The Prison Services team from MK College has been shortlisted as a finalist for the ERSA Employability Awards 2019 in the Innovation category.
Now in its seventh year, the ERSA Employability Awards celebrate best practice across the employment support sector and seek to demonstrate the day-to-day hard work and dedication of those working to improve the lives of jobseekers, communities and the wider workforce.
In 2015 the College launched Employment Academies at 14 prisons across the Midlands and South of England to provide a ‘work ready’ education programme for prisoners nearing the end of their sentence. The College built relationships with employers including RMF Construction, The Timpson Group and Greggs to ensure the programme provided skills and training identified by the employers as important for their business. The College has worked to challenge employers’ perceptions of employing ex-offenders; resulting in more vacancies and opportunities for them.
To date, MK College Employment Academies have successfully placed over 700 ex-offenders into employment.
Sally Alexander, Group Principal: Prison Services at MK College said, “We have worked with offenders both in custody and the wider community for over 25 years. We are incredibly proud of our team and their commitment to support prisoners to achieve meaningful employment on release. They have achieved fantastic results and thoroughly deserve this recognition.”
MK College was shortlisted from over 150 entries from across the UK. The winner will be revealed at a special ceremony on 20 June with the Minister for Employment, Alok Sharma MP.
Elizabeth Taylor, Interim Chief Executive, ERSA, said: ‘This year’s ERSA Employability Award submissions demonstrate the extraordinary achievements of individuals and organisations supporting people to enter, sustain and progress in work. The huge number of nominations ERSA received highlight the breadth of the commitment in the sector and the tireless work that goes on at the frontline every day. Congratulations to all our finalists!’