The Milton Keynes College Prison Services team co-hosted an event with the High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire, Ruth Farwell and Bletchley Park in February, attended by key stakeholders working in the Justice Sector and local businesses to discuss the issues and solutions around rehabilitation and employment of ex-offenders.
James Timpson, CEO of The Timpson Group, delivered the keynote speech highlighting his commitment to employing ex-offenders, speaking passionately about what a truly valuable addition to his workforce they are, as well as the importance of collaboration with initiatives such as the College’s Employment Academy programme to identify, train and place prisoners into real jobs within the company.
The event was a great platform for getting employers and business leaders together with prison governors and key stakeholders, to discuss the barriers to employing ex-offenders and to challenge perceptions of what it could mean for employers locally. More and more businesses are tapping into what is a huge pool of potential talent which can often fill skills gaps through the training programmes prisoners have completed during their sentence. Milton Keynes College works with businesses such as The Timpson Group, Greggs, RMF Construction and The Restaurant Group to build programmes of study that help to prepare offenders for the workplace via our Employment Academies; to date we have placed almost 700 ex-offenders in to employment on release.
Held in the Mansion House within the grounds of Bletchley Park, the dinner was designed and served by College catering students who did a fantastic job of delivering a beautifully prepared meal, with impeccable service.