Episode Episode 10
Season 1

Prison Break – Breaking The Cycle of Unemployment for Ex-Offenders

“Some of our better brighter, stronger willed colleagues are people who’ve got lived experience from prison like Sarah, and we don’t care where you’ve come from, what you did last week, what you did yesterday. We’re interested in what you’re doing today and what you want to do tomorrow.”

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Show notes

It is estimated that more than 11 million people in the UK have a criminal conviction. This staggering figure equates to 1 in 3 men with the vast majority of offences occurring before the age of 30.

Of course many of these convictions are for relatively minor offences and didn’t require a stay at Her Majety’s pleasure and have had no bearing on an individuals subsequent employment prospects. But what if the offence was more serious and did involve a custodial sentence? What then are your employment prospects?

We ask 3 employees from the Timpson Group the retailer renowned for employing ex-offenders.

My guest

Janet Leighton

Darren Burns

Sarah Barker

Janet Leighton is the Director of Happiness at British multinational retailer The Timpson Group a family business renowned for its culture of upside down management and giving autonomy to its 2000+ stores in the UK and Ireland. Timpson is one of the largest employers of ex-offenders in the UK with approximately 10% of their workforce having a criminal conviction.

Darren Burns is Timpson’s National Recruitment Ambassador. He specialises in both the recruitment and retention of ex-offenders and others who face barriers to employment. Darren is a former police officer and his experience of working in some of the most challenging parts of the UK enables him to help break the offending cycle and ensure marginalised groups can find employment.

Sarah Barker has worked for the Timpson Group since 2010. She was recruited when she was a resident of HMP Askham Grange, an open prison in York. When released she continued to work for the Timpson and is now a part of the Timpson Locksmith admin team.

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