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Employing Ex-offenders: “What works” 9 th December 2013 Andrea McCubbin Chief Operating Officer “I never saw a man who looked with such a wistful eye upon.

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Presentation on theme: "Employing Ex-offenders: “What works” 9 th December 2013 Andrea McCubbin Chief Operating Officer “I never saw a man who looked with such a wistful eye upon."— Presentation transcript:

1 Employing Ex-offenders: “What works” 9 th December 2013 Andrea McCubbin Chief Operating Officer “I never saw a man who looked with such a wistful eye upon that little tent of blue which prisoners call the sky” The Ballad of Reading Gaol Oscar Wilde

2 What is Blue Sky? Think of us as the only company in the country where you can only get a job if you have a criminal record “A proper job with a proper company” Commercial contracts from public and private sector concerns Contracts fulfilled by our own teams Employees on 6-month employment contracts All teams led by permanent supervisor (also an ex-offender) A highly valued social benefit at no extra cost

3 Blue Sky model Blue Sky employs, mentors and trains 100’s of ex-offenders pa supporting c50% into onward jobs Ex offenders Blue Sky sub contracts with facilities management companies to provide ground maintenance and waste recycling services to local authorities Local Authorities Private Sector Clients Blue Sky contracts with private sector clients to provide labour to their supply chains Commissioning Entities Blue Sky receives payments in respect of employment and training outcomes

4 Our role as employer (as opposed to agent) allows us to:  provide 35 hours per week of support to employees leading to high rates of onward employment and low rates of reoffending  unlock housing support through rental deposit schemes  take the employer/HR risk away from clients enabling us to work with companies who would hesitate to engage with ex- offenders  deliver commercially competitive services and products generating contractual revenues > £1m per annum Key elements of Blue Sky model

5 Our social impact A job has the highest impact on re-offending, reducing the probability by up to 50% Over the past 8 years we have employed 759 people making us one of the largest employers of ex-offenders nationally 48% of our employees move into onward employment Around half get an accredited training qualification Recent MoJ Data Laboratory report highlighted that even for the most challenging offenders we work with we reduce re- offending by half

6 What we offer our commercial clients Robust Risk management Cost neutrality Turning an employment and HR risk into a commercial one Mentoring on tap and for free Engagement with one of the hardest- to-reach groups within society – supporting their CSR aspirations Accessing a supply of motivated employees An keen eye on quality Flexibility and experience

7 Blue Sky & Intelligent Procurement - 1 Contract to provide a team throughout the year on a bulky waste collection contract

8 Blue Sky & Intelligent Procurement - 2 An additional social benefit at no extra cost! Long-term Grounds Maintenance Contract Service delivered under sub-contract The sub-contractor model Example: Our work in Slough

9 Catering contract Catering sub contract Blue Sky team integrated into RA team and managed by it Blue Sky & Intelligent Procurement – 3 Private Sector Supply chains

10 Blue Sky Inside – working “through the gate”  Established Production in HMP Bronzefield and High Down 3 clients in the high-end fashion industry with strong interest from a number of other small/medium-sized brands Contract to produce wooden games  Consistent manufacture of quality products 10,000 cotton dust and jewellery bags made with repeat orders secured 1,500 wooden games made for Christmas period  Significant numbers employed and supported 40 women and 16 men employed with qualifications starting to be delivered  Through the gate model starting to function yc. 30% of women released from Bronzefield have moved into employment

11 What works……  “A proper job with a proper company” with a focus on taking personal responsibility  Flexible package of additional support for our employees  100% focused on quality of delivery  challenges perceptions and wins more business  Diversifying income streams to generate more impact  Building a solid evidence base for commissioners  A scale-able model that can be mobilised quickly in other areas  Robust attitude towards risk  Flexibility in responding to changing market conditions – whilst avoiding mission drift  Building a diverse range of partnerships And crucially…  Put people at the heart of what we do 11

12 Our People Sharon’s Story Sharon was young when domestic violence tore her family apart. She began drinking and fighting when her parents split up. At 27, Sharon was convicted of Actual Bodily Harm. After a long spell of unemployment, she was referred to Blue Sky via the Work Programme. Sharon has proved herself to be hard working and trustworthy and has recently passed her driving test, funded by Blue Sky. “Blue Sky is a bit like a family. When you’re doing agency work, you’ve got no support – you just go, do your work and that’s it. But here, if you’ve got problems, they’ll listen to you and if they can help, they will. I’m so happy - I wouldn’t want to be unemployed again now. I want to prove that I can do this, I’m just so grateful that they gave me the chance”


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