EFFRR: Census Data Group use prison to recruit new employees

Published on 16 Sep 2016

The Census Data Group is just one of the many employers that are identifying talented new recruits through ONE3ONE Solutions, the organisation responsible for leading and growing work in prisons.

ONE3ONE Solutions works with a number of companies within prison workshops, from call centres to waste management and light engineering.

This work provides real time experience, on the job training and employment opportunities on release to a motivated workforce.

The organisation helps its clients to become more competitive, provides industrial space for growth and offers a valuable route to recruitment of willing, trained and motivated staff.

The Census Data Group opened their first call centre in HMP Dartmoor in March 2014. Two years on, the company employs 160 prisoners in custody and has employed 75 ex-offenders on release.

They let one of their employees do the talking:

"I had no previous experience of prison and those early days were far worse than I could have imagined. Bit by bit your pride is stripped away and you learn to mistrust people.

"I started working in the call-centre. Gradually they put me back together again. They trained me in their working methods and there was also the option to do an NVQ on working in a call-centre.

"Every morning I was going to work and entering an office environment just as I had used to do.

"Once I was released from prison, I struggled to find a job. Each time I disclosed I had a criminal conviction the process always ended.

"I contacted Census Data Group who offered me work immediately. The feeling of self-worth about being asked to do a job I love is immense. I am not a habitual criminal, I made one mistake. However the responsibility I have been given makes me think twice about everything I do.

"I cannot let this company down because they have shown so much faith in me. I know from speaking to others who have been through the same sort of experiences I have, that they feel the same.

"Earning a living wage is obviously important, but to feel trusted and to be given responsibility is what makes such a difference to the lives of people who have gone through similar experiences as my own."

The Census Data Group are members of the Employers' Forum for Reducing Reoffending (EFFRR), a national collective of organisations committed to the recruitment and training of ex-offenders.

EFFRR is managed by APM on behalf of the National Offender Management Service.