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Employment and training

Season 1, Episode 9: Supporting prison leavers into employment

Header image for the Catch22 Minutes podcast which reads "Season 1: Youth Employment"

In the Catch22Minutes podcast, we delve into some of today’s major social challenges. We speak to frontline experts, industry leaders and young people, in pursuit of ideas for reforming public services.

The first season focused on youth employment and was presented by Catch22’s Director of Communications, Melissa Milner. Each episode looked at how society can both prepare young people for today’s job market and improve the opportunities available to all young people.

Around 66,000 people leave prison in the UK every year. But figures show only 25% of men leave prison and go into some form of employment and the statistic for women is even lower at 20%. Having a job greatly reduces the likelihood of reoffending – and with the yearly cost of reoffending at £18 billion, getting this right could have a significantly positive impact.

The government’s recently published Prison Strategy White Paper includes a number of measures to help ex-offenders into work. But why should companies employ prison leavers? What challenges might they face? Where can they find practical support to overcome those challenges?

To explore all this and more, we are joined by Darren Burns, National Recruitment Manager at Timpson Group, and Kate Carr, Campaigns Manager at Business In The Community who run the Ban the Box initiative.

You’ll also hear Amanul’s story, a graduate of Code4000. Currently operating in three prisons, Code4000 trains prisoners in coding and then places them into software development roles. Compared to a national reoffending rate of 46%, none of Code4000’s graduates have returned to prison.

Our panellists

Darren Burns

Kate Carr

Amanul Islam