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Hiring ex-offenders will support your DEI, CSR & ESG in one hit.

Most employers look at a CV and one of the areas of interest beyond the experience and qualifications is the employment gap.

One way people have an employment gap is by being placed into prison for being on the wrong side of the law. But why are many employers overlooking this talent pool?

The skills economy within prisons where around 90,000 humans are trying to build better futures and also encompassing the 12 million individuals with a criminal conviction, offers a distinctive opportunity for businesses to align with enhanced Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) objectives.

However, relying solely on CV-based recruitment practices, spotting the gap of employment, while overlooking personality traits acts as a barrier to achieving greater diversity and inclusion.

By recognising the potential in loyal and hardworking individuals seeking a second chance, businesses can contribute to societal well-being, environmental sustainability and profitability simultaneously.

Sounds to good to be true?

The UK government’s is mooting to elevate the ‘social value model’ from 10% to 30% on government contracts. This amplifies the pressure on supply chain providers connected to these contract bidders.

A shift in mindset towards individuals with skills in prison or those carrying a criminal conviction can significantly enhance Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and ESG efforts in a single strategic move. One stroke! It’s crucial to acknowledge that social value has become a mandatory award criterion for government contracts, stakeholders, investors and the wider community.

The Procurement Policy Note 06/20 mandates a minimum weighting of 10% at present. This policy reflects the government’s commitment to aligning the procurement process with broader social and environmental goals.

ESG objectives serve as benchmarks measuring a business’s impact on society, the environment and its transparency and accountability. Employing individuals with criminal convictions enables businesses to contribute to the Social objective of ESG by providing second chances and diminishing the likelihood of re-offending with less victims in society.

Furthermore, offering training and employment opportunities contributes to the Environmental objective of ESG by promoting sustainability and recycling human capital and talent. Finally, transparent and accountable practices contribute to the Governance objective of ESG by fostering ethical behaviour and robust corporate governance.

While the journey towards inclusive practices may be uncomfortable, it is the starting point for many valued endeavours. Businesses embedding inclusivity in their recruitment processes can attract a more diverse talent pool and select candidates based on merit from within and outside the prison walls.

Remember being on an uncomfortable journey is fine as most valued journeys start on that premise. Clear, objective, structured and transparent processes create fairness for candidates, ensuring equal outcomes and enabling employers to draw from more diverse talent pools. In summary, businesses that tap into the skills economy and realigning perspectives on those with skills in prison and criminal convictions allows businesses to simultaneously enhance DEI, CSR and ESG initiatives.

These individuals, seeking to break free from the cycle of re-offending, represent an opportunity for society and it becomes a civic duty of employers to extend a helping hand. If not compelled by a trident of reasons of improving DEI, CSR and ESG, do it because it feels morally right and fulfilling.

If you need to rehabilitate your corporate thinking, let me leave you with a quote:- “Prison isn’t full of people with no skills; it’s full of people who have done something on the wrong side of the law. Inside they learn how to overcome resilience and handle frustration. They make the best turn a human can, inwards.”

So give them that second chance and don’t mind the gap!

 

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UNVAELD Professional Help

We do not provide professional help to individuals in urgent crisis. If you are experiencing a mental health emergency, please call 999 immediately. For support with suicidal thoughts, consider contacting the Samaritans UK, a trusted organisation specialising in confidential assistance during emotional distress. Your safety is paramount and there are professionals available to provide the urgent help required in such critical situations.
We do not provide professional help to individuals in urgent crisis. If you are experiencing a mental health emergency, please call 999 immediately. For support with suicidal thoughts, consider contacting the Samaritans UK, a trusted organisation specialising in confidential assistance during emotional distress. Your safety is paramount and there are professionals available to provide the urgent help required in such critical situations.