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Employers urged to find out more about employing people with previous convictions


Local businesses across Inverlcyde will be discussing the advantages of recruiting people with convictions.


It is estimated that one in three men and one in ten women in Scotland have one or more convictions and that employers are missing out on large pool of available talent because of stigma.


Inverclyde Council has commissioned the social enterprise Recruit With Conviction to develop a network for employers focussing on supporting employers and employees from the community.


Now, they’ve organised an event to bring employers together on 19 February at Stepwell Training Academy in Greenock to hear first-hand how they could benefit from widening the available talent pool.


Advice will be available on engaging with the partnership, which includes a range of local agencies and organisations, as well as the changing landscape of legislation in Scotland. Up to date information will include the changes to PVG and wider employment disclosure under the Management of Offenders Bill currently underway in parliament.


Places can be booked by contacting info@recruitwithconviction.org.uk


Inverclyde Council’s Environment and Regeneration Convener, Councillor Michael McCormick, said: “Having a conviction shouldn’t be a life sentence when it comes to getting on with your life and getting a job. It is important that residents who have a conviction get the opportunity to get into the jobs market. It is good for them as individuals, it opens up a wider pool of available talent to employers and, ultimately, it is the right thing to do as a community to support people who are facing barriers in their life.


“The aim of the service is to provide locally delivered and targeted services to enable Inverclyde residents to improve their employability and skills.  Through this we can help to support them to move into sustainable jobs.


“The project also aims to encourage employers to recruit from this client group and to learn that they can be matched to employees with the skills that they are looking for.”


Dughall Laing from Recruit with Conviction added: “Many are shocked to discover the number of people who have a conviction, who despite their skills and capabilities frequently encounter multiple barriers when it comes to employment.


“Employers understandably can be reticent when recruiting but evidence shows for the majority whose offences are in the past the likelihood of reoffending is no different to those who have never been convicted.


“Yet the stigma faced by the ‘offender stereotype’ and the allowable discrimination under legislations such as the Rehabilitation of Offenders act leads to many not fulfilling their potential as valued employees and contributors to society”


Jan-Paul Van Dessel from Stepwell said: “as an Inverclyde business that both supports individuals with significant barriers to work and an employer that is committed to recruiting the best candidates for our businesses, we actively embrace those with a lived experience of criminal justice.


This ensures that our recruitment is focused on the quality and suitability of the individual rather than any past issues or historical stigma. We believe that each one of us has a back story which shouldn’t limit our future destiny.”

Published 15th February 2019