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Employer services

Discover a new source of talented employees for your business.

Key stats

200+ national, regional and local employers across sectors, including FTSE companies and SMEs
86% of employers reported benefiting from ‘the development of skills relevant to the organisation’ by hiring apprentices (Government apprenticeships evaluation 2017: employers survey)
50+ vacancies created through the Forward Kickstart Gateway in 2021 so far

The people we support make excellent employees. People in recovery, ex-offenders and others not in education, employment and training can be highly motivated, committed new talent for your workforce.

We work with over 200 national, regional and local employers across sectors, including FTSE companies and SMEs, helping them to explore this potential. To join them, get in touch and find out how our tailored recruitment, apprenticeships, kickstart and training solutions can help you grow and develop your business or organisation.

What we offer employers

We offer a range of collaboration opportunities, from light-touch to more involved working:

  1. Learn: free consultations, networking and information resources to help you make informed decisions about new ways of working
  2. Develop: support for your CSR policy; recruitment, retention and training; and a dedicated account manager to facilitate work placements, apprenticeships and salaried employment for new talent
  3. Grow: comprehensive pre-employment and work readiness support delivered through a job coaching model; as well as opportunities for your employees to get involved though volunteering and engagement. We’ll also help you to project your CSR impact and maximise your Apprenticeship Levy funding
  4. Champion: all of the above, plus access to our service users and partners through our advisory group meetings, opportunities to speak at our events, and public recognition of your commitment to our shared goals. As a Champion, we’ll work closely together to shape networks of supportive employers, improve policy and change culture

Our services


As a government-approved apprenticeship training main provider on the Register of Apprenticeships Training Providers, we can help ensure your apprenticeships are successful.

Find out more

Kickstart scheme

We can support you with all aspects of your application to the scheme as well as your Kickstarters’ training and support needs.

Find out more

Recruitment services including for the Restart scheme

We support your recruitment needs for entry and mid-level job and apprenticeship roles. We work with you to ensure you receive high quality candidates. Our service includes access to our database of candidates, as well as pre-screening, matching and interview support services. We also provide in-work support for candidates you employ through our intensive Employment Advisor/Coach Model, helping to ensure the best possible start for your new recruits.

Work-readiness support tailored to your business

We prepared suitable candidates for the specific needs of your organisation and sector through bespoke workshops, CV reviews, interview practice and guaranteed interviews with our clients and learners in prisons and the community.

Influence over our approach

We offer the opportunity shape the future of our employability and skills division through membership of our Employment Services Advisory Group.

Thought leadership

Lead the way in developing new insight and innovation by attending, hosting or sponsoring our roundtables on topics affecting employers including training, recruitment and selection, developing staff, mental health awareness and other issues.

Free and discounted information, advice and networking opportunities

via our Employers Club and Network.

Training for existing and incoming staff

Including apprenticeships training and consultancy to support effective management of ex-offenders, NEETs and people in recovery.

Why employers work with us

  • We focus on the talent and potential of the people we support. We know our candidates are more than their past
  • We invest time and resources in developing both the mind-sets and soft skills needed to succeed in the world of work – as well as key vocational skills
  • We work closely with employers to plan and deliver recruitment and work-readiness activities, ensuring they are aligned to your needs
  • We place you front and centre in our roundtable events, seminars, advisory groups, club and award ceremonies
  • We’re committed to best employment practice as set out in the Good Work Standard
  • We promote and encourage fair chance recruitment and Ban the Box

Our employer commitment

We guarantee all employers:

  • A dedicated Account Manager to review your needs and requirements
  • Monthly and quarterly progress reviews and surveys
  • In work support from our Employment Coaches for candidates and learners we have placed with you


If you employ or want to employ ex-offenders or people with lived experience of addiction, read our short, simple guides to help get you started. 

  • A guide to: employing ex-offenders and people with lived experience
  • A guide to creating a more diverse workforce

Find new talent today

Get in touch using the form below to start finding the right candidates for your business.

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Our employment services

Find out more about our work supporting people into sustainable employment and careers.

Find out more

The interview skills Forward gave me really boosted my confidence through the application process, and I’m looking forward to using everything else I’ve learnt to further my career

Salma M, Forward client Read Salma’s story