Hollesley Bay prison Leaver First to Become Fully Employed After Sentence
Gov Facility Services Limited (GFSL), the not-for-profit company established by the UK Ministry of Justice to provide facility maintenance services at prisons in the South of England, has offered its first employment placement to a prison leaver.
The placement under the The Clean Rehabilitative Enabling and Decent (CRED) programme which is operated by GFSL in partnership with Her Majesty's Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS), is the UK’s first successful example of a prison leaver joining the service as a permanent employee.
CRED enables prisoners to join purposeful work placements while still in custody which help to progress them to full time work and financial independence. It also builds skills, confidence and employability.
On completion of his sentence at Hollesley Bay in the East of England, an ex prisoner will commence work this month as a GFSL Escort Handyperson based at Sterling House, a prison training centre.
Helena Butler, Justice Solutions Manager, says: "We are delighted to announce this news which is the result of a great deal of hard work by all those involved. We’ve overcome obstacles such as vetting and acceptance of risk, but this has proved it can be done."
The ex prisoner adds: "This opportunity has allowed me to turn my life around. I’m looking forward to starting my new role at GFSL and being a valuable team member. I hope to make full use of the training available and be able to progress within the company."
CEO, Paul Ryder, comments: "This is a landmark achievement for GFSL’s CRED programme and a living example of how rehabilitation can work in a prison environment.
"We are extremely proud to be welcoming our new team member and wish him every success in his new career."
Despite the year-long pandemic, twenty GFSL sites continue to drive the CRED programme, involving over 240 residents. The trades include plumbers, electricians and carpenters. Others join the scheme and gain recognised qualifications from nearby colleges during their sentence.
GFSL, which works closely with Her Majesty's Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS), was established in 2018 to deliver a range of facility services to 48 prisons in the south of England, including statutory and mandatory planned maintenance, reactive repair, cleaning, stores operation and Project works. The organisation helps the Prison Service reduce reoffending by providing opportunities for prisoners to develop skills and gain work experience.
Under current COVID restrictions, GFSL is supporting up to 750,000 hours per year of work by prisoners across the prisons it maintains.