Prisoners encouraged to take jobs in retail and logistics

Hundreds of British prisoners are being encouraged to join the retail and logistics sectors to help address a skills gap in entry level roles.

The government said on Monday that ‘Unlocking Retail and Logistics’ events were held in over 30 prisons in England and Wales in a bid to help fill the one million vacancies in the UK.

The Cooperative, Iceland, Oliver Bonas, Greggs, and DHL have all joined the campaign, which is part of a wider drive from the government to get more prison leavers into work.

According to government figures, ex-offenders in full time employment are nine per cent less likely to reoffend when released.

Prisons minister Damian Hinds said that there is a “golden opportunity” for companies looking to fill vacancy gaps to take on prison leavers.

“Not only does it help grow the economy but it is proven to cut crime,” he continued. “Over 90 per cent of businesses employing prison leavers report they are motivated and trustworthy - making them prime candidates to plug some of the current skills gaps in the UK.”

This campaign is four of five campaigns being run by the Prison Service’s New Futures Network, following on from activities focused on helping ex-offenders secure employment in the hospitality and construction sectors.

The government said that the proportion of prison leavers finding work within six months of release more than doubled between April 2021 and March 2023, from 14 per cent to over 30 per cent - although it should be noted that it was likely more difficult for ex-inmates to secure work during the pandemic.

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