offenders who work in our factories so that they leave prison with the skills they need to secure jobs when they are permanently released. So far we have employed five ex-offenders and I believe their expertise has contributed greatly to our business. We hope to hire even more ex-offenders in the near future”.
Esther Dainton, deputy governor at HMP Ford, said: “Our partnership with Inpress Plastics has enabled the men at HMP Ford to gain valuable experience in manufacturing. This means that men leave our prison with a strong set of skills that make them highly employable to companies in the manufacturing sector. We look forward to continuing our fruitful partnership with Inpress Plastics in the future”.
To find out more about how leading businesses are benefitting by hiring skilled people from prisons, click here: https://offenderemployment.campaign.gov.uk/