Nacro, the crime reduction charity, has launched a project that aims to help improve the employment chances of the millions of people in the UK blighted by a criminal record.
Over ten million people in the UK have a criminal record, which is 20 percent of the working population. Labeled The Aeneid Project, the database aims to provide local employers and other organisations with the confidence and tools to access a vast, largely untapped talent pool of people struggling to find a job due to employers’ blanket ex-offender exclusion policies.
“Since we opened our doors almost 50 years ago, we have helped many thousands of individuals, who have made mistakes, to move forward in a positive and constructive way, commented Jacob Tas, chief executive at Nacro.
Research conducted by the charity has shown that many employers’ experiences of employing ex-offenders have been positive. The organisation’s research found retention rates to be high and that many ex-offenders made valuable and reliable employees
“The Aeneid Project is part of a wider campaign to encourage employers to recruit safely and fairly. The aim is to help break down barriers, eradicate some of the myths about employing people with a criminal record and help employers find the right person for the right job,” commented Dianah Worman, who is the Public Policy Advisor for Diversity at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.
“Many employers tend to be cautious about offering work to someone with a criminal record and some even operate blanket exclusion policies when recruiting. This approach is flawed. It is important that talented people have equal access to employment opportunities, regardless of their background,” Worman concluded.