Forward release 'Bridging the Gaps' report
Monday 27 November 2017

Ex-offenders and people in recovery from addiction could help plug post-Brexit skills gaps

Ex-offenders and people in recovery from addiction could help fill the UK workforce shortages expected post-Brexit, according to a report released today by The Forward Trust.

 Over 83,000 people are released each year from prison – 75% of them have no job to go to. ‘Bridging the gaps’, released today, reveals that 80% of prisoners and people in recovery from addiction say they are motivated and ready for work. Despite this, nearly three quarters believe that disclosing their past will lead to them being turned down for work, and half have experienced rejection for work on these grounds.

There are also tens of thousands of people in recovery from addiction in the UK. These two groups create a significant labour force that can be utilised to help fill the growing recruitment crisis facing many UK industries, especially within the hospitality, construction, transport and waste management sectors. Unfortunately, these are the two groups that employers are least likely to take on. Forward’s experience of employing over 2,000 ex-offenders and people in recovery from addiction shows that they make loyal and valuable members of staff. 

Mike Trace, CEO of The Forward Trust said:

“Forward has helped over 2,000 ex-offenders and people in recovery from addiction to enter work through direct employment in our own organisation, and employment with partner employers through our Blue Sky Agency. Our experience has shown that people are capable of lasting change. We believe that by utilising the motivations of this group we can support industries fill their workforce gaps, reduce reoffending and relapse, and realise the potential of people to turn their lives around.”

 “Today Forward is calling on more employers to step forward and work with us and with prisons to offer opportunities to our client group and to make the bridge into employment easier.”

Full report can be seen at www.forwardtrust.org.uk/about-us/bridging-the-gaps/