Numerous studies have shown that stable employment is a key factor in helping reduce the risk of re-offending on release from custody.
Achieve delivers Careers Information Advice and Guidance (IAG) contracts in a number of prisons in the UK.The team supports prisoners to access employability services and helps them prepare for release.
The staff provide advice to prisoners and help them achieve their employability goals by ensuring that they complete training and qualifications in prison and through brokering employment opportunities for them. Their strong links with employers ensures that sustainable jobs are sourced for release and that where possible, the interviews are held whilst the prisoner is still in prison.
Staff work closely with partners within the prison to build links and to ensure that all barriers are addressed. This helps the prisoner to remain motivated and engaged and helps them to find and sustain employment.
Achieve have held the Cumbria and Lancashire IAG contract since 2019 which works across five male prisons. This has recently been highlighted for its positive outcomes relating to job brokering opportunities for prisoners.
Phil Gornall, Employment Advisor at HMP Haverigg, and part of the Lancashire and Cumbria Information Advice and Guidance (IAG) team, was named Partner of the Year at the recent HMPPS Regional Awards. Phil and the Achieve team also helped increase the number of prison leavers entering into employment by an impressive 300 per cent.
New job brokering report coming soon
In a forthcoming report, we will look at the impact of the programme and will highlight the key factors that are needed for an IAG programme to be impactful.
The report looks at four years’ worth of data, and includes interviews with staff, employers and clients that have been a part of the programme.
The aim is to understand the extent to which the programme is supporting people into work at the end of their custodial sentence, and what are the key factors that make it a success.
The job brokering programme has seen a number of successes, and the report will also feature recommendations on the most successful ways to support offenders back into employment upon release.
Ant Bigley, Team Manager for IAG Lancashire and Cumbria, said: “We are proud of our achievements in delivering IAG, and we are always looking to innovate.
“The job brokering programme, along with the way in which we deliver IAG in prisons, has made a significant difference to outcomes.
“Everything we do at Achieve is designed to help change the lives of offenders and those around them, reduce reoffending and help ensure public protection. Entrance to employment is vital in making this happen.”
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Discover more about our Achieve programme HERE.